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The complimentary lifestyle of BJJ / Surf


Cross training is popular across almost every sport these days, maximising the efficiency of the athlete with training that supports the mind and body from varying angles. In this months blog we explore the alignment of surfing and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and how these two disciplines support one and another and have become more than two sports and now considered a lifestyle.

Let’s start off considering the physical elements of surfing and BJJ. Both centre around endurance and strength.

Achieving endurance and resting strength takes persistent conditioning. Both sports are equally demanding across the entire body and require equal amounts of commitment to achieve the required strength to deliver; surfing demands both cardiovascular strength as well as muscle strength in the core, shoulders, arms and legs. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu demands endurance, flexibility and muscle strength through the entire body in order to hold physically demanding and often awkward positions for substantial amounts of time, amongst other things.

The endurance and muscle conditioning they both deliver, directly supports the other. Think about it, balance for standing up on your board is achieved by maintaining a strong core; a strong core is fundamental in controlling coordination and movement required on the mats.

How about mindfulness, remaining in the present moment proving the ability to deal with only what we are facing at the moment as well as remaining adaptable. Both sports require acute awareness and adaptability to ensure a swift and accurate response to the ever changing sporting environments. Be it Mother Nature or on the mats against the opponent, both change without warning, concentration is paramount to reading the waves or the unpredictable person you battle. Both sports share the lesson of mindfulness if they are to be enjoyed successfully. At comps or in training, the pressure can become all consuming, it takes a strong mind to remain exactly in the moment and not become overwhelmed by the surroundings. Equally in the ocean, there is distraction and challenge everywhere, the fruits of the ocean, the weather, other surfers, the challenges are endless. Both sports cannot be achieved without acute awareness. Learning the art of mindfulness through one sport will organically knock onto the other as well as in life beyond these two sports.

The shared skills and benefits from both sports are endless, the commitment to the healthy lifestyles, the hours required to achieve success, the physical and mental demands to name just a few. But this collaborative mix is not a new trend, the lifestyle has been evident for many decades and felt across the globe. Locally here in Australia, the Gold Coast is thriving with BJJ gyms dotted along the Coast which offers some of Australia’s best surf. Including gyms like Flow Martial Arts in Coolangatta,where black belts and students alike live and breath the surf / BJJ culture starting their day with one discipline and ending it with the other. This is common practice, this is the lifestyle on the Gold Coast.

Further abroad, simply take a look at the new generation of world surf pros, the circuit is dominated by BJJ trainers, including the likes of the Michel Bourez, Jack Freestone, Wiggolly Dantas, Bob Martinez and of course Kelly Slater who famously promotes the benefits of BJJ on his surfing game.

It’s clear to see the two sports compliment each other beautifully, so if you’re not already having a go at one whilst training the other, we recommend giving the other a try too and seeing the difference the two can have on your game! A healthy lifestyle is always the bottom line….whatever it takes to achieve that….the fight never ends.