The Formula for BJJ Improvement
Student - “How do I get better at BJJ?”
Coach- “Just keep showing up!”
This answer is not as helpful as it seems. It is true that in order to improve at any skill you need consistent practice but learning new skills and your ability to retain new information will vary between individuals. In order to get better answers we need to ask better questions!
There are the extremes of “Porrada” train as hard as you can everyday if not twice a day plus drilling of course.
Then we have the other end of the spectrum which is the person who shows up when ever it fits in between work, study, social life, 1-2 times per week, no preparation “ Just keep showing up.”
Maybe you are somewhere in the middle: keen to improve, training 2-3 times per week, sneaking in an open mat every chance you get but still not getting the BJJ gains you truly desire.
Total training volume (total sessions completed in a month) is a good baseline to know if an individual is showing enough up to improve but this doesn’t indicate 2 key elements-
- Technical development.
- Physical & Mental Preparation.
These are the major contributing factors to Jiu-jitsu session QUALITY. Endless, repetitive, practice of poor technique only further ingrains bad habits and actually slows BJJ development.
IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF YOUR BJJ LEARNING
- Have a Plan for your Jiu-jitsu:
Even if you have only just begun your journey, come to class with a plan for what you are going to work on. If you are unsure of what you need to work on ask your coach. You can’t control what technique or position that might be taught that day but by virtue of setting your goal for the session eg. Perform a particular sweep, don’t get submitted or successfully use a certain submission on “Craig”. Setting your intention before class is key to you improving your BJJ abilities.
- Be Ready to work:
+ Be Hydrated. Drink at least 750ml of water the hour before training
+Be Early. Arrive 15-20 mins before class to warm up your body and address any specific stiffness or tightness issues you have to avoid injury
+Be Fuelled. Make sure you have had a light snack 60 – 80 mins before training so your blood sugar levels don’t bottom out while rolling.
+Be strong. Lifting weights to address imbalances, rehab injuries and generally making yourself more resilient is one of the best things you can do off the mat to make sure you have a better time when rolling.
+ Be Calm. Doing breath work and visualising yourself performing BJJ techniques before class can help to settle nerves and anxiety that can occur before any Jiu-jitsu class. (Particularly hard comp rounds.)
Just showing up isn’t good enough. We understand that just getting to class, battling life’s chaos is a real challenge. This fight becomes dramatically harder when you are not prepared.
To pursue the path of BJJ awesomeness which is one of the hardest and most worthwhile things you can choose to do, you need to show up prepared, in order to get the most out of it.
Happy rolling Bulletproof Fam.