Scrambling through the world of MMA, BJJ and grappling

How strong is strong enough?

by William Wayland ~ posted May 1st, 2015

How Strong is strong enough for Jiujitsu and MMA? Strength addicts will say you can never have enough, smart athletes however need to know if pursuing more strength worth diminising returns and time cost. We are not trying to produce strongmen, powerlifters or olympic lifters. What we want is strong powerful combat athletes.

This is an ongoing series of blog posts from guest blogger and Strength & Conditioning coach William Wayland of Powering Through, who works with UFC, Cagewarriors and other high level combat athletes based in Chelmsford, UK. Facebook

[VIDEO] Rad Roller tools quick review from Powering Through

by Matt - Scramble ~ posted May 1st, 2015

Our resident expert on strong guy (and girl) stuff, William Wayland of Powering Through, is very pleased with his Rad Roller self myofascial release tools.

Pick yours up here!


[VIDEOS] Rad Roller – new videos on releasing tension

by Matt - Scramble ~ posted April 21st, 2015

We were very pleased to introduce the Rad Roller to our UK / EU customers. We hope you’re enjoying them and the immense agony – oops I mean relief – they can bring.

The official Rad Roller YouTube account has been updated with some new content, so whether you have back, leg, arm or neck stiffness, pain and tension, check these videos out.

Rad Rollers are now in stock!

by Matt - Scramble ~ posted April 7th, 2015

The story of how we came to stock the Rad Roller range is a simple one.

In my daily life I am constantly battling sore muscles, either from jiu jitsu or from using the computer all day.

I had seen a post from Sally Arsenault on Facebook mentioning her review of the Rad Muscle Flushing Kit, which is a combination of the Rad Helix and Rad Rod.

I bought it, had it sent from the US to the UK, and started using it. It was literally the best tool I’ve ever used for this kind of thing. The Rad Rod is perfect for stripping away the points of tension not only in my muscles but also in the parts where the tendons and ligaments attach to the bone, which can get very sore for me. The Rad Helix was like a foam roller on steroids, able to get much deeper into my back than my regular foam roller.

I took the kit to the dojo, using it to roll out after class. Everyone wanted a go, and the universal response was that they were amazing bits of kit.

A few emails later, and we at Scramble can now proudly call ourselves stockists of Rad Rollers.

By putting more than one Rad Roller item in your cart, you’ll automatically unlock 10% off the total of your order.


So if you’re in the UK / Europe and you want to get your hands on some Rad Rollers, follow these links.

RAD Block - use for storing your RAD Rollers, and also allowing your more versatility in applying them

RAD Helix - It’s like a foam roller only a hundred times better.

RAD Rod - A myofascial release / muscle stripper that has to be tried to be believed.

RAD Roller - The original Rad Roller, perfect for relieving tight knots of muscle.

RAD Rounds - For extra targeted relief of knots wherever they are on your body.


Videos on using Rad Roller products

Avoiding ACL injuries in female grapplers and MMA fighters.

by William Wayland ~ posted April 5th, 2015

“Female athletes endure two to eight times more anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, injuries than their male counterparts”

This quote is from a University of Akron study and doesn’t bode well for female athletes who apparently are at much greater risk than their male training partners of ACL injuries. Hopefully it does come as a message to take better care of your knees and approach injury prevention in the right way. Athletes such as Ronda Rousey, Julianna Pena, Zoila Gurgel, Cat Zingano have all suffered with ACL injuries at some point in their training careers. It also seems many in the female BJJ Blogosphere have also been hit with this particular injury, blogging about post op rehab in the process. And I am sure many of you reading this have ACL Injury stories too!

We are getting closer to finding an answer to what cause this apparent predisposition towards ACL tears in female athletes. Be it laxity, physiological, structural, but the main cause  in increasingly looks like the culprit being hormonal changes.  One recent study finding that “rise in estrogen during the follicular phase decreases lysyl oxidase activity in our engineered ligament model and if this occurs in vivo may decrease the stiffness of ligaments and contribute to the elevated rate of ACL rupture in women.”

With this hormonal joint laxity is the combined risk that comes with larger Q angles. Q angle is the angle at which the femur meets the tiba, in men the femur points largely straight down, in women it often points inwards. This can cause knee tracking issues and instability at the knees. Q angle is what causes nasty valgus collapse (inward caving of the knee) you sometimes see when people squat. According to Bret Contreras “proportionately wider hips, increased Q-angles, diminished hip strength, and in my opinion from being taught to “sit like a lady” (along with reinforcing that movement pattern repeatedly throughout their lives).” Stands to reason that many of the injuries I see are caused in scrambles and or during standing phases when risk of traumatic forces are at their highest.

