People involved in grappling are always looking for the best companion activity to make them better at Jiu-Jitsu. Is it good old weight lifting, running, doing gymnastics or stretching? Well, it depends on who you ask. Ask someone with a wrestling background and you’ll probably get high volume calisthenics as an answer. Ask a 10th Planet grappler and you might end up with break dancing as a suggestion. The truth is that all of the above athletic disciplines work for Jiu-Jitsu. However, the one activity everyone agrees is helpful is Yoga for BJJ. It is a great way fo gaining strength that relates to grappling, along with some much needed functional flexibility. Now, for all of you that are particularly stiff and brittle, there’s a brand new DVD out that’ll change your life. It is the Sebastian Brosche Yoga For Rocks DVD instructional.
Where do I start with the benefits of Yoga for grapplers? Yoga is the perfect activity to help you get a workout in, while still not sacrificing your body in the process. On the contrary, Yoga helps you mend your body while you train, whereas other more common activities like weightlifting or sprinting further put stress on it. Let’s be real, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is more than enough stress on anybody, and particularly those that are on the “wrong” side of 30.
If there’s one movement based system out there that is tailor-made for BJJ than it has to be Yoga. Yoga for BJJ is the same as a brioche bun for a burger. It almost seems as if Jiu-Jitsu and Yoga were designed to complement each other. The Yoga For Rocks DVD by Sebastian Brosche is a great example of this. There are just so many similarities between the two of them. It’s not surprising that they both have roots which are deeply entwined with Buddhism and ancient India.
Yoga is a commonly used generic term for a collection of physical, mental, and spiritual disciplines which originated in India. It is an extremely complex and diverse system which embraces many different aspects of the human experience. This aspect of yoga is largely concerned with asanas, which refer to the body positions and physical postures which are held during practice, and vinyasa – a specific sequence of breath-synchronized movements used to transition between sustained asanas.
Besides having been proven to alleviate depression, high blood pressure and a host of other physical ailments, Yoga for BJJ is beneficial in a number of grappling specific ways, several of which we outline below. There are countless different types of yoga classes available, but the main ones you’ll encounter are:
This style focuses on the physical alignment of the body in the various asanas. It often uses various supports or ‘props’ to facilitate the poses for beginners and the less flexible. It has very little vinyasa between postures. This type of yoga mainly benefits those with muscular and /or postural imbalances as well as less athletic individuals.
Vinyasa yoga, in which movement synchronizes with the breath, is a term that covers a broad range of yoga classes. This style is also called flow yoga, because of the smooth way that the poses run together.
Vinyasa classes are some of the most challenging. Each class is usually quite different, and that the pace and intensity closely approximate jiu-jitsu. If you’re looking for muscular endurance and dynamic flexibility this is the class for you.
This is a form of Vinyasa in which the sequence of asanas and vinyasas is much more regimented and strict. In fact, it so structured that every class you do will be almost exactly the same. It’s very effective but some people become bored by the lack of variety.
It uses a very specific form of yogic breathing called ‘ujjayi’ which has a great carryover application to BJJ. It offers supreme breath control and is really beneficial for developing coordination.
Bikram / ‘Hot’ Yoga
The main differentiating factor of Bikram is that you practice it in a heated room. This (and other styles of ‘hot yoga’) has become very popular as of late. Due to the heat and humidity, Bikram can be a little extreme, and it’s not a good fit for anyone in poor shape.
Although I feel that most other Hatha styles are superior, I think that the discomfort caused by the humidity might be good for developing mental strength that could transfer well to grappling martial arts. It is perfect for losing fat.
Benefits Of Yoga For BJJ
Yoga for BJJ is something we’ve all done at one point or another. Or at least, what we thought was Yoga for BJJ. Most of us did have been to a regular Yoga class or tried to follow a YouTube workout along. While that’s all good and beneficial, it is not grappling specific. The “real” Yoga for BJJ is actually a somewhat new creation. The man behind it BJJ black belt Sebastian Brosche. Hw is the first one to merge the two, by creating a Yoga system that is specific for grapplers. Moreover, he has several programs that address different aspects of strength flexibility. The Yoga For Rocks DVD, though, has to be his most impressive work so far!
One of the most commonly ‘imposed demands’ of Jiu-Jitsu is a contraction. When you’re in guard, attacking from the side or back control and many of the other positions, your body is constantly in a contracted state. The upper back is often rounded as you are holding onto an opponent. The hip flexors and psoas muscles are usually tightened because the knees are tucked up towards the chest. As for the neck and shoulders – well if you’ve been training for any length of time you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. This excessive contraction is even more pronounced in the primary defensive postures, like the turtle position.
