The Benefits of Jujitsu #3: Improved Fitness

When I started Jujitsu I was a bit of a physical sloth. For the previous ten years I’d done pretty much no physical exercise at all. The closest I got to vigorous movement was reaching for my cup of tea from behind my desk at work.
In July 2010, the week before I started Jujitsu training, I went for a 2 mile run. I say run, but it was more of a ‘jog for a little bit, get completely out of breath, walk for a lot, then jog for a bit more’ kind of scenario. When I staggered back home I was completely knackered. My lungs and muscles were burning, and my heart pounded harder than the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs. It took me about 22 minutes to complete those 2 miles. And significantly longer to get over it. The next week I tried again. By the end of that run I had bruised my right ankle so much I could barely walk. I was totally out of shape.
Skip forward two and half years. I broke my hand at Jujitsu, meaning, according to doctors, I was unable to train for 6 weeks. So to keep up the little bit of ‘fitness’ I may have gleaned from those years of twice weekly training I decided to take up that same 2 mile run again.
I remembered how badly it went last time, so I’d prepared a little better by purchasing a cheap – but hopefully effective – pair of running shoes. Having virtually hobbled myself the last time I set off on the first run with some trepidation.
This time, with no preparation whatsoever, I managed to complete the entire 2 miles without stopping, and in a time more than 2 minutes faster. The time, overall, wasn’t fast, but it was better than my first attempts 2 years previous.
Bear in mind that the only exercise I have done in the intervening two and half years has been at my Jujitsu class. Nothing else. Just two sessions of two hours a week.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m far from ‘fit’ but I’m definitely fitter – and all of that improvement has come down to jujitsu.

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