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Jiu-Jitsu Benefits of Mental Training and Technique Adaptation
1 – Introduction
Jiu-jitsu is a sport that has achieved new followers increasingly around the world. Also I has being one
of the most obtained growth especially in recent decades.
Similarly, the number of people seeking the sport have grown substantially not only in Brazil, but
worldwide, becoming more and more a sport of great popularity (ANDRADE et al., 2014). In order that,
It is observed that the Jiu-jitsu competitions are becoming very common even in other countries, like
the United States where the sport has gained more followers significantly.
Being considered a huge competitive sport, it is importance to consider that is not only about
physical ability and knowledge that can make the difference to win from one practitioner to another
like it is in many other sports. As It is also not only about of physical condition and technique that are
responsible for the good results and the differential of an athlete in order to obtain success or failure.
According to Oliveira (2015), scientific evidence points to the fact that the athletes who are
most successful in this and in other sports are those that differ from the psychological point of view. As
well according to Adhikari et al. (2014), the performance in a given sport is not dependent on just the
physical attributes, involving emotional aspects. In this way, it is of the utmost importance to get to
know each other psychic aspects, biological, physical and governing in highly competitive sports. One of
the important thing is to become mental prepare and this is a point to be recognised by sport coaches.
(MARQUES; GARCIA, 2006). From those initial considerations, this study has the objective to understand
the advantages and benefits that can be achieved through mental training among individuals who
practice the so-called high competition sports with the aim of promoting high performance in athletes
who are practitioners of jiu-jitsu mode.
Thus, this study aims to highlight the importance and the benefits of mental training aiming to
promote high performance in athletes who practice jiu-jitsu.
2 – Motivation factor and its importance within the sport of competition
Motivation can be understood as the struggle for the potential self-realization that each one
brings within itself. Being motivated means taking on a commitment to everything that promotes the
achievement of goals that leads to the full personal and professional development (WERTHER, 1983).
Maslow (1954) defined that the given individual behavior is driven by the searching for the
satisfaction of a particular requirement – thus known this theory as Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs-that
coexist with various other requirements which is in that particular time manifesting more clear and
intense. This need appears, for your time, after the satisfaction of other previous needs.The needs have
valued or emergency character from two basic principles:
– Dominance: when a most basic need has not been satisfied so other needs will not be able to
organize the behavior of the individual;
– Emergency: when a need is satisfied, other emerges toward the top of the hierarchy of needs
might be met.
According to Brown et al (2017), motivation within the sport is characterized as a driving force
towards a goal, being this one of the most studied psychological factors in sport because it identifies
several factors related to the practice of certain physical exercises. Likewise, also in view of Forbes
(2006), motivation is the process responsible for the intensity, direction and persistence of a person’s
efforts to achieve a certain goal.
The satisfaction of needs created by stimuli that lead to imbalances is essential in the concept of
motivation. Werther (1983), says that motivation remains where it is able to fulfill what is
predetermined to do.Therefore, it is necessary that the person knows, as accurately as possible, what
you really want in your professional life.
3 – Neural aspect of repetition technique
The neuroscience community already knows enough time the biological impact of the expansion
of experience, the brain processes the experience to code the learn and create performance capacity.
The so-called mirror neurons make up this system helping the speed and accuracy of our perceptions
and actions in objects simulating our environment mentally. This means that the repetition of a certain
technique to improve the accuracy and speed of movement also helps us mental simulation of motion
thus creating opportunity to create new techniques from the trained technique.
In other words, imagine that you have trained the repetition of a projection, for example:
"Ippon Seoi Nage" and from "X" number of retries your brain starts to look the best opportunity
mentally to enter the blow in the fight accentuating your precision. Also You feel that your speed in
implementing the coup has evolved and now you get to see new ways for applying the coup as different
positions of the “footprints”, and that change the application of the original technique. An adaptation of
the position for your body or your "fight mode".
