Why Just Showing Up to Class isn’t Enough

Have you ever wondered why you may not be advancing in rank or getting any better?  Well, part of the solution is showing up to class, but that doesn’t mean your skill set will advance much if you don’t add purpose to your training.  Think about it like anything else you do at home or work; you wouldn’t go into a project at work without a purpose or plan, right?

First, it starts with the instructor.  If your instructor has a good game plan with the way he teaches moves in a progressive and logical manner, you are already ahead of the game. But your instructor can’t personalize a plan for everyone in the gym.  This is where you need to add purpose to your training to have a successful path toward becoming a better jiu-jitsu player. 

Here are some strategies to add purpose to your training:

  • Get out of your comfort zone.  Make it a point to try new moves or work from different positions.  Make your weaknesses become your strengths.
  • Write things down.  Writing things down is a powerful tool to remember things clearly.  It is hard to remember everything from a class with all the details to every move.  You don’t necessarily have to write it down during class.  You can write everything down after practice. 
  • Make goals, and write those down, too.  What is your purpose for training?  What do you want to get out of it?  Think about what motivates you to train and what will keep you consistent. 
  • Work from different positions.  Don’t get comfortable working in a certain position.  There will always be ones that you are better with, but you need to be well-rounded.  For example, if you play an open guard, try to work from the top. 
  • Drilling.  Get to class early or stay late to drill.  There are so many drills you can do that will elevate your game.  It doesn’t take much either.  Just 5-10 minutes each practice will benefit you greatly. 
  • Work on your conditioning.  As you progress in rank, there is a tendency to get lazy from time to time with your training, especially if you are rolling with mostly lower ranks.  Make it a point to push yourself.  This will help your training partners get better too. 
  • Make it a point to roll with people better than you.  This is pretty straightforward.  There is a benefit of getting beat as it provides a learning experience for you to use to your advantage or disadvantage.  It really depends how you react to losing.  Do you ask what you did wrong, or do you just move on?
  • Roll with people that aren’t as good as you.  This may seem counterintuitive, but you both get something out of it.  This is the perfect opportunity to sharpen any new moves you have been drilling or help a brother out with his jiu-jitsu. 
  • Compete.  Last but not least!  This is the ultimate way to add purpose to your training.  Not only do you add purpose in preparation for the competition, you will most likely have a greater purpose after too.  You learn a lot about yourself before, during, and after competition.  If you want to accelerate your game as efficiently and effectively as possible, competing should be your number one priority, especially if you haven’t already! 

Don’t be one of those people that just shows up to class.  If you want to be among the best, you have to put in the work. 


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