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The Physiology of Exercise Applied to Jiu Jitsu.

Author: Prof. Dranda. Danielli Braga de Mello

In accordance with the American College of Sports Medicine - ACMS (2005) the duration of the training is inversely proportional to the intensity of the activity, and therefore the efficiency in the accomplishment of the movement is acheived by specific systems of energy supply.

When training Jiu Jitsu, the anaerobic and aerobic systems are used according to the duration and intensity of the applied stimulus and are also related to the target's demographic (athlete/non-athlete, age, rank, profession) and to the objective in training.

Different stimuli demand the activation of specific energy systems. There are 3 main systems in transference of energy:

  • The a lactic anaerobic system (or ATP-CP system)
  • The lactic anaerobic (or anaerobic glocolitic system)
  • Aerobic (or oxidative system)

The first system to be activated is the lactic anaerobic. ATP is the fuel responsible for the muscular contraction, but ATP storage capacity of muscles is limited. So that the muscular contraction is continuous and movement occurs, ATP needs to be constantly regenerated, for this, it is necessary that other systems of energy transference come into action. The energy for resynthesis of the ATP comes from the breakdown of phosphocreatine (PC), forming the ATP-CP system.

This system of energy supply is predominant in activities (stimulus) of high intensity due the immediate availability of energy, since most of the ATP and the PC are stored inside of the contractile mechanisms of the muscle, and do not demand long and complex chemical reactions.

However, the amount of available energy is very limited and only allows the accomplishment of the movement with efficiency for approximately 15 seconds. To continue movement, the participation of another system of energy supply is necessary, or, is necessary during recovery time for the restoration of ATP-CP reserves.

In Jiu Jitsu, this system is used in the execution of techniques that demand explosive movements - ie. techniques that use the physical quality of powerful, explosive force (force x speed). Common examples of movements that require muscular strength in Jiu Jitsu include lifting takedowns, and scambling to complete a guard pass or sweep.


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