4 – Mental Images (Mental Training)
Also quite interesting about this area are the mental images. The so-called “mirror neurons” are
responsible for learning through observation and mental images. For example: you are trying to play the
same projection "Ippon Seoi Nage" only this time mentally, this is a very useful way for a training where
you had acquired new skills. And used by many professional athletes and artists. Imagine yourself by
applying a determined second movement studies to show that there are positive results for the
evolution of the movement. The mental training seeks to influence the thoughts and the
representations of the athletes to achieve the goal of improving the performance by learning of new
motor skills according to Richard.Magill (2000).
Magill explains that one of the big advantages of this type of training applies when the motor
learning involves high degree of cognitive activities (cognition involves several factors as thought:
language, perception, memory, reasoning, etc., which are part of the intellectual development) since
that cognitive activity learned is related to what to do with this new task applied in the sport in
question. The mental training will help in the answers pertaining to performance without the pressure
accompanying physical performance ability. Also it help in the strategy consolidation and error
Gisela S Franco (2000) – A movement imagined and replayed mentally produces micro
contractions which in your time cause a significant improvement of neuromuscular coordination. And
consequently, an improvement of neuromuscular coordination.
5 – Mental training and their applications in sports
The mental training originated from cognitive psychology, and It has the main objective to
promote the best results through exercises and purely mental representations (SOUZA; PATRICIA, 2004).
Fernandes (2014) has pointed out that the mental training contributes to the development and
improvement of concentration on capabilities of a given task. In the vision of Sharma and Patricia (2004)
this training can bring good results to the athletes performance contributing odd way in defining the
best strategy to be used and also providing the correction of any errors that may be still present in the
sport. So this technique may become a useful tool to learn. It is necessary to be part of the schedule of
development (physical, technical or tactical). Your practitioner provides a psychological preparation, and
confidence, fear, anxiety, development that are directly associated with the transformation of what to
do or learn a new skill. This time, the mental skills training refers to the procedures that enhance the
ability of the athlete to use your mind to achieve effectively the goals in the sport (FERNANDES, 2014).
When performing a mental training aiming to avoid the mental block during tennis matches, the tennis
player will be able to develop your competitive capability better. The use of mental training values the
field of attention and concentration more than other abilities, which seeks a solid foundation for self-
reliance (GODTSFRIEDT et al., 2014). Franco (2000) stated that when performing an early preview of a
particular movement only in the individual mind it is capable of producing micro-contractions that for
your time causes a significant coordination of muscles, nerves and reactions improvement. Practice this
technique is to explore the unlimited potential that exists within every tennis player. This training can be
accomplished through the attention in tennis and also through training of imagination (GODTSFRIEDT et
al., 2014). For Fernandes (2014), the mental training is applicable to any training method to optimize
learning conditions influenced by internal and external factors.
Marques and Gomes (2006) stated that some of the indications resulting from the literature
suggests the fact of mental visualization appear between the more used techniques joining the
traditional interventions directed at the stress and anxiety control ( relaxation training). the motivation
and commitment promotion in training and competitions (formulation of objectives) and stimulation of
patterns of positive thoughts and adjusted in the light of the requirements and problems posed by
sports activity (mental plans).According to Sharma and Patricia (2004) in each session of this technique,
it is possible to act in sensory systems in their four variables, named: the hearing, emotional, visual and
Fernandes (2014) stated that the mental training will not to be confused with meditation. It
"involves the mind in deep thought in such a way as to block the awareness of what’s going on with the
individual to HIS neighbourhood",but the mental training is a method that will make the individual focus
in depth on the purpose of the work.
6 – Mental training and their results among jiu-jitsu athletes
Magil (2000) Stated that the mental training is able to influence not only the thoughts, but also
the athletes representations with the goal of improving their performance by learning of new motor
skills. Marques et al. (2006) stated that, even if there are problems and difficulties in the plans
development of mental visualization, you need to check two things: mental training brings positive
impact on the ability of athletes which can show the specific situations of their mode stopping to make
sense that the best practitioners end up imposing their abilities or even if there is a lack of time and
opportunities to practice individually.
