BJJ Animal drills. Useful?

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by Falcord, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. Falcord

    Falcord Valued Member

    I was browsing through BJJ videos yesterday and ended on this one

    [ame=""]Brazilian Jiu Jitsu: The Animals Drill - YouTube[/ame]

    I really liked the drill and I thought I might start doing it for a while once a day. However, I wanted to ask you guys about it, because I know martial arts have a tendency to develop drills out of aesthetic principles that are often inefficient or even bad for your body.

    For instance, I learned some warming up and stretching drills with my Shaolin shifu that were very bad on the joints, and I don't want to make mistakes like that again.

    So to the point: Do you think these drills are "safe" to practice regularly, and that they'll help with BJJ? Any one that strikes you as bad use of body mechanics?
  2. Freeform

    Freeform Fully operational War-Pig Supporter

    They all have value, but if I had to pick the most valuable:

    Shrimp (of course)
    Spider (for the hip switch)
    Crocodile (for conditioning and coordination)
    Frog (for explosive athleticism and balance)
  3. Falcord

    Falcord Valued Member


    What do you think of the Scorpion and the Cricket? They seem good for conditioning.
  4. Ozid

    Ozid Valued Member

    Chicken, kangoroo and frog are not really good for knees, anything that makes you do an effort on a knee passed the 90° is bad for the joints. I mean, you can do them without risk, but it is better not to do them every day. Anyhow, it will hurt before its late. We did those in class and a few ppl got knee pain afterwards.

    The others look totaly safe to practice regulary.
  5. Mangosteen

    Mangosteen Hold strong not

    yup. theres a reason why judo clubs rarely practice the kangaroo/bunny hops.
    knee killer

    the frog isnt too far of shoot walks
  6. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool the merc with the mouth MAP 2017 Moi Award

    I use these as a part of warm ups in classes I teach, the knee issues are partially from people having stiff hips, there good in the right time and place, but everyday is far too much to begin with.

    If your interested in these check out gymnastics natural and flowfit on youtube.
  7. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool the merc with the mouth MAP 2017 Moi Award

    Scorpion is very good for bullfighter passes.
  8. Bozza Bostik

    Bozza Bostik Antichrist on Button Moon

    Some nice drills. There seems to be a whole bunch of 'animal drills' on youtube.

    I started capoeira last week and hopefully going to BJJ in January. I guess they'd work for both arts. Have to start using them as warm ups.

    I think I'll give those knee killers a miss though.
  9. Freeform

    Freeform Fully operational War-Pig Supporter

    The idea that 'anything beyond 90 degrees is dangerous' is based on an erroneous assumption. The knee experiences the greatest pressure to the patellar tendon at 90 degrees so people say we should not go past 90 degrees. What really happens is that once you pass 90 degrees the pressure drops off.

    So... it wasn't mentioned here but one of my biggest annoyances is the idea that we should only squat to parallel, or 90 degrees, then come back up. This is stupid because rather than smoothly transition through the point of greatest pressure, we are being told to stop right in it and reverse direction. Now, I may only be a Chartered Engineer who has some weightlifting qualifications but that one doesn's sound great to me.

    End of rant, return to original topic!
  10. Rand86

    Rand86 likes to butt heads

    You, sir, are my new hero. :love:
  11. Ozid

    Ozid Valued Member

    Good point! I'll clear out mine(lets see how I explain this in english :p).

    The thing is, when you are doing a squat, you have your knees "centered"(reason why you open your legs and you let them enter the hip) meaning both ligaments should be protecting the joint in the same manner, and all your body weight should be pushed equally on each side of the joint.

    You have to concede, a bad executed squat can totally destroy your knees.

    Having that, when you do the exercises I listed before, you don't really control that and many people might not execute correctly normally due lack of strength in one of the sides of the upper leg. So that would be bad for the joint.

    That's why I said that you can actually do them without risk at all on a daily basis, but unless you are absolutely confident on what you are doing you better not mess up your knees, if they start hurting you are doing something wrong and you should stop and learn about it.
  12. cloystreng

    cloystreng Valued Member

    I think the issue is people with no weightlifting experience doing explosive motions with the knees through a full range of motion. If they were to do it with weight, to learn, they would begin slowly and then up the speed if they desired once they had learned to control their legs.

    However, they likely don't understand the consequences of improper knee movement in a plyometric exercise which can actually be relatively stressful on the body, and due to the speed they do it, they could get hurt.

