What are you doing to improve outside of class?
I have wanted to blog about this for awhile now. In the beginning of your journey through Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), I encourage white belts to just listen to their instructor. Any good instructor should have a solid curriculum in place to bring you to bluebelt.
Many times at the whitebelt level, watching extra videos or YouTube can be detrimental to improvement. But once you are at bluebelt or a higher rank, you should be watching video to improve. You can start by watching out YouTube page. But keep in mind, you should be studying to ADD TO YOUR INSTRUCTOR’S CURRICULUM, NOT IN PLACE OF IT.
You must ask yourself these questions:
- What am I doing outside of training?
- Watching film?
- Reading books?
- Am I breaking down my game as to what is working and what isn’t?
- Breaking down stuff to make it mine or to fit into my game?
- Do I try new things?
- Working on my weaknesses?
- Consistent in my training?
- Staying after class and drilling or am I getting in extra training?
- Keeping a book?
- Mentally drilling?
- Listening to my instructor?
If you want to have a lot of tools in your toolbox, if you want to be the best, you have to spend the time to do it. When the coaches are done teaching and when you’ve left class, how do you spend your time? I tell my students constantly that you are only as good as your worst position. Work not just your strengths but your weaknesses as well. Weaknesses can be improved through extra work outside of the academy.
Having goals are also important. Like the saying goes “A goal is a dream with a deadline.” Make yourself accountable. I make my students write up a set of goals at the beginning of every year and I do year end evaluations with everyone. Most people surpass their goals if they put in the effort. If you are doing everything I listed in the bullet points above, I can almost guarantee your success. If not, you must look yourself in the mirror and know you are to blame.
Everyone learns at their own pace but these tips can speed up the process through some extra work. There is always someone who is bigger, stronger and more athletic that you. Putting in your homework is what evens this out. See you on the mat.
Professor Chris Savarese