September 27, 2022


Art and Entertainment

How Martial Arts Changed Tigran Sargsyan’s Partnering Style

3 or four times a 7 days due to the fact the age of 17, Los Angeles Ballet principal dancer Tigran Sargsyan has been hitting the health and fitness center to develop upper-entire body strength. But when the pandemic descended, Sargsyan felt he need to come across a new way to sustain power and stamina whilst LAB’s studios had been shuttered. And just like that, he fell for martial arts—hard.

“I begun with tae kwon do,” Sargsyan claims. “Then I included Brazilian jiujitsu, which at this position I’m mainly in enjoy with.” It’s a passion that fuels him to follow jiujitsu 4 or 5 moments a week and tae kwon do two times a 7 days. (Nevertheless he retained up his program for the duration of LAB’s Nutcracker, Sargsyan ordinarily scales again his martial arts practices, in the identify of obtaining harmony, through performance operates.)

Tigran Sargsyan breaks a board in a tae kwon do demonstration. Photograph courtesy Sargsyan.

An Evening in the Daily life

While specific framework varies, Sargsyan commonly spends an hour and a half at a time on jiujitsu, in the evenings soon after operate. Right after individuals bow to a single a different and to the coach, the team opinions the morals of the studio (such as mutual respect and management in excess of intense electricity) and that session’s agenda. Then Sargsyan does a 15-moment heat-up, gets instruction in a new skill or element, and has 30 minutes of unstructured sparring time.

In distinction to jiujitsu’s literal rolling on the flooring, “tae kwon do is less difficult for ballet dancers for the reason that it virtually seems to be like choreography,” Sargsyan says. “You gain belts by showing distinct kicks and punches and employing those to crack boards. Tae kwon do aids me realize exactly where specifically to set my vitality in a leap or battement.”

Spar de Deux?

“When persons listen to ‘martial arts,’ they consider ‘fighting,’ but it’s essentially really disciplined, respectful and supportive,” Sargsyan states. Speaking with sparring partners is expanding Sargsyan’s sensitivity to ballerinas’ desires, he claims: “Martial arts has affected my being familiar with of the place my dance associates are each and every working day, how they experience, what they want. I can experience differences in body weight and strain substantially improved than prior to. Furthermore, I’m bodily more powerful, which helps with partnering.”

Tigran Sargsyan lifts Petra Conti, wrapping his arms around her waist and legs as she extends her body into a diagonal line.
Tigran Sargsyan partnering Petra Conti. Picture by Reed Hutchinson, courtesy Los Angeles Ballet.

The Way of the Dancer

To Sargsyan, martial arts is cross-teaching for entire body, mind and spirit. Because starting off jiujitsu and tae kwon do, “I’m a lot more relaxed and playful,” he claims. “Even when there’s nervousness to go onstage or do the job with a new spouse, I’m far more confident in myself. And I have a diverse understanding of endurance. I made use of to experience out of breath after two minutes of jumping. Now I can go for 5 minutes.”

Rapid Gas

“I love fruit in the 3 hours prior to a overall performance, so I really do not sense weighed down,” Sargsyan suggests. “I’ll pack apples, bananas or raspberries in a little box and have it with me all through a prolonged day.” At the stop of a present or comprehensive day of education, Sargsyan cooks generous parts of fish or rooster, rice and vegetables.

How-To: Cross-Collar Chokes

“My favored workouts in jiujitsu are for the abdominals,” Sargsyan states. Here’s just one you can try out at household, no sparring spouse required:

  1. Lie on your back with arms and legs in the air, crossed at the ankles/wrists.
  2. Raise your shoulders off the mat as you would for a classic crunch. Rapidly and dynamically pull your arms and legs in toward the core, as if grabbing an invisible human being over you. Partly prolong the arms and legs, preserving your elbows and knees bent, as you repeat up to 60 overall reps.