Why, you ask? And why does it matter to you, the BJJ-only person?
It matters because not only do we love Muay Thai and Judo, but these both make your BJJ game stronger. So, whether you want to compete (and do well!) in tournaments, or you are doing BJJ as self-defense training, these non-BJJ classes are going to benefit you.
Muay Thai helps the self-defense BJJ practitioner (or those interested in MMA) in learning how to strike, kick, and defend both. MT also helps you learn to keep pushing even when you’re tired. This applies to both self-defense and competition. The conditioning that happens in MT classes increases your stamina, improves your physicality, and prepares your mind to keep pushing forward even when you don’t want to. In BJJ class, you can tap out or just hold guard when you think you’re done. In MT, we often end with time on the bag or conditioning, which is just you against you. When you are working against yourself, it’s harder to “tap out”. You can’t hide behind someone else’s strengths or talents - it’s just you. So you keep punching or kicking or whatever else coach yells at you to do. When you slow, they yell encouragements. When you start feeling like you can’t do more, they remind you that you can...until, suddenly, it’s your brain pushing you forward because that’s what coach trained you to hear.
Judo is is essential to having a good BJJ game. How often do you see BJJ competitors start on their butts? Never! Training in Judo benefits your stand-up game immeasurably. Also, Judo incorporates so much with grip strength, defending grips, and obtaining grips. Whether you are preventing grips to defend sweeps in the De La Riva guard or obtaining grips to execute your favorite gi choke, the benefits of Judo in grip fighting easily improve your BJJ game.
Personally speaking, I have seen tremendous benefits in training in both Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu. Right now (as I am two months post partum), I am only training MT to strengthen and condition as I prepare for BJJ and Judo. I hope to see you guys with me in class as I kick and punch things. I can’t wait to throw you in Judo and roll with you in BJJ - just give me a few more weeks!