Yoga for BJJ results in twofold effect – it lengthens and opens the body. As an added bonus, many of your submissions will also improve. Consider that many of the finishes in grappling martial arts require an exaggerated expansion out from the center. For example, during an armbar, you arch your back and drive your hips forwards to apply leverage. Addressing imbalances with Yoga for BJJ will allow you to improve greatly.
Inevitable Flexibility Gains
We all know that guy who can wrap his legs around your waist from the bottom of the mount and reverse the position. There’s one of those in every academy.
Although you can get away without being flexible in Jiu-Jitsu, it’s an attribute that’s unquestionably beneficial. The greater the range of motion in your joints, the more options you will have in each position. In fact, some parts of Jiu-Jitsu will be completely inaccessible to you unless you develop the required suppleness. The rubber guard is the most obvious example of such a position. And, the Yoga For Rocks DVD is the ultimate tool to turn even the stiffest grapplers into proficient rubber guard players. Or develop an impassable guard like Sebastian Brosche.
Strength Through Stability
The kind of strength developed through Yoga for BJJ is unlike anything else you’ve ever experienced. Over the past couple of decades the phrase ‘core strength’ has become very popular in sports training. Well, Yoga goes far beyond that.
Correct practice develops so-called as ‘”intelligent strength”. Not only does it train the central nervous system to fire muscles in the correct sequence, but it also teaches you which muscles to engage. The ultimate goal is to maintain postural alignment and efficiently move your anatomy through space. And we all know that good posture and movement are hallmarks of superior Jiu-Jitsu skills. Both of these qualities are included in the Yoga For Rocks DVD classes.
Furthermore, holding the asanas develops a muscular endurance which is perfectly suited to the isometric contractions required for finishing submissions. And although it tones and strengthens, yoga does not produce excessive muscle hypertrophy. Too much muscle mass is never good for Jiu-Jitsu. It is inefficient because it burns oxygen quickly and inhibits movement. Consistent practice (will reset your body to its optimum tissue composition.
Yoga is exceptional for developing balance. Many of the standing asanas are done unilaterally (on one leg), which not only improves stability but sport-specific strength as well.
Your body is the tool with which you create your Jiu-Jitsu, and the more you know about it and more effectively you can operate it the better you’ll be on the mat. The increase in body awareness from yoga practice is a major benefit.
One of the most valuable ways to achieve this is through breath control. Not only will the vinyasas teach you to coordinate your movement and breathing, but yogic techniques such as pranayama will enable you to engage your diaphragm and utilize your lungs to their full capacity. This will greatly improve your stamina during rolling.
Sebastian Brosche – The Most Flexible Grappler Alive
Sebastian Brosche is a Swedish BJJ black belt under Eduardo Rios. He received his black belt recently, in December of 2016.he is also a second-degree Judo black belt. Apart from grappling martial arts, Sebastian is also a huge Yoga enthusiast. So much so, in fact, that he even turned full vegan in an attempt to weed out bad habits. The thing is, Sebastian was once just like the rest of us – an injury-ridden, stiff grappler that was constantly in some sort of pain. Until he met Stine Hegre.
Hegre, now Brosche’s wife, is a Yoga expert. She influenced Sebastian to give Yoga a try in addition to his constant BJJ training. Form 2007 onwards, Brosche was all about submission wrestling and Judo. He started training BJJ in Checkmat Sweden and then moved to Oslo where he met up with Eduardo Rios. Just like every other grappler, Brosche suffered from injuries and little nags. With the help of Hegre, though, he managed to turn things around completely.
Regular Yoga training, paired with BJJ, increased his flexibility, dexterity, range of motion and reduced pretty much every injury he had. After only a year of Yoga and BJJ, Sebastian actually came up with the Yoga FOR BJJ concept. Since then, his idea has grown into a full-blown online training program. And now, his first-ever multi-part DVD is out as well.
Should you get Sebastian’s Yoga For Rocks DVD to become stronger, yet more flexible and limber? Certainly! Should you also go vegan in the process? That’s up to you but is far from mandatory. Me, I’m going to be sticking to steak and potatoes, but I’m making this yoga program a daily thing!
Sebastian Brosche And The Yoga For BJJ Brand
Yoga for BJJ, in particular, has been around for several years. It is an online-based program created by Sebastian Brosche that anyone can sing up for. The best part about it is that similarly to BJJ it is far from complete. As Brosche himself learns the secrets of Yoga further, he always updates his programs or comes up with entirely new ones. Given that he is not just a black belt, but also a highly competitive grappler, his inside knowledge of what is needed to actually make BJJ people move better is priceless. The Yoga For Rocks DVD is his latest issue.
