Help, I’m In A Slump!
Most students of jiu-jitsu feel like they encounter the dreaded training slump at one time or another in their study.
Progress seems painfully slow and you might even feel that your training partners are overtaking you. You have been showing up to class regularly, but improvement seems at a standstill.
Take some comfort in the fact that slumps don’t last for long and that everyone feels like they are slumping at some point.
Most of us gauge our progress by comparing ourselves with our training partners. Don’t forget, they are improving as well! They are now wise to that Flower Sweep of yours and it has stopped working. This is going to force you to get better and find another way to sweep. This will continue throughout your jiu-jitsu life. Continually adaptation and learning are necessary.
Truth is that our progress in any challenging endeavour is not smooth, upward, uninterrupted progress. There are periods of sudden leaps in improvement punctuated by longer periods of study. I have read theories that our minds need these slumps to process and consolidate all of the information. Then we are ready to begin progressing once again.
There is a famous quote attributed to Albert Einstein “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
If you find yourself stick.on.a slump, it is the ideal time to try something new. Perhaps you have been in your comfort zone and need the stimulus of trying some new positions. Do you always play Spider Guard? How about setting that aside and working on Butterfly Guard for a month? Are you a pressure passer? How about expanding your passing game by working the Bullfighter and other distance passing?
Lastly, consider the words of Master Carlos Gracie Jr. on the subject of persistence:
“Discipline and consistency. I owe these two factors all have attained in my life. Things have never happened overnight. Results have appeared as a consequence of decades long toil. It is necessary to persist.”
Sometimes the best advice is to persist through strength of will through the slumps.
Good training to you all!
Credits: Mark Mullen
Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam