One of the best approaches to jiu-jitsu training I learned from my head instructor and have used his example to direct my own bjj.
He would get OBSESSED for a month at a time with a position or specific technique and attack ONLY those positions in sparring.
Advanced belts often should “limit their training” with belts of lower experience as a way to make their training more productive.
It doesn’t help an experienced purple belt to develop their game by repeatedly smashing a 1st year white belt with his “A Game”.
The purple belt already KNOWS they can do their “A Game” on an opponent of lower skill level and little is improved or proven by doing the “same old same old”.
The advanced belt should limit their own training by having a specific handicap before the roll.
ex. None of his favorite collar chokes. Only the straight arm lock from side control (on the opponent’s left arm if you want to make it even tougher!)
This is a much tougher way to catch a submission than going with your existing strengths.
This handicap approach will force you to sharpen your setups, combinations, details, control and recounters to their defences.
A great question to ask is:
“What position/techniques of my game – if concentrated on exclusively for the next month – will yield the biggest improvement to my bjj game?”
Do you have a weakness in your game that is as huge as the Grand Canyon?
Do you always do the same guard sweeps and feel stale? Need to try a new guard?
Are you a world beater with the triangle but don’t remember the last time you caught a kimura?
Now devote a solid month to the specific position.
Get OBSESSED with it!
– start your sparring in the position instead of hoping the position comes up in rolling
– allow your opponent to get the position on you so you see what they do that makes you feel uncomfortable, what mistakes they make that allow your escape
– limit yourself to only use that position even though your regular “go to move” is right there
– watch videos of competition where the move is used in blackbelt matches – how was it setup?
– watch every instructional for another tip or variation
In the course of that month you will drastically increase your depth of knowledge and, (as importantly) the mat time spent in the position.
Using this method I watched my head instructor develop an expert level of proficiency in several sweeps and submissions.
One month he went on a tear with an armlock from side control and in one roll, he submitted ONLY my left arm with the same armlock 5 times!
The next month he was onto a new technique obsession, but had permanently added that arm lock to his game.
Try getting obsessed for a month!
What is your current training obsession?