Well Hello My Little Friends…
A lot has happened in the personal life of Laura Constantiner. <—that’s me, for those of you new to this glorious blog. Sometimes a girl’s gotta speak in the third person. So what.
As promised, I have some photos of our new vibey setup in the apartment.
I. L O V E. I T.
(If you’re interested, message me).
Let’s also take a closer look at my beautiful bowl of succulents…
They’re desert plants, which is also why I have an affinity for them – it’s my happy place! Maybe it’s because I spent four amazing years in Tucson, dressed like Britney Spears,
studying partying my ass off with good looking people, or because I met the love of my life there, or maybe because the weather is the sickest and it’s sunny 300 days out of the year.
All viable reasons.
Now, about 2,400 miles northeast of the desert, back in NYC, I witnessed my first ever BJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) competition.
Why? Because my delicious husband was competing for the first time and wifey couldn’t miss it. She also had to do a lot of yelling (the good kind)…Most of which involved me saying “‘c’mon babe!” or “let’s go babe!” But after eavesdropping on people who clearly knew the sport, next time I’ll be sure to add “find your grips!” to my wheelhouse of “intelligent things to yell while at a bjj competition.”
For those who don’t know, jiu jitsu is a form of grappling (sorta like wrestling), that originated in Brazil (Gracie family).
To me, the coolest part about this sport is the idea that size and strength can be dominated by technique and precision. i.e.: I could theoretically choke the shit out of a guy who’s twice my size, if I were a bjj master.
Case in point:
Mackenzie Dern is 5’3″ 116 lbs / Gabi Garcia is 6’2″ and 201 lbs, by the way.
SIZE DON’T MATTER IN BJJ!
Naturally, as a Pilates teacher, I got to thinking…there are many parallels between BJJ and Pilates.
Don’t get it twisted, I know little about BJJ, so these are merely my own observations.
The Many Parallels Between Pilates + BJJ
1). Technique is KING. If you are not executing the movement correctly, you waste time, energy, and risk getting injured.
2). They’re both layered systems– meaning, as you advance, you layer in more movements and concepts. Nothing ever gets taken away, only added to. The fundamentals must always be present.
3). Smooth transitions are important to the efficiency and efficacy of the movements. Less is more. Goal is to be able to move seamlessly in and out of different positions / exercises.
4). There is a visible flow to the movements. When you watch a black belt roll, they usually have an effortless flow to their movement. It looks like a dance. It’s the same in Pilates – ideally, it’s a continuous string of movements that resembles a dance if done well.
5). Element of focus / concentration: In Pilates, we have to think about HOW we’re going to move to tap into our deep, structural muscles. We have to listen carefully to instruction to apply it in our bodies. BJJ is a very cerebral martial art, every opponent is a puzzle to be solved. The mind is just as important as the body – knowing what to do when – strategy is key. There is also the element of finding your focus among chaos, and not letting the environment distract you.
Aside from the similar principles involved in both Pilates and BJJ, Pilates is also an excellent way to condition your body for jiu jitsu.
CALLING ALL JIU JITSU MASTERS! YOU NEED PILATES IN YOUR LIFE!
In such an aggressive sport, you need a lot of core strength to avoid injury, and there is the component of flexibility and mobility that will work in your favor. Pilates works on all of this- strengthening muscles from deep to superficial and mobilizing tight areas so the body can move the way it was intended to (if not better).