Moving with fluidly and efficiently helps grapplers execute their techniques against a resisting opponent and improve quickly. While training solely in BJJ allows you to develop beneficial movement patterns overtime, supplementing your curriculum with cross-training in other movement-based activities facilitates your development of spatial awareness, hand-eye-coordination, rhythm, balance, and fluidity. Below are a few activities outside of martial arts that contribute to your BJJ skills.
BBoying. Popularly referred to as ‘breakdancing’, bboying is a dance that synthesis movements from hip-hop, gymnastics, and martial arts. The power-moves and acrobatics of bboying relies heavily on coordinated movements. Bboys need to synchronize various muscle groups to successfully execute techniques. Similarly, while defending a guillotine choke you should optimally be hand fighting the choke while simultaneously attempting to improve your leg entanglements.
Yoga. Occasionally referred to a form of ‘forced yoga’, BBJJ benefits from both the flexibly and breathing techniques of Yoga. Increased hip flexibility in particular leads to rapid improvement in maintaining guard against pressure passers and re-guarding after a pass. Just like the adopting an advanced mindset,developing your body through flexibly means you can expand your repertoire of submissions and holds. Regulating your breathing through yoga techniques during your rolls will increase your endurance and maintain your composure.
Gymnastics Not only does gymnastics build upper body and core strength, but the acrobatics improves overall spatial awareness. Viewing the world from upside down on a consistent basis means gymnastic are unfazed by changes in perspective. The skill translates into BJJ during throws, takedowns, and inverted guards, when you need to recognize your positioning relative to your opponent and then improve your situation without hesitation. If you develop a system around rolling Kimuras and cartwheel guard passes, then gymnastics perfectly complements your training.
Improving your submission grappling requires hard work. By identifying a weakness in your mental or physical game and addressing it through related, movement-based activities, you can improve rapidly. Bboying, gymnastics, and yoga in particular all benefit your fine-motor skills. The overlaps between BJJ and other activities means you can always find creative ways to challenge you abilities and push yourself to improve.