Spolzino and Gomes (2013) raised the theoretical aspects of jiu-jitsu and sought to evaluate of
biopsychosocial factors involving the practice of this modality. The authors have carried out searches in
the specialized literature on the subject, plus a field research in the São Paulo State academies. The
authors were able to conclude that this sport involves a whole preparation not only physical, but also
mental, where its practitioners present high degree of balance and harmonization. As well as spiritual at
the Marques et al. (2006) conclusion of there is the possibility of athletes being able to improve the
visualization capabilities in training and competitions and also the cognitive dimension.
7 – Discussion
Through this bibliographic survey was possible to observe that the theme of mental training is
still quite recent, specifically on your relationship with the sporting activities and sports in General. Still,
it was possible to observe that several studies addressing the use of the technique in certain sports, but
that the approach of the mental training, specifically in its use in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, is still a very recent
theme, with very few -or almost no- specific study that highlights this approaching between the studies
listed here. Also no studies have been found to bring the topic of the advantages of using mental
training in jiu-jitsu athletes, Although it was possible to observe that its use and benefits among the
practitioners of other modalities can also be transferred to achieve good results in this sport so common
and so widespread today worldwide.
By applying the knowledge and theories of mental training directly in jiu-jitsu, by being sure the
mental training will have important contributions to the response concerning the performance of much
more simple and hearty. Similarly, it will also help in the consolidation of the strategy, and decrease in
the probability of errors. Corroborating with the vision of Magil (2000), this technique does have major
contribution in improving the athlete performance, by learning new motor skills. One of the great
advantages of this type of training applies when the engine’s level ´ learning related to a high degree of
cognitive activities (cognition involves several factors as thought, language, perception, memory, the
reasoning, etc., that are part of the intellectual development) since that cognitive activity learned is
related to what to do with this new task applied in the sport in question. It Is also interesting the
relationship between the imagination of movement for the purpose of technical evolution with the
imagination of mental rotation. Rotational it is in manipulating an image in different rotational angles to
create representations visual and spatial images in new angles. Studies show that the construction and
manipulation of mental representations involves both representations of visual order as space can be
useful for an imaginatively creation or adaptation of techniques in the sport. Bringing this to jiu-jitsu we
can use the Rotational transformation to create new fighting positions or perfect techniques. It can be
seen that some professional jiu-jitsu athletes have already stated using this technique to create new
techniques of the fight, Rafael Mendes arrived to explain this concept practically in the video "Studying
& Creating New Techniques" (Art of Jiu Jitsu Academy). In other words, repetition of mental movement
can help Jiu-Jitsu athletes improve their performance in the sport by helping to correct, understand,
improve, improve response time at the time of actual application, and improve motor skill. Once the
mental repetition is used, the individual maximizes his training and evolution because it can be practiced
at rest times between the actual classic training, even without risk of injury as in the case of the classic
We can conclude from this study and include in the classic training an "intelligent" training plan
which it is not only about the repetition of physical movement in order to obtain results of high
performance and evolution in Jiu-jitsu, but there is also introduce mental training with numerous
advantages as already mentioned.
Sport evolutionary aspect and specific ability
Jiu-jitsu unlike other sports or martial arts has not stopped its evolution. it is clear that due to its
variable of situations within the fight the sport and martial art will not interrupt its evolution so soon.
Being very notorious the technical level difference of athletes of ten years bringing it to present; New
techniques are created almost daily at a pace never seen in other sports. Something that is easily
noticed in individual analyzes of professional jiu-jitsu athletes is the individual specific skills: the
"specialties". Due to the unique adaptive characteristics of jiu-jitsu, you will hardly find two athletes who
fight and make perfectly equal techniques because a number of factors such as biotype, strength,
endurance, flexibility and strategy, different from athlete to athlete.
