January 26, 2012

Leverage in Jiu Jitsu

“Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it and I shall move the world” – Archimedes, Greek Philosopher

Archimedes understood the principle of leverage and is given much of the credit as to its discovery and subsequent formulation (torque= force x distance); Archimedes would have been great at Jiu Jitsu! As students we are constantly reminded to use technique over strength. This mantra can be frustrating to new students who do not yet comprehend the coorolation between leverage and technique. The same idiom can prove a bane to the more advanced student who when trying to master a new technique finds himself frustrated by the details. Every Jiu Jitsu technique can be broken down to the simple idea of leverage versus anatomical constraints! For example; the elbow joint is meant only to operate in one direction, when bent against its anatomical purpose the results can be devastating.

As a student, take your time in learning the basic principles of leverage and anatomy in order to greatly increase your Jiu Jitsu progress. Understanding this corrolation between leverage and technique will help you unravel the mysteries from the most basic armbar to the most advanced sweep!

Turning the arm into a lever