Redlining

Redlining

A common phrase that most people understand is that of redlining. It refers to a situation where you push an engine above its rated rpm (usually indicates by a red line on the tachometer). If you stay above the redline for any length of time, it is almost inevitable that the engine will be blown out. Just as we studiously avoid redlining whilst driving, so too we must avoid it in Jiu Jitsu. Much of what we call fatigue to failure on the mats is caused by unconscious redlining where an athlete takes his muscular exertion beyond what his breathing patterns can sustain. Interestingly, this is very often not so much a result of what the opponent is doing, but rather, is A SELF INFLICTED HARM CAUSED BY A FAILURE ON OUR PART TO MATCH OUR BREATHING PATTERN TO THE ACTION. In beginner classes this is usually the result of unconsciously holding the breath while attempting to finish a move. Nowhere is this more common than when attempting a strangle. Usually by the time you get to apply a strangle you have done a lot of prior work and so begin in a state of fatigue. Then when you clamp down to finish we hold our breath to maximize squeezing power - this must be avoided. YOU MUST TRAIN YOURSELF TO DEVELOP MECHANICAL TIGHTNESS ON THE LOCK RATHER THAN MUSCULAR TIGHTNESS. Above all, keep your energy expenditure within sustainable limits - strangles take time so budget your rate of energy expenditure accordingly - and KEEP BREATHING! Your opponent should be the one unable to breath - NOT YOU! Here Nicky Ryan shows perfect strangle composure - there is tightness and tension, but it is intended to lock him into POSITION rather than provide the horsepower behind the strangle, and of course, he maintains his own breathing as his opponent loses his ability to do the same (though of course this is ultimately an attack upon blood flow rather than airway). Train your STRANGLE COMPOSURE as you would any other skill in the sport - it is a big part of the path to submission mastery