Some established athletes are experts in certain techniques of jiu-jitsu and they have adapted to
themselves positions that have made them champions. And consequently, they evolved. The adaptive
capacity is not only seen on a professional level, but also the creation of new techniques or evolutions of
8 – Conclusion
It is concluded that, although a shortage of studies addressing the theme of mental training for
jiu-jitsu athletes, this systematic is totally advantageous for athletes of this modality, representing a true
adaptation of the position for their body or their "mode of fighting ", obtaining still positive results for
the evolution of the movement through repetition, previous visualization and continuous form.
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CASSETTARI, R.M.; GRAÇA, R.L. Fatores motivacionais de atletas amadores
de jiu-jitsu brasileiro na cidade de Criciúma. EFDeportes.com, Revista Digital, 19(193), 2014.
CASTANHO, G.K.F.; VIDUAL, M.B.P.; FERNANDES, P.T. Motivação para o consumo de suplementos nutricionais por praticantes de exercícios físicos. Conexões: Educ. Fís., Esporte e Saúde, Campinas: SP, 15(1): 92-108, jan./mar. 2017.
FERNANDES, R.B. O efeito do treinamento mental na aprendizagem do mortal grupado por trás no trampolim acrobático. Trabalho de Conclusão de Curso apresentado à Universidade Regional do Noroeste do Estado do Rio Grande do Sul, como avaliação parcial para obtenção do grau em Licenciatura e Bacharelado em Educação Física, Unijuí, Ijuí, RS, 44p., 2014.
FIGUEIREDO, J.F. Motivação e produtividade no trabalho: um estudo de caso na empresa tabacaria e presentes. Trabalho de Conclusão de Curso (Administração), UniCEUB, Centro Universitário de Brasília, DF, 44p., 2006.
FRANCO, G.S. Psicologia no Esporte e na Atividade Física. Editora Manole, 206p., 2000.
GODTSFRIEDT, J.; ANDRADE, A.; VASCONCELOS, D.I.C. Treinamento mental no tênis: revisão sistemática da literatura. Rev. Bras. Ciênc. Esporte, Florianópolis, 36(2): 577-586, 2014.
MAGIL, R.A. Aprendizagem Motora: Conceitos e Aplicações. Editora RA Blucher, 2000.
MARQUES, A.; GOMES, A.R. Avaliação da eficácia de um programa de treino de visualização mental num escalão de formação desportiva no basquetebol. Análise Psicológica, 4 (XXIV): 533-544, 2006.
OLIVEIRA, L.L.V. A influência da psicologia do esporte nos métodos de atuação de técnicos no desempenho competitivo de atletas de artes marciais. Trabalho de conclusão de curso (bacharelado – Educação Física) – Universidade Estadual Paulista, Instituto de
Biociências de Rio Claro, 34p., 2015.
SOUZA, F.D.; FIDALE, T.M.; REZENDE, F.N.; MEDEIROS, R.S. Jiu-jitsu: qual sua motivação? EFDeportes.com, Revista Digital. Buenos Aires, 16(165), 2012.
SOUZA, A.P.S.; SCALON, R.M. O treinamento mental como uma variável significativa na performance de atletas e na aprendizagem de habilidades motoras. EFDeportes, Revista digital, 10(75), 2004.
SPOLZINO, M.C.; GOMES, C. Caracterização teórica da filosofia Saikoo de Jiu-jitsu e das contribuições da psicologia desportiva na performance dos atletas. Revista Odontológica de Araçatuba, 34(2):39-44, Julho/Dezembro, 2013.
“Studying & Creating New Techniques” | Art of Jiu Jitsu Academy
Richard A. Magill Aprendizagem motora, conceitos e aplicações
Psicologia no Esporte e na Atividade Fisica Gisela Sartori Franco
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