Five Ways to Train Without Interruption
Taking time off is always good for recovery. Why should now be any different? There are plenty of ways to improve your Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in-between mat time. Supplement your training by writing, reading and watching instructional videos.
Writing helps you retain knowledge. Taking notes is the key to accelerated growth, especially when just beginning. Much is to be achieved with pen and paper.
Keep a training journal, a record of your struggles from session to session. Not only will this improve retention, but it will reflect growth. If you were to take private lessons or attend a seminar, why wouldn’t you take notes? Writing means thinking, and thinking is training. If you are unable to attend class, simply review your notes and continue your progress.
Goals, whether short-term or long-term, must be written down. Feel free to write them in your journal, but write them, nonetheless. Give yourself a deadline and hold yourself accountable. As soon as you can see the big picture, break it down into smaller, more manageable goals. Make sure each goal supports the next. Lifetime goals can be achieved if you break them down into smaller steps.
All this writing should enable you to analyze your strengths and weaknesses. Acknowledge your weaknesses and evaluate areas of improvement. How do you fare in technique? Are you comfortable with takedowns? How do you defend against them? Rate yourself in terms of your guard, sweeps, leglocks and submissions.
Break down physical components into strength, endurance, flexibility and durability. Strength makes it easier to grapple, while endurance is key to maintaining that strength. In order to get in certain positions, you must be flexible. If you don’t want to get hurt, you must be durable.
Keeping a journal should make It easy to rate yourself on the mental components. How is your focus? Are you easily distracted? Determination, confidence and self-discipline are always a martial artist’s friends.
Logic dictates that if grapplers did not write, there would be nothing to read about the subject. Let the greats teach you how to reflect, set goals and analyze your strengths and weaknesses. The path to a lifetime of insight starts in the pages of a book. For some great recommendations, check out this list.
When all else fails, there are always Youtube tutorials. If you skipped to this step, slow down. In order to get the most out of Youtube, narrow your focus. Search for a specific move or technique, or single out a competitor who excels at one. Here are a few videos to get you started:
Nothing will replace those mats. Consider your car, living room and bedroom to be extensions of your gym. Train, without interruption, by writing, reading and learning.