Stretching and Flexibility
A lot of people ask me about my flexibility and how I am able to do moves that require a lot of flexibility with my legs. I myself, don’t believe I’m that flexible (BJ Penn and Eddie Bravo are flexible), but back when I first started JJ in Jan 08, I was pretty damn stiff! Standing up I couldn’t touch my toes or sit Indian style with both my feet off the ground.
Soon I learned that the more flexibility you have, the more diverse your game can be. I noticed people like PJ, whose legs were impossible to pass, always doing stretches like the s-mount stretch. Mikee has crazy (linear?) flexibility with his legs from about 20 years of kickboxing. I decided to incorporate stretches from everyone’s routines that I believed were fairly flexible. I stretched before class, after class, at work, watching TV, etc… Month after month, I slowly started to see an improvement with my flexibility.
The key is simple. Stretch!! After our warm ups, when Mike stays “get water and stretch out,” a lot of people sit around talking, which I do too, but they aren’t taking advantage of the time to stretch. Even when you are at home reading a book or playing video games, stretch! You don’t need anything to stretch, except the ground underneath you and gravity. What are you doing in your spare time?
BJ Penn: “Every day I stretch about half an hour before going to bed. I don’t stretch before practice; I just warm up to get the blood going. If I’m not too exhausted, I stretch after training. But often I’ll go home, eat, relax, take a shower and then stretch before going to sleep. A good routine is to start from your head and go down to your feet, stretching everything you want to stretch. Flexibility is essential. That’s why so many people have such a hard time taking me down, passing my guard and reversing me when I’m on top. It’s important to have strength with your flexibility. At the gym, you often see strong, stiff guys and weak, flexible guys. To become a force in fighting, you need to combine those.” (From: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2678267/mma_techniques_and_exercises_eddie.html)
Be the LOTUS!