Be able to make the Shapes for your sport

We are seeing an over swing towards mobility work at the moment which isn’t helping the situation. The female grappler is actively encouraged to get into activities like yoga, which can dis-inhibit protective mechanisms that provide protection again injuries that result from sudden force absorption. people are spending 20-30 minutes mobility work for joints that may not need it. If you play a combat sport consider which joints you mobilise carefully, make it flexible enough to make the shapes you need to for your sport (Comfort being stacked or throwing a de la riva) any more than this and your risk for injury gets higher.

My counter to some of these issues would be get strong, get stable.

Stop Stretching Your Hamstrings! And make them stronger

Martial artists have been stretching the heck out of their hamstrings since forever! And changing a culture of stretching is difficult when it is so ingrained. You have to ask the question “I may have range of motion, but am I strong with in that range of motion?”  What we want is hamstrings that are long ‘enough’ but also strong ‘enough’.

Eccentric strength and injury prevention are now being seen as a key component of training programs. Eccentric strength is the ability of muscle to yield under load, which makes the muscle more capable of absorbing force. You are basically teaching yourself to better apply the brakes. This is why eccentric posterior chain and hamstring work is such a crucial to prevention knee injuries. Below are a few exercise I regularly use with my clients. RDL’s, Zercher GM’s, Ball Curls and Nordic Curls all being great choices for hamstring strength.

Of particular note is the Nordic Hamstring curl or the Ghetto GHR which is increasingly seeing a lot of love in injury prevention programs. Mainly due to more research showing eccentric hamstring training have a huge effect on injury prevention.  Increasing strength of the hamstring muscles helps stabilized the knee by providing “backward” forces on the lower leg. The distal hamstrings help protect the ACL from being stretched and ruptured as the quadriceps muscles contract and pull the tibia forward (knee extension). For more on hamstring stiffness and ACL injuries check out Brian Schiff’s excellent blog post on the topic.

Ghetto GHR or partner nordic curl below shows, how simple it is to do and requires almost no equipment. Pretty simple to break out on the mats!

As more female athletes take up MMA and BJJ professionally and recreationally the rate of ACL injuries could well spike. Participation in a combat sports can be rough on the joints as we all know. Its the Job of the coach and the athlete to take steps to minimise risk.

This is an ongoing series of blog posts from guest blogger and Strength & Conditioning coach William Wayland of Powering Through, who works with UFC, Cagewarriors and other high level combat athletes based in Chelmsford, UK. Facebook

[NEW PRODUCT] State of No Mind – Camo Drawstring Bag

by Matt - Scramble ~ posted April 1st, 2015

We’ve got a sneaky little new product for you today. The State of No Mind Camo drawstring bag is the follow up to our surprisingly successful Samurai Drawstring bag.

It’s like a gi bag, but made to a higher spec. Perfect for carrying around your training gear or just a couple of items, the bag is lightweight and durable and has various bag functions including (but not limited to)

- Opening and closing

- Wearing on your back

- Carrying stuff

- Being very bag-like

- Bag

- It’s a bag.

We hope you enjoy it.


Commemorative Polaris Pro t-shirts on sale!

by Matt - Scramble ~ posted March 25th, 2015

We’ve taken inventory of the t-shirts that were on sale at the first ever Polaris Professional Jiu Jitsu Invitational, which was held in Cardiff, Wales on January 10th 2015.

There are just a few shirts available, so click through and grab one before they run out. They will probably be collectors’s items that you can resell for hundreds of pounds (or yen) once Polaris reaches its 50th iteration!

Exciting news for all grapplers! Stocking Rad Roller soon

by Matt - Scramble ~ posted March 24th, 2015

As a grappler, and someone who spends a lot of time at my Stationary Computing Station / Matrix Connector Device (also known as a desk), I deal with a pretty good amount of aches and pains.

I’m always on the hunt for newer and better tools to help cope with sore muscles and aching joints.

My quest led me to the Rad Roller. I bought the muscle flushing kit direct from the USA, and once shipping and import taxes were factored in, it ended up costing quite a bit.

But what a revelation! The Helix roller is literally the best version of a foam roller I have ever used, and the Rad Rod strips muscles free of tension incredibly effectively. It’s a daily routine for me now. It helps me cope with RSI from using computers all day, as I am able to strip my forearms and the tendons around the elbow.

I took the kit to the gym and everyone who has tried it, has loved it.

With  that in mind, I approached Rad Roller direct, and we are now proud to announce that Scramble (UK / Europe store) will be stocking the Rad Roller range within the next couple of weeks.


Some videos on the Rad Rollers






[VIDEO INSTRUCTIONAL] “Sucuri” – Amazing body choke from back control instructional

by Matt - Scramble ~ posted March 24th, 2015

Tom Barlow is a no gi world champion, a very polite man, and also, an absolute bastard on the mat.

Last time he came to visit us he took great delight in tapping us out with a move of his own devising, the Sucuri or anaconda.

It is not pleasant.

Find out how to make your training partners groan in pain below!


