BJJ Training can be the single most fulfilling, awesome experience of a person’s day. Think about, wake up, go about the normal routine and business and then wham: there you are on the mat learning slick techniques and choking your friends. I know more often than not it is the highlight of my day. But what do you do when you feel burnt out? Far more importantly, what do you do when you feel burnt out but there is a big tournament in the near future?
One option that can work nicely is finding another physical activity that helps you improve your Jiu Jitsu. I’ve seen guys pick up Capoeira, Ginastica Natural, and Yoga. Weight lifting, running and other exercise methods are also great tools to improve your conditioning specific to BJJ. Also finding activities that exercise the part of your brain that BJJ thrives on helps, games like chess for example expand the way your mind works and ultimately can allow you to see strings of moves differently.
Sometimes though, these options simply aren’t enough, and in spite of being burnt out you do need the mat time. Try different drilling routines. Chain-drills are handy: find a series of moves that chain into each other infinitely and gradually increase the other person’s resistance to the techniques. Another option is flow rolling, which is rolling without the intent to secure a position or submission but rather to cycle through as many positions as possible without getting stuck in one place. These can be a nice break from hard rolling and static drilling.
Yet another option is to change the setting, just temporarily. Find other schools in your area that hold free open mats and go there to train. Sometimes it’s not BJJ that you’re burnt out from but the training environment that you spend so much of your life in. Make sure that you talk to your instructor and the person in charge at the other school though, no need for awkwardness!
These are just some options to vary ones training routine in the event of burnout to keep growing and getting better through difficult times. What are your thoughts on this?