Don’t Waste Your Time in BJJ (Use it wisely!)

Watching some Youtube videos recently about competition training camps by some of the top bjj teams out there it struck me how different it is compared to the “hobbyist”.
The regular student of bjj who is not a professional athlete, living in a dorm attached to the gym with 3 times a day sessions.

There is not an unlimited amount of training time each week.

Family guys especially have their time divided by other responsibilities and demands and don’t show up to class as regularly or stay as long as they would like to.

I have observed than many students show up to class a few minutes early but stand around talking or doing half hearted hamstring stretches while discussing the weekend or the upcoming UFC.
It reminds me of people who boast about 12 hour workdays at the office, but are on Facebook or playing Angry Birds for much of the “working hours”.

If one can only make to it to the gym 2 x per week, surely there is a better way to use your time in class?

Here are 4 ways to NOT waste your time at jiu-jitsu class:

1) Solo drills at beginning of class
Sitting with one leg out stretched touching your toes while chit chatting is NOT an effective stretching regimen!
There are numerous solo drills that you can perform to warm up your body and strengthen those grappling specific muscles.

A 25% increase in strength and flexibility in grappling positions can really improve your rolling.

2) Make full use of the technique drilling time
During the technique portion of class when the students are supposed to be repping that day’s techniques, some students do it 3 or 4 times and then stop to chat.

Maximize your time on the mat!
Drill the technique at a pace that you get a sweat going.
Already know the technique?
Drill it on your weak side (don’t be a right side specialist!).

3) Do physical conditioning outside of the academy
Your time in the bjj academy should be devoted to bjj technique.
I never understood long warmups that included lots of pushups, running and non-bjj related calisthenics.
We are here to learn jiu-jitsu, not to do jumping jacks!

Instead of using your precious academy time to work on general fitness, spend some time outside of the academy running or bodyweight workouts to handle your general fitness.
That way, 100% of your time in the academy can be focused on exactly what improves your bjj the fastest…DOING bjj!

4) Standup drilling
If we had to say one aspect of bjj that most students neglect it is the standup grappling.

When I have showed up early to open the academy and there is a single early student, I always asked to do some “uchikomi” – the Japanese term for drilling the entry for your takedowns.

In the 10-15 minutes before everyone else shows up, or even if you have a minor injury that precludes rolling, busting out some reps of takedowns is a great way to keep a sweat and sharpen your takedowns.

The cumulative effect on your takedowns doing 50 repetitions each training session for a month can compound and improve a traditionally weak area for most students.

Don’t waste your time in jiu-jitsu,..use it efficiently!


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