What Should I Do To Remember Techniques?

Reader Question: What should we do to remember the techniques?

Jiu-Jitsu Times: This is a surprisingly common problem in first-year students of BJJ.

Since there are hundreds of different techniques in jiu-jitsu, perhaps it should not be surprising? By comparison, boxing or Muay Thai have relatively few separate techniques and the complexity comes from combinations and the application of those jabs and low kicks.

The students of BJJ I see that tend to retain information the most do the following:

1) They go home and watch YouTube after class.

YouTube BJJ gets a bad rap from many, but it can also be valuable for researching and remembering. Most of the more serious students I see will learn a hip bump sweep in class and then go home and search for it on YouTube. Knowing the common names for the move helps!

Immediately after class, they are reminding themselves of the key details and affording themselves the opportunity to stand back and see the move from a different perspective. You can save the video and have a reference library of your favorite techniques.

2) Take notes.

I encouraged some students to install Evernote on their smart phone and take some notes during breaks in private lessons. Yes, they review the notes later as a reminder, but that is not the primary benefit of note taking.

Knowing that you will be taking notes later will make you observe in a different way while watching the techniques, and you will organize the information differently in your mind. You will take more pains to remember the key movements and points.

All of my students are note takers now!

A great quote is, “Your mind is designed for having great ideas..not for storing them.”

Use note taking.

3) Drill to reinforce.

It is one thing to see a cool move in class and it is entirely another to be able to recall it the following session.

This is where drilling is critical. After seeing a move, you must repeat it within a certain window of time in order to remember it.

When you see a move that you really like, I recommend drilling it at the end of class or even better, when you have free mat time the very next class. The ability to remember after repeating two consecutive classes will be significant!

What are your tricks to remember all of your techniques?


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