He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother


I’ve been wanting to do more weight-training activities, but the dojo doesn’t have a weight room, and I don’t have a gym membership. Even if I did, I would need a personal trainer, because I have no clue as to what I’m doing with the machines. I’m also not very self-motivated to lift heavy things and put them down, so it works better when I have someone yelling at me to do it. We have some traditional weight equipment at the dojo, such as chishi (weighted levers) and nigiri game (gripping jars), but I’m not a big fan. I also don’t really know how to use them to work out all the different muscle groups, especially the legs.

So, I really enjoy the exercises that Ray sometimes has us do during warm-ups when he teaches Jiu-Jitsu, where we lift our partners (and by “enjoy” I mean “feel the burn for days!” ;). Ray is an experienced weightlifter, and he knows how to target all the muscles, except in class we use people instead of weights. For example, to do leg presses you lay on your back with your partner standing over you, and you put your feet on their chest or shoulders, then they sprawl, and you push them up. A particularly painful drill for me is when your partner gets on your back from standing, then you do squats. Those are the kind of times when being the smallest person in class does not pay off!

We’ve always done these type of things in Jiu-Jitsu, but they seem to be getting more varied and complex. I’ve started telling Joe about the specific exercises after I get home from class, and he writes them down so we can remember them. I like the fact that I can do the lifting anywhere, because it doesn’t require any special equipment, except for a willing dumbbell…um, I mean partner. I could even try it on the dogs! I suppose some of the exercises do require your partner to wear a gi, but maybe it’s time for the dogs to begin their formal training. However, they are absolutely not allowed on the mat!

“It’s a long, long road, from which there is no return. 
While we’re on the way to there, why not share.” -The Hollies

2 comments on “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother

  1. In the kids judo class, if we have an even number of kids and adults, Sensei Dave sometimes has the adults pick up a kid and give them a piggyback ride – while running laps. Kind of like Luke carrying Yoda.

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