    But to a person who has done any kind of real squatting in their life, its child's play to control the angle of their knees and hip joints when doing unweighted plyometric exercises, and if they manage to get hurt doing that, they messed up.

    EDIT: I don't believe a badly executed squat can ruin the knees. Badly executed squats, done often, heavy, and over a long period of time, as anything done improperly and heavily over a long period of time, can do plenty of harm.
  13. Late for dinner

    Late for dinner Valued Member

    Funny there has always been some controversy of how the knee functioned between the Orthopaedic Surgery (roughly a hinge) and Physio (roll/reverse slide and rotation combined) worlds. Interestingly enough when they did an attempted dynamic MRI of a squat the knee functioned much more like the physios projected. I personally haven't a bias against full knee flexion in any activity (they were made to bend that way or they wouldn't be capable of doing it) but I guess the concern is whether there is rotation occurring at the extreme which might have an effect on the cartilages (meniscii). Actually I feel that any joint should be capable of being taken to the end of it's natural end of range and over-pressed as that is what is necessary to allow for adequate exchange of nutrients and gases into the cartilage (lining) and likely the cartilages (meniscii). Without this compression at end range there is a restriction on normal physiology in the tissues. Can't see why that would be bad.

    The issue with things like knee walking ( example - aikido) is that there is twisting in this extreme range that may put unusual rotational strain on the tissues involved. Something else that might not be considered is that oriental people (read maybe Japanese) have a tendency to a ''discoid'' meniscus that is not common in the west and might account for either their lack of or excessive knee injuries (don't know which :' ).

    Certainly it isn't simple. When I hurt my knee a few years back I found sliding up and down the wall into full knee flexion with a swiss ball behind me was extremely comfortable and allowed me to full range. On the other hand when I started to squat over 150 kg my knees started to vibrate/shake a bit and I found that this small amount of twisting made them swell and get sensitive. So maybe it's not a simple answer and really activity dependent.

    Just an observation.

  14. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    I've always wondered if this is because of their cultural tendency to squat and kneel. I'd also wonder if it varies among Asians or is generally prevalent among all of them. Also does this change over time - with so many Asians living in the western world and moving away from squatting and kneeling... will this have a long term effect of their physiology.

    I tell ya... if I had a few lifetimes and a gazillion dollars - the studies I could commission! :D
  15. Mangosteen

    Mangosteen Hold strong not

    from what i've read (cant find it now, supposed to be studying), incidence of lower back issues are much lower in asia and they attribute it to squats a lot more and the better dorsi flexion they have due to siting in a squat for what could amount to almost hours in a day.
  16. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Along those same lines I would guess that they also suffer a lower incidences of intestinal problems as they squat so much and up until recently primarily used squat toilets. A much more natural position for the hips and internal organs during.. ahem.. a bowel movement. :D

    Ok... so wonder if this counts as the best thread derail ever?
  17. Rand86

    Rand86 likes to butt heads

    Good thing Sketco has that stash of toilet paper... :whistle:
  18. Freeform

    Freeform Fully operational War-Pig Supporter

    Good post. Having had two knee surgeries I've opted to never squat 'heavy' again (though heavy is of course a subjective term ;) ). It's not the first time I've heard it floated that Asians can do things that Caucasians can't (and vice versa) with regards to physiology.

    One of the things that has to be stressed about some of the movements in the video, is the correctly stated intent to land on the heels... to prevent an 'over pressure'. With regards to the Chicken, I thought that the goal would be to have developed the hip to accomodate the rotation so that the knee doesn't have to?
  19. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Just looking at the original question (are they useful?) and I set to thinking.
    Useful for what?
    One thing I think is underrated is just generally being able to handle your body through space and at different angles.
    Great cross over into grappling of course but just in general life.
    I like doing cartwheels. Are they useful for martial arts? I may have occasionally bust out a cartwheel guard pass in BJJ back in the day but realistically they aren't "useful" per se. But I like how they feel and I like that I can handle my body in that way.
    So personally...I like movement drills. I like taking the body through those sorts of motions. It can be creative, stringing them together. Moving "in the moment" meditation.
    So quit worrying about your knees, go back to being a child and just roll arond for 10 minutes. :)
  20. Mangosteen

    Mangosteen Hold strong not

    to paraphase SeikenSteve:
    "specified skill training mixed for the goal of strength training usually leads to mediocrity in both"

Share This Page