7 Things I've Learned About BJJ From Joe Rogan
Contributor - Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Gear Reviews
I’m a tax auditor and I’m on the road a lot for work. Most of the time when I visit companies, they put me in a little room by myself. It can get pretty lonely with no one to talk to. During one of my recent trips, I began listening to the Joe Rogan Experience (JRE) podcasts.
Joe Rogan is a black belt under the 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu founder, Eddie Bravo, but is most known for commentating UFC events and his stand-up comedy act. He is one of those guys who is constantly researching everything he’s interested in to find the best way to conduct his life. And as he does this on air, he helps the rest of us to better live our own lives.
The Joe Rogan Experience
The Joe Rogan Experience podcasts are about three hours long and showcase a variety of guests, including MMA fighters, BJJ masters, strength and conditioning experts, and nutrition researchers. Joe also hosts comedians, scientists, authors, and other really cool people.
Since I train jiu jitsu, I gravitate more towards the podcasts that help me gain more insight on my sport. Over the past few weeks, I’ve enjoyed hearing what people I have come to admire think about using strength in jiu jitsu, learning new techniques, conditioning training for jiu jitsu, and training while injured, as well as why some people feel jiu jitsu has changed the world.
On Learning New Techniques
When people begin training BJJ, they want to learn everything at once. I remember being overwhelmed by how much I didn’t know. Rather than focusing on learning one thing at a time, I jumped from one technique to the next, never learning perfect technique for anything and never trying to understand the underlying principles of jiu jitsu.
BJJ black belt Jean Jacques Machado explained that you don’t do jiu jitsu, you feel jiu jitsu and the more you learn, the less you use. But in order to use less, you have to learn more. What? Machado was actually a guest on the Eddie Bravo podcast, but I included this one because it was filmed in Joe Rogan’s studio and because Eddie Bravo and Jean Jacques are awesome.
Former UFC World Champion Tito Ortiz suggests that athletes who are already accomplished in their sport use drills to learn one new technique at a time.
Old School Versus New School Jiu Jitsu
Joe Rogan and Steve Maxwell discuss whether the original Gracie jiu jitsu, which is in itself a new system, should evolve to include modern jiu jitsu techniques including 50/50 and the Berimbolo. Would the 50/50 be effective in the streets? Maybe not but if the other guy knows what to do with it and you don’t, things could get rough.
Teaching BJJ Improves Your Own BJJ
What’s interesting about jiu jitsu is that by helping your teammates or students it helps you to improve your own jiu jitsu. Since I’ve started teaching the women’s BJJ class at Titans Fitness Academy, I’ve had to revisit all of the basics and make sure I know exactly how they work before teaching the techniques to others.
Kron Gracie has been teaching BJJ since he was fifteen and said that by teaching others how to beat him, he has been able improve his game with the help of his own students, rather than going elsewhere for training partners before competition.
Bullying in Jiu Jitsu
I’m 105 pounds, 38 years old, and female. I am a purple belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu, but as people who have been training for any amount of time know, once someone learns positioning and some basic submissions, size and strength play a big factor in who submits who during rolling. The issue with someone relying on those attributes is that they are missing the point of jiu jitsu.
BJJ black belt Steve Maxwell shared his story about how being a bully on the mats not only held him back from getting his brown belt, it earned him a beat down from his idol, Royce Gracie.
Kron Gracie is also not impressed by people who use strength in jiu jitsu. What impresses him is someone who uses strategy and technique to outsmart his or her opponents. He believes jiu jitsu really is human chess.
Strength and Conditioning for BJJ
When everyone you train with or compete against is a lot bigger then you or are in much better shape than you, it does help to work on your cardio and strength. Technique is most important, but sometimes my training partners will be so much bigger than I am that it exhausts me just to try and move their body parts around.
World class trainer Steve Maxwell suggests a simple weightlifting session a couple of times a week to maintain absolute strength and hard rolling to build conditioning. For athletes who don’t find they are being challenged enough during rolling, he suggests exhausting yourself with circuits before training.
Training Through Injuries
When athletes get injured during training, it can be hard to take a break and let wounds heal. We push ourselves to go back before we’re ready and sometimes we just work through the pain. Well, I don’t, but some people do.
Joe Rogan and Steve Maxwell have experienced their fair share of pain and injury and they suggest getting medical attention and taking time off to ensure longevity on the mats. Also, Joe says you should tap when you get got. Otherwise your moment of stupidity will result in months of pain and time off of the mats.
Also suggested on the Joe Rogan Experience is to stretch and drink water to encourage elasticity in the body and to use the sauna to prevent atrophy during injury recovery.
Jiu Jitsu Changes Lives
Jiu jitsu not only improves your body, it improves your mind and your quality of life. During training, people are reminded that their body is magical. They clear their minds. They create bonds with teammates that can last a lifetime. Eddie Bravo, Todd White, and Jean Jacques Machado discuss the ups and downs of their training.
One thing I know for sure after writing this article is that when Steve Maxwell is on the Joe Rogan Experience, I should tune in. Joe Rogan doesn’t sit and talk to dummies for three hours, so anytime you get the chance, visit the YouTube channel and learn something that will improve your life. It sure beats listening to the same songs over and over again on the radio!