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By Sam Laird, former Royal Marines Commando and co-founder of The Green Retreat Ever since I started judo when I was 11, I have loved all martial arts. But in the last few years, my training has taken on a new level of importance, because it has been a vital part of keeping my mental health on track. I joined the Royal Marines at 17 and did three tours of Afghanistan. Losing friends and comrades is never easy, and it definitely took a toll on me. Especially when we lost Sgt John Henry Manuel, who we all called Manny. Manny...

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By Dr Marc Barton, chief instructor at Kingston Jiu Jitsu After more than a year of disruptions, we are finally daring to hope that jiu-jitsu life will get back to normal soon. But with so much time away from the mats, there are many pitfalls to avoid as you start training again. Before leaving the medical profession to teach jiu-jitsu full time, I was a doctor working in the Accident and Emergency department of a busy London hospital. It was an incredibly stressful job, and involved, as you can imagine, a lot of harrowing scenes. While many of my colleagues...

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By Mark Ormrod MBE, REORG Trustee.Imagine swimming with both of your legs tied together and your dominant hand tied behind your back. That’s what it’s like for me. So I am not really sure what possessed me to pledge to swim 1000 metres in rough, open water. I used to be a very strong swimmer. You have to be when you’re in the Royal Marines. But then I stepped on a landmine back in 2007 and lost both my legs above the knee and my right arm above the elbow. As you can imagine, I lost a lot of my...

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By Lawrence from Rolls and Rehab, injury rehabilitation therapist and mobility specialist Injury prevention is a commonly used term to describe the goal of training with the purpose to prevent injury in sport and daily life. It is worthwhile to understand what we must be aware of and adhere to when it comes to injury prevention, and principles that can guide our decision making when approaching our training. There’s a well-known saying: ‘Prevention is better than a cure’.  The reality that we have to adhere to is risk management. To think we can prevent injury is naive. The only way...

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By Lawrence from Rolls and Rehab, injury rehabilitation therapist and mobility specialist Being strong is a great advantage in jiu-jitsu, but is traditional strength training the best way to shore up your game? It is important to consider the limitations of certain exercises and whether they will help you achieve what you want. Strength training plays a very necessary role in sports performance and mitigating risk of injury. With traditional strength training exercises like squats, deadlifts, bench press etc, the idea is simple: with consistent input and progressive overload, we are able to lift more weight. How do we know...

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