Your BJJ journey is going to be a long one full of ups and downs. In the beginning, you’ll struggle more often than you succeed and start to doubt yourself as to why you started out in this journey.
You will struggle during the warmup, you believe you have a great level of fitness BUT on the mat you’re fatiguing after a few minutes, you look dumbfounded when shown the same technique repeatedly and nothing sinks in. Then you roll, you feel helpless and defenceless as nothing is working, and you struggle with ‘what to do next’.
But just relax. This is all a part of your journey. Some days you’re the hammer, other days you’re the nail. Some days you’ll hammer your opposition, other days you’ll be nailed to the mats.
Here are a few tips to help improve and assist you with your Jiu Jitsu journey.
- Show up. There is no secret in getting better at Jiu Jitsu. Just show up to class on a regular basis so drills and techniques become second nature. Remember you don’t get better sitting at home on the couch!!
- Arrive early for class. Don’t be that guy that shows up late and misses the warmups. The warmups are the building blocks to your techniques and fitness. To be early is to be on time. To be on time is to be late.
- Slow down and take the time to understand the techniques. If you race, your technique will look terrible. If you try and muscle your way through, you’ll burn out. It’s a journey not a race. As they say – slow is smooth, smooth is fast. If you can’t do it slow, you won’t do it quick!!
- Set realistic and achievable goals. This will assist in understanding the techniques, concepts and timing. Small steps see the biggest results.
- Learn to relax and accept failure. In the beginning you’ll fail more often than you succeed. Frustration is the build-up of not understanding the technique and/or what to do next. You learn through failure, not frustration. Remain calm so you can problem solve your way out of the situation.
- Realise your limitations. Remember you’re not as young as you used to be. No one expects you to keep up with the younger guys at the club. So don’t.
- Take care of your body. Prepare for class and recover appropriately. Rest when needing to. Train around your injuries not through them. Seek medical advice early on how to deal with minor niggles before they become major ones. If you can’t physically train, go in and observe the class from the side. Train the body when the mind is weak, train the mind when the body is weak.
- Discipline beats motivation when motivation fails. The days you can’t be bothered going to class are exactly the days you need to go to class.
- Meet people in your class. Learn their names and engage with them as you’ll discover what they do within the community. Remember you all share the same passion for Jiu Jitsu.
- Enjoy the small achievements. Every step forward is worth celebrating.
- TRAIN, TRAIN, TRAIN. Expand your training environment and knowledge by entering into competitions, attend seminars and open mats, train whilst you’re on holidays!!! This is a fantastic way to be introduced to new techniques and meet people from all over the world.