BJJ: What Counts As Mat Time?

How much of your time on the mats really helps your Jiu Jitsu?  Are you doing all you can to help your Jiu Jitsu?  I volunteer as much as I can to help our instructor teach anything from kids classes, to private lessons (people call this brown nosing).  But honestly, how much of this really counts as productive mat time?  I think all mat time is equal and that it all helps my Jiu Jitsu in some way.

Drilling is one of the main necessities that a lot of people tend to overlook.  Doing the same move over and over again to create muscle memory and to eventually do it without even knowing you are, this is our ultimate goal.  Well in the kids classes we cover a lot of the basic movements and transitions, so working with the kids, drilling with them, forces me to use all technique so they learn to execute the moves correctly.  This helps me when I am rolling with other adults because I not only help teach the kids the correct movements, I also beat the technique into my own muscle memory.  Although it’s just kids (even though I’m sure some of them can kick my butt) I am still getting a workout and perfecting my own Jiu Jitsu.

Private lessons, I am a 100% supporter for private lessons.  You pick whatever you keep getting stuck on and ask for advice on how to stop it.  During my private lesson is my favorite time to bug my instructor about everything I can’t seem to lock down.  When I am helping him with them, I am just a dummy, I don’t ask any questions, I just lay there and let them do what they want (no cheesy pun intended…).  I absolutely want to teach some day, either in our school or in my own.  So by me being the “dummy” I get to listen, to both the instructor and the student.  This helps me to break down the moves my opponents are doing, which in turn helps me to better see them coming so I can react sooner.  Win for this guy!

Mat time is what you make it, you decide if it’s enough or not.  From a 30 minute private lesson to helping rugrats learn to pass the guard, it’s all mat time.  Don’t be afraid to ask your instructor if there is any way you can help, the chances are he or she could use a hand.  If not, take a private lesson or 2 a month, travel to another school and hit up open mat, anything you can do to get a few more rolls in.  You are the only one who is holding yourself back.  Roll safe and as often as possible!! Oss!!


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