Some grapplers think that getting stronger will help their BJJ while others think that it doesn’t make much of a difference. The real question is, which group is right? Theoretically, being stronger should allow you to carry out moves more effectively in Jiu-Jitsu. However, common practice has showed that instead of focusing on proper technique, stronger grapplers try to “overpower” their opponents.
In some cases, they might even win a few matches or dominate at their academy simply by knowing a little technique and being the strongest. However, in the long run, this grappler will run into some problems when they move up in ranks and start grappling against higher belts. As you progress up the Jiu-Jitsu rankings ladder, strength becomes less and less important. By the time you’re a brown or black belt, it doesn’t really matter at all.
Feel Free to Get Stronger, But Not At the Expense of Your Technique
If you feel that getting stronger is going to make you a better and more confident grappler, then go ahead and partake in a workout regimen that will help you accomplish this goal. Just note that you should never get stronger at the expense of your technique. What do we mean by this? Basically, if you ever come to the point where you are using more strength than you are technique then you should stop and reconsider your training regimen.
Being stronger isn’t necessarily going to make you better at Jiu-Jitsu. If that were the case, world-class weight lifters would dominate the sport. But in reality, this doesn’t happen. Instead, it’s the lighter (between 125 and 165 pounds) and weaker grapplers that prevail, and it’s because they’ve mastered the technique. Most black belts have never touched free weights in their life. Instead, most of their days are spent sparring, learning new techniques, and mastering the ones that they already know.
Focus on Building Mental Strength Instead
As amusing as the statement might sound, all world-class BJJ artists can agree: building your mental strength will allow you to experience much more success in this sport than building your physical strength. Remember that Jiu-Jitsu isn’t like football or basketball- you simply can’t “overpower” opponents using your strength, agility, and athletic ability. As soon as you start placing more focus on your technique, you’re going to notice a dramatic difference in your skill levels (for the better).