5 simple tips to help you improve in Jiu-Jitsu
Hello everyone! We all know how hard it is to stay in the path. Family, work, injuries, lack of motivation, busyness of life, the list goes on and on. Add to it the fact that jiu-jitsu is not an easy activity and plateaus are hit really often; Techniques are many, moving parts for each of them even more. Progress often times seems an unattainable goal. Truth is, these are all stories we tell ourselves to make it up for the way we feel.
Don’t get me wrong, Jiu-Jitsu is hard and progress is often slow and incremental, but following a few general rules will help you achieve the desired level of personal development. We came here today to give you some tips to improve in Jiu-Jitsu. Here they are:
1- Be consistent
Consistency is key. Have you ever heard: “Do you want to get good at Jiu-Jitsu? Show up”. Cliche? Maybe. But 100% true. If you want to become proficient in something, you need to practice it. Watching is not enough, thinking of it is not enough. With so many variables involved, you will need hands on in order to have a good understanding of the art.
2- Be mindful
Jiu-Jitsu is really for everyone. It’s where we forget our differences and unite for the greater cause (lol). People become more than training partners, they become friends. What do you do when you’re around friends? You want to talk about your day, break each others chops etc., right? What better time to do so than the “break” during technique practice, right? Wrong! Technique demonstration and practice are the most important times of a class. If you go through that mindlessly the chances of really absorbing the technique are really low. Be mindful, ask questions, try to visualize which problems you could face when trying the technique live, try to replicate every step shown by the instructor. Drill as many times as time allows. That’s the best way of getting the most out of a session.
3- Set intentions
Set an intention for each class – or a group of classes. For example, you can go to class with the intention of putting yourself in positions that allow you to attack a kimura in every single roll. Or it can be simpler: “today I’m practicing my scissor sweep in every roll”. No matter the intention, having one will help you develop the intricacies of every position.
4- Step out of your comfort zone
There’s no perfect technique in Jiu-Jitsu. There’s no technique that will work 100% the times in 100% of people. Your attacks will fail and your defenses will crumble, eventually.
I like to think of Jiu-Jitsu as a tool box and me as a tool collector/handyman. The more tools I have, greater chances to fix more problems. The thing is, having more tools doesn’t mean I know how to use them. To learn how to use them, I have to step out of the ‘what I know’ zone and learn new skills. Learning new skills means I will fail. From there, I have two options: abandon that tool or pursue its mastery. Pursue its mastery will push me out of my comfort zone but will make me more prepared for the problems ahead.
5- Ask questions
Ask questions. To your instructors, to your training partners, to your significant other that watches you in class, to everybody. Just ask. Ask what you did wrong, ask what you did right, ask what the other person did. Seriously, ask questions. In Jiu-Jitsu there’s something to be learned from everyone. The different body types, backgrounds, mindsets have a lot to offer. Jiu-Jitsu is also a team sport. In order for you to improve everyone around has to improve as well. The better they become, the better you become, and vice versa.
I hope this helps! Jiu-Jitsu it’s not a sprint, it’s a long distance marathon. Be patient, be disciplined, be kind to yourself, but more importantly, be persistent. It pays off! Enjoy the week and go train!