Whilst training in BJJ I have come across a few items that I have found to be really useful. Those few things that have either mad my bjj life a little easier, or that just kept me going. I am sure that you will have items like these, but here is my list of my top 5 useful items for bjj athletes.
Buckwheat Pillow – I have found this to be the most supportive pillow for my neck that I have ever used. When I first used it I thought I had made a terrible mistake. It felt really hard and in the morning the back of my head was a little sore. But after this first night I have had no problems. I can mould the pillow to support my neck and it will keep this shape. Unlike all the other pillows that claim to by supportive, this is the only one I have that actually provides support. This is the one that I ordered off Amazon.
DIY Muscle release – I have all of these a foam roller, a lacrosse ball, a double lacrosse, a soft ball and a pointy thing for trigger point deep tissue release (see the picture). These are not meant to take the place of professional help. But are really useful for day to day maintenance. I use a foam roller every day before training. ( I am an Old Munki after all) The others give differing levels of a more targeted approach. I have found they all have their uses, but the foam roller and the lacrosse ball are the ones I use regularly.
My Fitness Pal – This is probably the best known fitness app out there. I know a lot of people who use this (including Mrs Munki) I am not normally a great fan of calorie counting, however this app has proven to be really useful to me recently. As it is not only useful to make sure you are eating a balanced diet, but for me it actually showed me how little I was actually eating. After all the training I was doing it turned out I was not actually eating enough. This really helped me get my diet back on track.
Stainless Steel Water Bottle – We all need water when we are training. Besides helping the planet by not contributing to the mountains of waste plastic, it gives you a really great place to put all those stickers you keep getting given. Also there have been some well publicised health hazards about BPA, a compound commonly found in plastics. There is a really good article here about how BPA and BPA free containers are not good for your health. The reason I chose stainless steel over aluminium is that aluminium is reactive with acidic liquids. Aluminium bottles have to be lined with an enamel or epoxy layer that could become a problem with wear and tear. Some researchers have noted that BPA is one main ingredient used for the epoxy layer. But stainless steel does not need this lining. So overall stainless steel is the best option.
Fit Pal – This is a kickstarter project that is producing probably the only fitness wearable that could be potentially be used during BJJ, Basically the device is a slim, flexible, waterproof device that tracks and assesses continuous, real-time heart rate information, evaluates exercise readiness and can be stuck straight onto your skin. So it would go under my rash guard and gi out of sight. It also means no bands around the wrist that could be dangerous to your partner when rolling. Or something clipped somewhere that could fall off. The main reason it caught my interested, was that the software gives you feedback based on Heart Rate Variability. This will provide the best indication of true recovery. Details of the device can be found here. I will do a full review of it when I receive it, but I think this is going to be something that will be really useful.
I found all of these items really useful for my training and day to day life. If you have any other ideas for items that would be really useful for us, please let me know it would be great to hear from you. Plus any tips to make life easier are always welcome.