Hello Vural, can you please introduce yourself?
Everyone calls me -V-, but my full name is Vural Vural. I was born and raised in Türkiye, but have been living in New York City since 1997.
I work as a Movement Specialist. I use multiple mobility methodologies and therapy modalities with a training-based approach to improve Movement Quality.
When did your Jiu-Jitsu journey begin?
I began Jiu Jitsu in 2017, after getting tired of being arm-barred by my then-fiancé, now wife. She studied Jiu Jitsu, and I couldn’t even tell between the times she was hugging me or taking my back. 🤣
I’d grown up kickboxing and had been training Muay Thai for the past few years at Renzo’s…so I was already at a great spot to learn, and I signed up for classes, bought my first Gi on the same day.
How did you find out about BJJ?
My past as a striker had always given me the perspective of “You can take me down, but I’m gonna light you up before you can get to me.” about grappling. It was refreshing and humbling to experience being “ineffective”(a nice way of saying I had no clue) on the ground.
I decided it was time to learn some defense, survival off my back, which was my whole white belt journey.
Tell us more about Align Training?
ALiGN.training started because I got into a car accident (2001) that left me with 2 herniated discs at L4-L5 and L5-S1… that’s the lower back and tail-bone connection for those that are not anatomy-savvy. 😁
I slept on a dining room table for 6 months with my legs hanging off the edge, so I wouldn’t wake up with back spasms. My calf/lower-leg shrunk to ⅓ the size of my other one because my sciatic nerve was pinched/impinged. Furthermore, these doctors told me that I wouldn’t be athletic for the rest of my life, and I should get those Vertebrae fused together.
That was my “There’s gotta be some shit you guys haven’t read about.” moment to start hitting the books. 16 Certifications, countless books, and 14 years of business in New York City later, I’ve become decently skilled at my craft.
ALiGN.training has been our physical business treating and training high-level athletes. We teach our people how to find and work on the underlying root cause behind their symptoms instead of treating the symptom.
Now, we are getting ready to release our App, which is an encyclopedia of sorts based on empowering people with the knowledge on how to understand and manage their bodies.
We have been working on it for the past 7 years, and it features a wholesome approach including:
- Managing Pain,
- Preventing Injuries,
- Healthy Movement Habits
- Self Soft-Tissue Therapy
- Joint Centering
- Training Programs
- Movement Course
We want people to Move Smart, Live Better.
What is the most common issue you see in your work? Does it have a simple solution?
Most common is the Shoulder/Neck injuries, especially with our Jiu Jitsu crowd.
There’s no “easy fix,” but it goes a LONG way to have better posture when you are not practicing Jiu Jitsu. We are carrying a “rounded posture,” what we refer to as a Kyphotic position during Jiu Jitsu and our bodies work best in balance.
Another very beneficial practice I’ve found is helpful across the spectrum is hangin. Yes, like an Ape… it’s a primal thing for humans, and it does wonders for improving joint mechanics at the Shoulder.
Dr. John M. Kirsch has a book on hanging on Amazon… he was an Orthopedic Surgeon specializing in the Shoulder. Once he got injured himself and wanted to “fix” the root-cause, instead of treating the symptoms, he wrote a book about it. Oh, he also quit his job. 😁
We put out a good amount of content on our Instagram account @ALiGN.training and will cover the subject you’ve got questions on; just shoot us a DM.
Specifically for the Jiu Jitsu crowd, it’s imperative to mobilize the torso, the hips, and the shoulder blades. These areas serve as the “central foundation” for movement and payout the most bang for your buck/time invested.
Here’s a Foam-Rolling (Soft MyoFascial Release)
View this post on Instagram
and a Mobility sequence
Everyone can use it before the actual warm-up (purple belts are allergic to this, I think 😁) and Jiu Jitsu.
You are training at Renzo Gracie Academy in New York. Can you tell our readers more about the environment?
I’ve never been so intimidated by the nicest people I’ve ever met. Everyone is super friendly, and then you realize they could all kill you without even trying.
I don’t have much else to compare it to, but Renzo’s is an oasis in the center of the New York City madness. That’s where I found calm and balance.
The instructors are all top-notch, professional, and invested in your growth as a practitioner. It feels more like a family sitting down for dinner than going to “class”. It is CONSTANTLY drilled into everyone to “Take care of your training partner”.
White belts classes are a grinding wheel where you see people disappear, and some get spit out into the shark tank, once they receive their 3rd stripe. That’s when you’re allowed to train with the higher belts, and it sounds great until you realize that you’ve just become the small fish in the large pond, ready to be smashed on.
All the smashing makes you learn to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations, and all of a sudden, you realize you’ve learned to get out of those tough spots.
We met at BJJ Sumer Week. What do you think about participating in BJJ camps?
One of Jiu Jitsu camps’ best value propositions is the accommodations being near the Jiu Jitsu Mats/Tatami. It makes a world of difference being able to walk down the stairs/street to roll vs. being in a shuttle/cab to get to the place.
What is your advice for the people who now practice BJJ? Any tip that can help people on the mat or in real life.
As a Movement Specialist, I’d recommend everyone practicing Jiu Jitsu to have a healthy movement regimen, where they are ;
- Expressing their Full Range-of-Motion and improving their neuromuscular connection.
- Working the soft-tissue with pressure and movement.
- Loading with proper form and mechanics.
Shameless plug, we have built the ALiGN app just to teach people how to accomplish this.