Everyone reading this article who would like to improve their jiu-jitsu faster raise their hands (all the hands go up). Now that we have your attention, lets discuss a few ideas that can accelerate your improvement in jiu-jitsu.
The #1 important factor in your jiu-jitsu training is regular attendance in class. No amount of watching jiu-jitsu videos is going to help you if the start of class does not find you on the mat!
That said, HOW you use your time on the mat when you are in class is really important.
Here are a few tips on how to get the maximum benefit from each class.
1) Cultivate training partners
Next to having a Black belt professor who can teach you solid fundamental techniques, good training partners will make the most impact on your jiu-jitsu.
In larger, established bjj schools there will be an abundance of advanced belts to work with. In new and smaller academies you need to build those training partners.
– Be the first to say hello to new students and welcome them to the school
– Have a helpful attitude to share information with newer students to help solve their problems
With more experienced training partners, build the training relationship by agreeing to meet and partner up at specific times. Make a pact to train regularly at certain times. Discuss what aspects of your jiu-jitsu game that you are trying to improve and make a plan to help each other improve each others games using Tip #2.
The best jiu-jitsu students I’ve observed will team up with their favorite training partners and agree to a plan to work together on drilling a certain position that they both wish to improve.
They arrive early to class or stay a little later to drill techniques that they wish to improve on top of whatever was taught in class that day.
I recall several blue and purple belts who liked working together and would coordinate to drill together at any open mat time available. It is little surprise that they were among the most technical members of the academy and successful in competition.
This was all on their own initiative and occurred outside the regular class times at open mat and both before and after the classes. You can do it too!
3) Ask questions
This is the single thing that most jiu-jitsu students could easily do to improve their own games. Yet many seem to be too shy and unwilling to ask their instructor questions about problems they encounter in their rolling.
Think about the last time that you rolled a few rounds. What worked well? What didn’t work so well? Did you get swept repeatedly by a specific technique? Was your guard passed or you got submitted several times?
Now take those jiu-jitsu problems to your instructor and ask “Last class I tried to pass the guard using the knee cut and I got my back taken. Am I doing something wrong?”
Now you are addressing problems and building your personal game in a targeted way. Brick by brick you can build your jiu-jitsu game and find solutions for the rolling problems that you experience.
Good training to you!
See also on Gracie Barra : 4 Most Important Guard Attacks You Should Learn
Credits: Mark Mullen
Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam