Developing Strength, Power, and Endurance in the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Athlete

by James Pritchard, MSc, CSCS, RSCC, TSAC-F, USAW
NSCA Coach October 2023
Vol 10, Issue 2

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This article seeks to help coaches understand the demands of Brazilian jiu jitsu on athletes, as well as appropriate training strategies to improve performance potential.

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This article originally appeared in NSCA Coach, a quarterly publication for NSCA Members that provides valuable takeaways for every level of strength and conditioning coach. You can find scientifically based articles specific to a wide variety of your athletes’ needs with Nutrition, Programming, and Youth columns. Read more articles from NSCA Coach »

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  2. Andreato, LV, de Moraes, SF, de Moraes Gomes, TL, Esteves, JDC, Andreato, TV, and Franchini, E. Estimated aerobic power, muscular strength and flexibility in elite Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu athletes. Science and Sports 26: 329-337, 2011.
  3. Andreato, LV, Follmer, B, Celidonio, CL, and da Silva Honorato, A. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu combat among different categories: Timemotion and physiology. A systematic review. Strength and Conditioning Journal 38: 44-54, 2016.
  4. Andreato, LV, Lara, FJD, Andrade, A, and Branco, BHM. Physical and physiological profiles of Brazilian jiu-jitsu athletes: A systematic review. Sports Medicine Open 3: 1-17, 2017.
  5. Buse, GJ. No holds barred sport fighting: A 10 year review of mixed martial arts competition. British Journal of Sports Medicine 40: 169-172, 2006.
  6. Del Vecchio, FB, Gondim, DF, and Arruda, ACP. Functional movement screening performance of Brazilian jiu-jitsu athletes from Brazil: Differences considering practice time and combat style. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 30: 2341-2347, 2016.
  7. James, LP. An evidenced-based training plan for Brazilian Jiu- Jitsu. Strength and Conditioning Journal 36: 14-22, 2014.
  8. Jones, NB, and Ledford, E. Strength and conditioning for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Strength and Conditioning Journal 34: 60-69, 2012.
  9. Junior, JS, dos Santos, RP, Kons, R, Gillis, J, Caputo, F, and Detanico, D. Relationship between a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specific test performance and physical capacities in experience athletes. Science and Sports, 2022.
  10. Latella, C, Teo, W-P, Drinkwater, EJ, Kendall, K, and Haff, GG. The acute neuromuscular responses to cluster set resistance training: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Sports Medicine 49: 1861-1877, 2019.
  11. Laursen, P, and Buchheit, M. Science and Application of High- Intensity Interval Training. Human Kinetics; 2019.
  12. Ovretveit, K, and Toien, T. Maximal strength training improves strength performance in grapplers. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 32: 3326-3332, 2018.
  13. Petrisor, BA, Del Fabbro, G, Madden, K, Khan, M, Joslin, J, and Bhandari, M. Injury in Brazilian jiu-jitsu training. Sports Health 11: 432-439, 2019.
  14. Scoggin III, JF, Brusovanik, G, Izuka, BH, Zandee van Rilland, E, Geling, O, and Tokumura, S. Assessment of injuries during Brazilian jiu-jitsu competition. Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine 2: 2325967114522184, 2014.
  15. Stellpflug, SJ, Menton, WH, and LeFevere, RC. Analysis of the fight-ending chokes in the history of the Ultimate Fighting Championship™ mixed martial arts promotion. The Physician and Sportsmedicine 50: 60-63, 2022.
  16. Tonani, ECF, Fernandes, EV, Dos Santos Junior, RB, Weber, MG, Andreato, LV, Branco, BHM, and De Paula Ramos, S. Association of heart rate and heart rate variability with an anaerobic performance test and recovery of Brazilian jiu-jitsu athletes. International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport 21: 361-373, 2021.
  17. Tota, Ł, Pilch, W, Piotrowska, A, and Maciejczyk, M. The effects of conditioning training on body build, aerobic and anaerobic performance in elite mixed martial arts athletes. Journal of Human Kinetics 70: 223-231, 2019.
  18. Villar, R, Gillis, J, Santana, G, Pinheiro, DS, and Almeida, AL. Association between anaerobic metabolic demands during simulated Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu combat and specific Jiu- Jitsu anaerobic performance test. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 32: 432-440, 2018.
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