Sprawl exercise variations for BJJ and core strength!

jiu jitsu magazine articletgu sale $17Get the Ultimate TGU one month Turkish get up kettlebell and body weight program for only $17! That’s half off regular price!! As seen in the latest issue of Jiu JItsu Magazine! Click here to save! Ultimate Turkish Get Up Download

Or getthe Kettlejitsu Revolution 8 week kettlebell and body weight program and the Ultimate TGU one month Turkish Get up program for only $47! As seen in the upcoming issue of Jiu Jitsu Magazine and on the Joey”Coco” Diaz podcast! LImited time! Click here to take advantage of this deal!  Kettlejitsu Combo PackageNew web banner package dealThe sprawl is an exercise derived from wrestling.  It is typically used as a defense to various types of wrestling take downs such as the double leg.  Like many other martial arts, wrestling has their own version of shadow boxing. This is where they execute various grappling movements without a partner.  The sprawl is one of the movements you will see grapplers use when shadow wrestling. It also happens to be an amazing body weight exercise that can develop your core thoroughly.

Over the years I have developed many variations of the sprawl. Keep in mind, I use a very basic sprawl adapted for regular clients that are not grapplers or mma fighters. Wrestlers have a more sports specific way of sprawling that is typically difficult to teach to an average client. So I use a more simpler variation.  The attached video contains some variations I use in my Kettle-Jitsu system.  We always start with a basic sprawl. This is basically just a burpee without the push up. Except, we use a wider base with our legs and drop our hips to the floor.

Variation 2 is the one handed sprawl.  Sometimes I refer to it as a cross face sprawl. This is related to the wrestling movement of the same name. The mechanics remain the same as a regular sprawl except you are using only one hand.  You will definitely feel the difference in your core with the one hand sprawl.   Variation 3 is the K-Town sprawl.  With this variation, you start off the same way as a regular sprawl, but instead of coming back up with both legs, you bring one leg up at a time.  By doing this, it changes the whole dynamic of the movement since you are now basically doing a lunging type movement.

Next we have the sprawl and roll.  Since I teach and fight in Brazilian jiu jitsu, this variation seemed logical for me. In BJJ we do a lot of rolling type movements. So the sprawl and roll is an excellent sports specific exercise to an addition to any combat athlete’s training.  Again you will feel it attack your core in a different way than the other sprawl variations.

Sometimes people have trouble with the regular sprawl and roll.  So it is always important to adapt exercises according to the level of the student. This is how I developed the rocking chair version.  So this is the variation I give to people who have a problem with the standard sprawl and roll.  But this is also an awesome variation for anyone to do. Once you feel comfortable with these variations, you can work up to full body exercises like the Deck Burpee.  This dynamic exercise contains the sprawl and roll movement combined with a push up and deck squat.  Deck burpees are an excellent full body conditioning exercise that also works your agility.

If you are interested in learning sprawls and their variations, check out my new Kettle-Jitsu Revolution kettlebell and bodyweight double dvd. The new dvd contains the sprawl featured in different workouts. On the dvd we use them with body weight and with kettlebell.  Try these variations for yourself and see how you like them!

Purchase the dvd here!  


The Importance of Mastering a System


 Today I received an amazing compliment about one of my classes. It is the one depicted in the picture to this article. Keep in mind that this was the woman’s first class and I had about 20 people of all levels in the class.  When teaching a large group of individuals of numerous different fitness levels it is quite challenging. There is a ton of multitasking involved. In succeeding at such a challenge, you have to really know what you are doing. I see a lot of trainers running around with a piece of paper in their hands as they teach the class. I feel if you have to read it off a paper then you must not know your fitness system that well. If you aren’t even comfortable with what you are teaching, than teaching classes can become more difficult.

This is why I think it is important to master your system. If you are using your own fitness system, you should have a formula. Once you have a complete understanding of that formula, teaching becomes a lot easier. It’s one less thing you have to worry about. This makes it easier to pay more attention to your students. One of the reasons for the aforementioned client is that as I teach, I walk around observing each and every client. I give them tips, correct technique and adapt movements for everyone in the class. If you have to constantly be looking at a piece of paper to teach, then it becomes a lot more difficult to pay that much attention to details like that.

A lot of the established fitness systems are popular because they have been tested and proven. They have successful formulas.  My Kettle-Jitsu system was forged on training large group classes day in and day out.  My new Kettle-Jitsu Revolution dvd is a result of me mastering my formula.  The same workouts used in the dvd are the ones that yield the positive feedback I receive.  So when becoming a trainer, I do feel it is important to master an established system or take the time to develop your own formula by putting in the time and work through training clients.  Feedback from your students will let you know if you are going in the right direction!

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How to add value to your MMA or BJJ gym

Almost 8 years ago, me and my business partner decided we would open up and mma gym. So obviously we had to come up with a name. We settled on the name SoCal mma and fitness.  I have been training my whole life in martial arts, sports and fitness. So I really wanted to create a one stop shop where people could come train in all the different disciplines of mma. But I also wanted to cater to people who just want to get fit.  Back then I had a descent background in fitness. But I can honestly say I was just flying by the seat of my pants when teaching. Although I still put on some good classes, I hadn’t really developed my own formula for training people. So I eventually starting developing Kettle-Jitsu. My classes started becoming more structured and it became a lot easier to teach classes. The classes also started to grow! The same goes to my assistant trainer Chris as well. He started to develop his own style. He also got certified in Training for Warriors, Martin Rooney’s training system.

Now, the fitness classes are the biggest draw at my gym.  A large reason is because great fitness classes attract a lot of women. Women do everything in groups and pairs.  Have you ever notice how women always go to the bathroom together.  They need that same support with working out. Women almost always come to the gym in pairs.  They are also the best at referrals.  If a women enjoys the class, she will tell her friends about it.  I once had a women try out my evening 6:30pm class. Then she showed up with 3 friends the following morning at 5:30am!

My whole point behind this is that if you only cater to mma folk, or only Bjj people, you really limit your demographic. If your gym says Cageside MMA, who do you think you will attract? You will definitely not attract women. So I do think it is important to name your gym accordingly.  With SoCal mma and fitness, adding the word fitness welcomes people who want to get in shape. My second point is to have a solid, proven fitness system at your gym.  By having a great fitness program, you attract women and women are great at bringing in business.  At my gym we offer 2 solid fitness systems. Kettle-Jitsu and my trainer teaches Training for Warriors mixed with his own stuff. People really appreciate the variety.

So to sum things up, my 2 ways to add value to your mma or bjj gym are, 1. Choose the name of your facility wisely. By choosing the right name, you can widen your demographic.  2. Choose one or more fitness programs.  Solid fitness programs keep people in the doors and increase referrals.  so it may be wise to find a couple of reputable certifications to do. cert