Take a breather: Probably one of the more commonly asked questions I get is – how can can increase my endurance during sparring? All kinds of people advocate all kinds of methods of improving endurance. In truth I little over from increased cardiovascular training to endurance for athletes who are already close to their ideal weight. Obviously if you are well overweight some simple cardiovascular exercise that results in losing and improving fitness will be a big benefit. However, if you are already in good shape and still getting tired, chances are that the problem is more one of EFFICIENCY IN ENERGY EXPENDITURE than of a need for greater cardiovascular capacity. A simple insight that can have immediate beneficial effects on your endurance during is LEARNING TO TAKE SMALL BREAKS IN THE ACTION as you spar. You don’t need to go one hundred percent at all times. Good players follow a pattern of hard work – rest – hard work – rest. This allows them to perform a task, get closer to a goal and then recuperate so as to repeat this pattern until the final goal is achieved. Jiu Jitsu is a game and there are many positions that offer a chance to take a brief and get your breathing and heart rate under control. Learn to identify safe zones where you can take a short break without great risk as you climb the ladder of position to your goal. Here, Nicky Ryan takes a short break in half guard top after a hectic scramble – this will enable him to re- energize for the task of passing half guard.