Borsche was actually considered one of the top brown belts in 2015. He has a World champion title (purple belt), European (purple & blue) and more to his name. He also has notable appearances in invite-only professional tournaments like Polaris. His experience means that he knows exactly what to target with each of his programs.
His first DVD though is a real godsend to most grapplers. The Yoga For Rocks DVD is actually a complete program, focusing on all the areas that are essential to grappling. Moreover, you do not need to be flexible like Eddie Bravo to start practicing it. On the contrary, this is instructional to take the stiff and achy grappler and turn him into, well, a not so calm Yogi.
A Review Of The Yoga For Rocks DVD by Sebastian Brosche
The Yoga For Rocks DVD is, first and foremost, one of the best-named DVDs in the history of BJJ instructionals. Sebastian Brosche speaks perfect English and is very easy to listen to. He likes to demonstrate all the moves himself while explaining in detail why he is doing what he is doing. Moreover, he draws BJJ parallels to make everything crystal clear. The program is very easy to follow, as it does not include crazy Yoga positions that will have you suspended in the air. On the contrary, you’ll increase your range of motion and specific strength by using seemingly straightforward exercises that are staples of Yoga. Which brings us to the progressions.
This Sebastian Brosche DVD is a three-part instructional that goes through all the Yoga progressions that people who have never stretched a day in their life need. The first part covers an introduction and contains two main classes – neck and shoulders and an upper back class. Part two goes into what is, arguably, the most important part of the body for BJJ – the hips. The third and final part is all about the hamstrings, ankles, and wrists. All in all, Brosche covers every body part, with special emphasis on those that are integral for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. What I can’t stress enough is, that despite the Yoga For Rocks DVD title, this instructional is far from a beginners-only one. I’ve been doing Yoga (on and off) for th past decade, and this DVD is not easy to get through, believe me!
In the first portion of the Sebastian Brosche Yoga For Rocks DVD, he starts off with an introduction. This is where he quickly goes over his own BJJ and Yoga journey, before going deeper into the benefits. Moreover, he includes a practical manual of how you should use the videos inside. As you’ll see, the content is divided into classes, with each class targeting specific body parts. The ways you can use this is as a weekly program, a daily practice, or a highly specific way of focusing on only one lagging body part.
The second portion of part one contains two classes. The first one is all about every bodybuilder’s favorite part – chest, albeit in a much different fashion. Here, you get a complete rundown of how to strengthen your chest and triceps, while taking them to extreme ranges of motion at the same time. The one key component of class 1 is the inclusion of the neck. As far as BJJ goes, this is one of the body parts that get lots of damage. In class One, you’ll learn how to make it a lot tougher, while resolving any ongoing issues.
Class two is also extremely important. For instance, I am a guy who has lots of trouble with the traps. This upper back class by Brosche is insanely good for anyone sharing my ailment. It is the one class I tried first from this DVD, and one I plan on doing daily from now on.
Part two is something most people in BJJ will probably focus the most on. This is where you get to learn all the exercises and sequences that’ll help you immensely with guard work and retention. This is where Sebastian Brosche covers hip flexibility and strengthening. The first class of this part, or third in total, is all about the front of the hips and the lower back. In other words, the two areas of the body which do not get much rest during Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training.
The inner thighs and outer hips are the focus of the next, fourth class. This is where you learn how to work on those muscles most of us never recognize as important. Not just that, but you also get a full explanation of why they’re important and how to use the Yoga For Rocks DVD to make your BJJ better by training them correctly.
Finally, after covering the most important aspects of guard playing, Sebastian Brosche switches his attention to the muscles that guard passers use the most. While the hips and lower back get a shift in her too, there’s more. Class five of the Yoga For Rocks DVD covers the hamstrings and calves which are the muscles on the back of your legs. They are responsible for lots of the motions during passing, as well as balance and base. Moreover, much of the power that the hips have comes courtesy of the hamstrings. That is why deadlifts are such a powerful tool for grapplers. Well, this class is the way to take things to a whole new different level.
Wrapping up the classes in this Sebastian Brosche DVD is the 6th and final class. This is where Brosche covers some of the less trained parts of our bodies. The attention here is on the ankles, wrists, and forearms. If you think these have no role to play in BJJ, just think about grips and movement, and you’ll see how much you actually rely upon them. Well, now you can make them stronger and be even more efficient.
Training Yoga for BJJ is always a good idea, period. However, training Yoga that has actually been developed for grapplers, buy a high-level grappler, is a whole different ball game. Furthermore, in the Yoga For Rocks DVD, you get a Sebastian Brosche instructional that’ll turn even the stiffest grappler into a full-blown Yogi in just weeks. And this is all before we even touch on the present class organization inside the instructional. If there are one strength and conditioning instructional you need in your life, it is this one. Namaste!