The Benefits of Visualization for Sports and BJJ

BJJ Visualization Malachy Friedman five Grappling IBJJF

The Benefits of Visualization for BJJ and Sports.

For years I have had millions of make believe MMA, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu matches and drilling sessions in my mind. Breaking down the steps to each new technique, from the entrance of the position to the completion of the sweep, pass or submission then chaining it to my other techniques if my attempt is thwarted. This imaginary practice helps to keep new and old techniques fresh in my mind but also is very similar to practicing the move with a partner as the brain cannot really tell the difference. The main difference between actually training the move and imagining it is the senses you encounter. This is why it is also good to imagine the feel of the position the weight of your balance that is needed added with the visual imagery. Get as complex as you can with the position and break down the steps so the move is envisioned perfectly. Using Visualization when injured or in need of rest from a hard BJJ sparring session is the perfect way to stay sharp or to correct bad habits. If you are having trouble bringing your left hook back to your chin to protect yourself then visualizing the correction can help in leaps and bounds. The same if you were making mistakes in your De La Riva guard transitions, you can improve it when you are away from the mats.

There were a lot of good quotes to choose from on visualization for BJJ, I recommend googling it. But here is one that really hit home with me. As when I am visualizing I can feel the correct muscles jump if I am in the right place mentally during my visualization.

I train myself mentally with visualization. The morning of a tournament, before I put my feet on the floor, I visualize myself making perfect runs with emphasis on technique, all the way through to what my personal best is in practice…. The more you work with this type of visualization, especially when you do it on a day-to-day basis, you’ll actually begin to feel your muscles contracting at the appropriate times.

-Camille Duvall, Waterski Champion