(Curated Article sourced from Seattle Times)
Jacob Martin prepared for his rookie season with the Seahawks a little differently.
In July, just weeks prior to the start of his first NFL training camp, the 21-year-old defensive end and his brother — New York Jets linebacker Josh Martin — flew to Torrance, Calif., to train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a martial art focused on grappling, ground fighting, wrestling and submissions.
“It’s another form of mobility that’s not as taxing on the body,” Jacob Martin,a 2018 sixth-round pick out of Temple, said prior to a recent practice. “Understanding the body and the give and take and that kind of relationship, it helps you move better.
“Doing hand-to-hand combat, understanding how the body works, understanding traps — trap the elbow, trap the wrist, trap and roll — (it all helps) when it comes down to pass rushing. That’s where that idea came from.”
That’s why, for three weeks in July, the Martin brothers trained in Jiu Jitsu every single day. Rather than drilling pass-rush technique, they learned traps, grabs and submissions from Ryron Gracie, a fifth-degree black belt. They ran steep, sandy hills in the southern California heat.
That’s how the 6-foot-2, 242-pound Jacob Martin prepared for his first NFL season.
“While jiu-jitsu provides a lot of interesting physical problems, you’re having to constantly problem-solve as part of the process as well. You’re basically in this grapple with a live opponent who’s trying to choke you out and threaten your limbs in all different kind of ways, in all different kind of positions.
“You have to kind of solve that riddle.”\
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Andy Gonzalez is a coach at Aces Jiu Jitsu Club. He has earned his purple belt under Professor Mikal Abdullah. Follow Andy on Twitter at @GoGoGonzilla
Andy lives in Austin, Texas with his wife Amanda and their 3 beautiful children. Andy is also the father of a Marine who is honorably serving in the United States Marine Corps.