- Not Using the Moves You Learn in Practice
I love live rolling as much as the next person, but to progress as a jiu-jitsu practitioner, you need practice at practice – not just roll to the death. This is where a good training partner comes in handy. You want to give your partner enough resistance during drilling where he will knows if he will be able to make it work on someone that doesn’t know the move is coming. Don’t be that guy that doesn’t let anything work by doing the defense to the move you are drilling though! If you feel the move doesn’t work or you can’t get it, keep trying! Some of the things and positions I was most uncomfortable with as a lower belt are my most comfortable now. Also, for the upper ranks, don’t be so set in your ways. Give the move a chance to work before you write it off as ineffective, or not your game. If you still seem to not be able to grasp it, read my next point.
- You Are Not Asking Questions
As a lower belt, I always felt like I shouldn’t ask questions because that would mean I don’t know what I am doing. That’s the exact truth though! We all don’t know what we are doing at that point, and depending on who I am rolling with, I still feel that way as a purple belt. The more I learned the more questions I asked, which helped my game tremendously. As we all have learned, or as some of you will learn, it is all about those little tweaks you can make to moves that will skyrocket the efficiency in making that move effective. As a side of caution, do not be that guy that doesn’t pay attention to the move while your instructor is explaining it, and then ask a questions about something he already went over. Instructors don’t like that much!
- You Have Not Learned to Use Combinations
To be dangerous on the mats, you must be able to flow from one move to another. To be able to do this effectively, you must drill it over and over to have that muscle memory where you won’t even have to think about it. If you have to think about what you will do after a failed attempt at a sweep or submission – that move you are thinking of will most likely not be there. This is why flow rolling and drilling the moves you do in practice are essential for your growth as a BJJ practitioner.