Ask a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner what he or she misses most in this season of social distancing. The answer will be unanimous: sparring.
This pandemic season has turned the global grappling community upside down and inside out. Most wise practitioners are more than happy to stay safe and healthy by adhering to social distancing regulations for the good of all. However, there is no doubt that there is an ache in their hearts that they cannot do what they love most. After all, physical contact is the main element of grappling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. It is not the same when you can't go near, much less touch your partner!
But thanks to the brilliant minds of our professors, modified BJJ classes have been an eye-opening experience for the members! Sadly, we are still unable to slap hands, fist bump, and roll like in the old days. Yet, most will admit that they are still 'tapping out' during class - this time, from the intense mental and physical workout that our professors have managed to dish out.
Our members share their experiences with the modified BJJ classes.
"I had no concerns about returning to the gym when it opened because I've always had complete confidence in FaMA adhering to the best practices. It was great to be back and moving with a specific purpose and to reconnect with the FaMA team and the broader community. It was and still is, tiring, but the effort level is self-regulated, so it is up to you as an individual to how hard you push and how much effort you put in.
I personally enjoy the modified classes a lot, more reps of basic movements, and far easier to commit to certain moves (saying this as a bigger sized but low-level BJJ male). I also find it easier to stay injury-free while drilling without random movements and wildly varying intensity levels that come with 'live' training partners. I think the increased focus on cardio combined with BJJ specific strength and movement work has been fantastic for me and something I would like to continue. Sparring is the critical thing that is missing. However, the testing of skills/lack of against resisting bodies of differing ability and size will be significant when this returns and becomes an option of sorts further down the line.
I must say that I do not miss being submitted by Khairil Saad (FaMA purple belt) a minimum of three times every five minutes of sparring. However, I was forced to tap twice to the "side control pressure" of the massive fire bag during one of the drills! That was disappointing!”
"I had tried a Zoom BJJ class over the Circuit Breaker, but after an hour of bruising myself through thin yoga mats on hard floors, I hobbled away to conclude that those weren't for me. I returned a week after the Phase 2 opening. I was surprised at how much I missed the gym and training.
It took a little time to get used to the safe distancing protocols, but quickly those started to feel "normal." However, despite easing myself back in with a basic class, I was exhausted after about 15 minutes.
Nonetheless, the classes have been delightful. I like that you can drill aggressively without fear of hurting your partner. I did have to watch for smacking myself repeatedly with the chains on the heavy punching bags - thank goodness for dummies now!
Gruelling wrestling movements, street self-defence scenarios that make you feel like you're in Fight Club (although we can't talk about it), and unconventional cozying up with your grappling buddy: The modified BJJ classes at FaMA - Fitness and Martial Arts will give you a newfound appreciation for the grappling sport! If you haven't returned to the mats yet, we believe this will convince you to!"
"I thought I was fit because I had been training regularly using FaMA's Zoom classes, but on my first day back at the academy I realised I was absolutely wrong. The Professors made us train hard making the Zoom classes look like a mere warmup compared to what they made us go through at the academy!
The thing I dislike most is the no contact rule but I love training takedowns with the grappling buddies and rubber bands. With live training partners, when we make a mistake they can get injured and we feel bad, but with the grappling buddies we have more room for error.
Currently, I'm trying to train as much as I can and enjoy the modified classes. Consistency is very important"
FaMA - Fitness and Martial Arts Established in 2016, FaMA is a world-class martial arts academy located in the heart of the Central Business District in Singapore. Walking distance from Clarke Quay and Fort Canning MRT stations, FaMA’s main goal is to help people improve their lives through martial arts regardless of age or athletic capability. Our Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), Muay Thai Kickboxing, Kids Martial Arts and Fitness programs are led by experts in their respective fields. So, whether it is weight loss, a fun workout, camaraderie, competition training, or just to break a sweat, FaMA has something for the whole family.