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Your Bjj New Year’s Resolutions

After the holidays have passed – and with it all of the rich foods, Christmas desserts, drinks and sleeping off the big meals on the couch, it is time to think about getting back to bjj training. The media is filled with features on health and diet advice for those who have made a “New Year’s Resolution” to quit smoking, stop drinking alcohol and / or go on the dreaded celery and carrot stick diet.

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As practitioners of bjj, we can use the start of the year to embark on some new training goals to add some fresh motivation to our training.

Training Layoffs
401345_10150686612668868_693484798_nIf you have been absent from the academy for any reason, this is a good chance to get the kimono out again and get back on the mat. Start back slowly and allow yourself enough time to “get the rust out” and restore some of your previous conditioning before returning to the intensity of training that you may formerly have enjoyed.

Check the conditioning blog here!

One of the biggest sources of frustration for those returning after a layoff is expecting to resume training at the same level and intensity from which they left off.

Attaching an unrealistic time schedule to your return to full speed will likely end in frustration. You have to allow your body to adjust to training again. Go slowly at first and build your intensity and frequency gradually. Before you know it, you will be back rolling at your previous levels.

Concentrated Learning
14992124566_0b6aa6aec6_zFor those of you who have not been absent from the mats, you can use the start of a new year as a time to begin a new area of study in your jiu-jitsu.

I pose the question:
What area of jiu-jitsu – if concentrated on for the next 8 weeks – would cause the greatest improvement in your bjj game?

I have successfully used this concentrated approach to training to radically improve several different areas of my bjj game.It might be working from a new DVD set that has been released on guard passing, arm triangles, positional escapes or whatever you have identified in your own game.

Over a period of weeks this becomes my focus in training and I can raise my level in that concentrated area beyond anything that would have been possible by just showing up at the academy and training normally.

This year have decided to focus my bjj New Years resolution on butterfly guard.

DSC_2196I have some techniques that I have employed for years, seen some moves that I would like to try to integrate, and need a new challenge in my game. I would also like to tie the different isolated techniques into more of a system, where one technique flows into an other and I develop combinations.

Two months of concentrated drilling and positional sparring, YouTube research and experimentation with your training partners (try to enlist them in your campaign ass well) will stretch my butterfly guard proficiency to previously unreached levels.

So, what is your bjj New Year’s Resolution? 

Credits: Mark Mullen
Gracie Barra Black belt based in Taipei, Taiwan
Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

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