One of the curious things about new bjj students is that many of the students feel that they are the ONLY student in the class who is struggling to learn all of the new techniques. They apologetically explain to the instructor that they are a slow learner and can not remember all of their techniques that they learn in class.
Have you ever felt that way? Well you are not alone!
Nearly ALL new students experience this feeling of being overwhelmed by all of this new knowledge. One new student shook his head and laughed after seeing variations of a guard sweep “This is like trying to drink from a fire hose!”
But as you accrue more hours on the mats, it DOES get easier. You just need to keep coming to class and drilling your techniques. For those students seeking a better suggestion to improve and remember their techniques, here is the SINGLE best piece of training advice I can give you:
» Try the techniques that your instructor shows in class in sparring.
Not all students do this. It is VERY tempting to roll with the techniques that you already know and feel you can rely on. It is also a common to abandon your technical escape and try to use strength or athleticism just to avoid being tapped.
The student is falling prey to the wrong philosophy in rolling : That how often you tap someone (or NOT get tapped against a senior belt) is the sole indicator of a successful rolling session.This is incorrect.
We are training to IMPROVE our jiu-jitsu not TO PROVE how good we are.
To improve our skills we need to break out of that comfort zone and actively try to incorporate those techniques that our instructor is teaching. Positional sparring is a GREAT time for you to try those techniques that you just learned in class.
Time and time again I have witnessed that the students who make the best progress early in learning jiu-jitsu are those students who TRY the techniques that were shown in class in sparring.
The temptation to use your existing techniques is there – but to make the fastest progress, set aside your thoughts of just trying to win the roll and work on those techniques you just saw in class.
Credits: Mark Mullen
Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam