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Jiu-jitsu is a martial art that requires dedication, discipline, and a willingness to continuously improve. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced practitioner, there are always ways to enhance your skills on the mat. In this article, we will explore three powerful strategies that can accelerate your jiu-jitsu improvement. From cultivating training partners to drilling techniques and asking questions, these approaches will help you maximize your time and efforts in the club.
1. Make friends with Training Partners, new or old
One of the most influential factors in your jiu-jitsu journey is the quality of your training partners. While having a proficient black belt professor is crucial, surrounding yourself with good training partners can significantly impact your progress. In larger, established jiu-jitsu schools, you’ll likely find a multitude of advanced belts to work with. However, in smaller or newer academies, it’s essential to actively build those training relationships.
To cultivate training partners:
- Be the first to welcome new students and make them feel included in the Jiu-Jitsu community.
- Develop a helpful attitude and share your knowledge with newer students, assisting them in solving any problems they may encounter.
When training with more experienced partners, take the initiative to arrange specific training times together. By discussing the aspects of your jiu-jitsu game that you both want to improve, you can create a plan to support each other’s growth. This collaborative approach fosters a positive training environment and allows for targeted skill development.
2. Drill the Techniques you want to use
The best jiu-jitsu students understand the value of drilling techniques outside of regular class time. Partnering up with a like-minded training companion can be a game-changer in your progress. Arriving early or staying a little later to focus on drilling techniques that you wish to improve can make a significant difference in your overall skill level.
I recall witnessing blue- and purple-belt practitioners who took the initiative to coordinate their drilling sessions. They utilized any available open mat time to work on specific positions or techniques. Their dedication to extra drilling outside of regular class hours translated into remarkable technical prowess and success in competitions.
You can adopt this approach too. By partnering with someone who shares your goals and committing to regular drilling sessions, you can refine your technique and gain a deeper understanding of the positions you wish to improve.
3. Ask Questions, Ask a lot
Asking questions and seeking feedback is an often overlooked but powerful tool for personal growth in jiu-jitsu. Many students feel hesitant or shy about approaching their instructors with doubts or problems they encounter during rolling. However, by taking the initiative to address these challenges, you can unlock valuable insights and solutions to advance your game.
Reflect on your recent rolling sessions and identify areas where you faced difficulties. Did you repeatedly get swept by a specific technique? Was your guard passed consistently, or were you frequently submitted? Take these challenges to your instructor and ask for guidance. For example, you can approach your instructor and say, “During the last class, I attempted to pass the guard using the knee cut, but I kept getting my back taken. Could you help me identify what I might be doing wrong?”
By actively seeking feedback and addressing your weaknesses, you can build your jiu-jitsu game brick by brick. Your instructor’s guidance and insights will enable you to overcome obstacles and develop targeted strategies to improve your performance on the mat.
More Tips to improve you Jiu-Jitsu
In addition to the three strategies mentioned above, here are a few more tips to further enhance your jiu-jitsu improvement:
- Consistency is key: Regular attendance in class is paramount. No amount of theoretical knowledge gained from watching videos can substitute for actual mat time.
- Stay open-minded: Embrace different styles and approaches to jiu-jitsu. Attend seminars and workshops to learn from a variety of instructors and practitioners.
- Study and Visualize: Supplement your training by studying jiu-jitsu theory and watching instructional videos. Visualizing techniques and scenarios can enhance your understanding and execution.
- Cross-Train: Explore other martial arts or physical activities that complement your jiu-jitsu training. This can improve your overall athleticism and provide fresh perspectives.
- Condition Your Body: Engage in strength and conditioning exercises tailored to jiu-jitsu to improve your physical attributes and endurance on the mat.
- Compete: Participating in competitions can challenge you mentally and physically, accelerating your growth and providing valuable feedback on your progress.