The Australian Open Tournament kicked off after some controversial decisions about the current number one Novak Djokovic. Politics aside, we are here to find similarities between two different (or not that tooooo different) sports.
Many tennis stars are turning to alternative forms of training to stay competitive. Some are using Pilates, others are doing Yoga, but a number are using Martial Arts.
Can Martial Arts improve someone’s Tennis game?
Tennis and Martial Arts are not two sports that you immediately think of as being complementary to one another. However when you think about the qualities needed to be successful at either, there are a number of similarities.
Tennis is a high-speed sport. It’s frantic, requires high energy, but in particular players need incredible agility and this is what separates the professionals from the amateurs. Tennis players need to stop, change direction and shift their balance at high speed and this needs agility. Martial Arts training improves agility by training you to avoid oncoming kicks and strikes. This requires shifting your balance and moving your body quickly, something that is beneficial in tennis to get across the court.
Anticipation and Awareness
In competitive Martial Arts, specially in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the objective is to not get struck by your opponent. To do that you need to be able to be aware of your position and read your opponents body language to try and gage what they’re going to do next. This is pivotal in Tennis. The best players don’t just hit the ball back and go from there, they play two or three shots ahead.
This is pretty obvious, but high-level BJJ competitors need to be incredibly fit. A competitive fight requires high energy and a full body workout. Tennis is no different, getting around the court at high speed means endurance is a must. Most tennis players run anywhere between three and five miles in a five set match. This means cardiovascular endurance AND muscular endurance are both important.
Discipline and Mentality
Sports like Jiu-Jitsu and tennis are all about “moments”. They’re about knowing when and how to exploit a weakness and take your shot. Some tennis players will just hit the ball as hard as they can to win a point and they don’t get very far. It requires discipline and patience to strike at the right time. In a BJJ fight, if you don’t stop moving around and grips, you will soon or later get submitted.
The same can be said in Tennis, if you just start hitting the ball without thought, you will lose. Tennis matches are also high pressure and stressful for players. There is very little, if any margin for error.
How to find a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy Near You
Whether it’s for tennis, for another sport, or just because you want to learn the Gentle Art, it’s really easy to find yourself the right class. There are qualified Gracie Humaita Academies all over Australia with world-class instructors, especially in Sydney.
Gracie Sydney, the HeadQuarters of Gracie Humaita in Australia, offers free trial classes from Monday to Friday at 11:45 am OR 5:30 pm. All for free and you can be sure you are not wasting a second of your time in learning skills that will change your life!
See you on the mats,
Gracie Sydney Team.