Be Present to Get the Most Out of Your Mat Time with Tom DeBlass

Professor Tom DeBlass addresses a question at a seminar at Steel City Martial Arts--photo courtesy of Todd Shaffer

In this exclusive video for the Jiu-Jitsu Times, Professor Tom DeBlass answers a question he receives often regarding how to make the most of your training time.  Like anything, the tendency is to overthink and to over complicate.  By stepping back and looking at your current training priorities, you will be able to assess how much time you have, develop a game plan, and execute that plan.

Key Points

There will never be enough time.  There will always only be 24 hours in a day.  There will always only be 7 days in a week and 52 weeks in a year.  We are all here for a finite time.  Days are filled with things that have to get done and responsibilities that cannot be ignored, whether they are related to work, school, family or something else.  The key is to realize that it does not take much of your day to get an effective BJJ training session in.  An hour session is 4% of a 24 hour day.  By prioritizing that 1 hour and making sure nothing gets in the way of it, you will quickly see that the remainder of your day is easier to manage.  You will be less stressed.  You will feel good having accomplished an important goal.  It doesn’t matter when you train or where you train, whether it be at your academy or doing some solo drills at home.  An hour is an hour.  And if that is the only hour you are able to spend in a week, by the end of a year, you will have accomplished 52 hours more than the person sitting on the couch, complaining and rationalizing their time away.

Don’t waste time complaining about lack of time. It is easy to waste the little precious time you have complaining about this, that, or the other challenge you’re facing.  Can’t stay for live rolling after class?   Get the most out of the instruction and drilling that you can stay for.  Can’t actually attend class today because of a surprise commitment?    Do some drills at your house to keep your body in the jiu-jitsu mode.  Can’t train because of injury? Use the time to get smarter.  Attend class and take copious notes.  Stay engaged with your teammates and talk about what they’re learning to keep your brain active.  Watch instructionals and competition footage to stay engaged.  If the injury is not too bad, do some safe limited drilling or light training.

Be present. When you arrive at the academy, leave everything at the door and focus on training.  Nothing matters once you walk through those doors and step on those mats.  Take a few deep breaths, begin moving your body in the warm up, and let yourself get lost in the instruction.  By being in the moment, you will maximize your experience and take the most out of the class.

Train the entire time. If you can only train for a specific amount of time – i.e. 30 or 60 minutes – train the entire time.  Many people train a round of 5 minutes and then spend a round talking to their peers.  Inherently, there is nothing wrong with that. However, if you are trying to maximize your time, stay on task as much as humanly possible.

Be proud of the amount of training time you put in.  Never forget that you are engaging in an activity that challenges one on so many levels that most people would never want to do it.  Never get down on yourself if you are limited to 1 or 2 training sessions a week.  Only get down on yourself if you have availability and haven’t committed to getting the most of your training and you find yourself skipping training too easily.  Assess your goals, look at your time management, and work to squeeze the most value out of your 24 hours that you can in a day.

You can follow Professor DeBlass here on Facebook.



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