Taking notes during BJJ class
One thing we really encourage at Savarese BJJ is taking notes during BJJ class. People usually learn more visually but sometimes taking notes, in your own words, can trigger something that will help you remember. Often I am often asked is whether it is beneficial to take notes after Jiu-Jitsu training sessions. My experience is that there is one common goal for all students – the ability to retain and access learned information under the stress of sparring/competition. However, different people have different ways of accomplishing that common goal and no one method appears to outperform the others. For example, I used to take private lessons w/ the great John Danaher w/ a group of 4 guys that are all blackbelts and school owners/instructors now. Joe D’arce never took a note in his life, he had a uncanny ability to remember everything. Myself and others were prolific note takers to the point where the legend Renzo Gracie would joke as he walked by or joined by saying “school is in session!” in a way only he could. . All of us were able to retain information successfully despite the polar opposite approach with regards notes. What I generally find is that people from an academic background are used to the idea of note taking already and adapt it well to Jiu-Jitsu study. Those who are not, don’t. Just do what you’re comfortable with. Experiment with both and see if there is a difference in your retention performance, but don’t feel you HAVE to take notes. If you do choose to take notes, focus on writing down what was new and interesting in that session rather than every detail. Remember that our memory has limits so don’t overstock on detail that aren’t essential. So if you’ve never taken notes, give it a try, but if you don’t feel any retention benefits don’t feel you have to do it or that you are at a disadvantage, you are in good company because most champions don’t take notes either. But if you feel like it does help (as it probably did when you were in college), then stick with it. Do it with a focus on what was new and important for that day rather than a record of everything that happened. I definitely recommend taking notes at seminars because those hours are crammed w/ more info than the normal BJJ class.