Tough stuff: the good, the bad and the ugly by Gina Hopkins

by Ben ~ posted March 23rd, 2015


So I want to tell you about a week or 10 days which was really tough, hopefully you have read why I am doing this in the previous blog.  So I thought I would give an insight into the real struggle which disabled athletes can face, perseverance.

This particular week, pain kicked in with vengeance, but still I managed some achievements.  These weeks are draining, really, really heartbreakingly draining.  I often ask myself why I do this, why I put myself through this.  The truth is that I don’t know anything else and I ride on the waves of successes, it’s emotionally draining.  Nevertheless, when you hit a goal which you thought was ‘optimistic’ you ride that wave and hold onto that emotion. It’s survival.

What prompted me to write a more despondent blog?  Well, as I mentioned this week has been painful and because of the great questions and response I had from the readers, I wondered, what do people secretly think of me and my training?  Especially those who don’t know me…..I wonder… I’m obviously disabled (no hiding that fact!), I’m obviously in pain and struggling to keep up with some fitness classes, this week in spite of my best efforts and I had to leave the same class early twice in a row.  What would you think of me leaving twice?

Automatically, I would ask myself if this was the right type of exercise for the person, were there any injury risks, why that person would keep coming back when they knew they couldn’t do the class. No doubt these would be some of the logical questions that you would also ask yourself.  Here inlays the problem, I am subject to the same time constraints, I am subject to the same family obligations, I am subject  to the same (if not more) fatigue, as well as the same (if not more) susceptibility to the health considerations such as colds and flu, as everyone else.  Therefore my time is precious, I don’t have time to work out at my leisure or all day doing more ‘suitable’ low impact work outs.

Furthermore, it is exactly these things which people like myself sometimes struggle to do, which I need to do. [trust me; MSc [almost], BSc hons, Btec ND, vocational qualification list as long as my arm and 19 years’ experience].  As with any athlete you need to weigh up the cost of pushing boundaries and working on weaknesses with what is safe and causes the less risk of injury.However, I need to stress my CV system more than the able bodied population, because I need to control my weight and prevent further illness and injury.  I’m putting myself through this pain for the good of my overall health…. I’m tired just typing this!

Needless to say, this escalated into a teary moment in front of a team mate, I’m not ashamed to say I have my moments where I think, “Why me?”, “What did I do?, no really, what did I do?!”  He knew something was up when I walked in (I love that), so he asked me what I had been up to and began praising my efforts.  He then began offering alternatives, which was also a lovely genuine gesture from a friend, unfortunately this is what prompted the break down… if I don’t know to get around my own pain, how is anyone else supposed too?

After I pulled myself together to train for a further hour (of a usual two), I came home  to sit on my drive and cry. I cried my heart out most of the way home and sat on my drive for 15 – 20 mins just breaking my heart.  This was a tough few days, I knew it would end, not every day would be as bad as this and that’s what I needed to hear.

I pulled it together as I knew I had a S&C session the next morning and  I knew what was coming, I was ready and vengeful for it, 1RM’s! With the week I had I was ready to pound everything I had into this bit of iron, I set a rather optimistic goal based on my pre foot and back injury.  I made that 2 x body weight squat, I DID IT, I MET MY GOAL that made the whole week worth it.

No one could strip me of that feeling, no amount of pain could diminish that!

G’still has strength!

Saturday, I tentatively returned to ‘that’ class, knowing what I had achieved the previous day, I was sceptical if I could see the class out or whether not to go at all.  The latter not really being in my nature, I went. I managed the whole class with some considerable pain but not enough to prevent me participating for more than a few moments at a time.  Again, I achieved.

After that particular class a lady I always say hello to came to talk to me properly, commenting on how well I keep up etc.  I wonder if she would have said that or had the preconception that I couldn’t if she had known the previous. Probably not… nevertheless, I appreciated the gesture.

I genuinely don’t know what goes through the mind of people who see me working out.  To be honest, I care little, but what I do care passionately about is how you portray your thoughts to other people, especially people like me.  Rather than shying away from the unusual (you all know you do!), why don’t you sit next to them and offer a competitive word of encouragement, offer your experience (as my friend and teammate did, yes it may end in tears but you tried!), or just offer your words of encouragement as the lady did.  There is a person and a story behind the disability, highs as well as lows. The population to which I belong, needs the gym (probably) more than you, it’s probably harder but the achievements are so, so much sweeter.

Sunday, boy I woke up in pain, actually I was awake with pain but who’s counting.  So I woke up, swallowed my pain killers and decided the pain would ease once I got to the gym.  This was really quite severe pain, and got to a gym full of hangovers… even the squat success had my patience wearing thin.  But do you know what, I stuck it out and had a good rolling session. I felt good, again, and everyone else went home to die!

It hurts but it’s worth it.

It always ends on a high….

If you are able to offer any support in helping me attend the tournament as the only female UK fighter it would be gratefully appreciated, by sharing and/or donating.

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