It’s so, so easy to get accustomed to the “pedal to the metal” pace in Jiu-Jitsu. To roll to the point of exhaustion every time you have an opportunity and to just go from move to move on an “instinctual” basis.
However, that’s a big no-no if you want to get better. Instead, you should stop for a second… Breathe – and plot your very next move before you go for it.
Professor John Danaher explains why this is the case:
One of the most useful abilities to develop in Jiu-Jitsu is that of temporarily STOPPING THE ACTION and taking a short break. This gives you the ability to PLOT THE NEXT MOVE.
It can be difficult to make constructive progress if you’re just always in high gear hustling after a opponent. You can burn a lot of energy and have nothing to show for it.
Often you do better by using a pattern where you apply a short intense burst of energy to attain a position; that allows you to take a short breather whilst exercising sufficient control to retain that position. Then, figuring out your next stop, working hard to attain that new resting point… And continuing this pattern until the job is done.
If you notice yourself burning out, get to a position you’re aiming for and then feel free to rest for a bit, so that you can plot what to go for next:
If your heart is racing and lungs burning… Keep working to get a holding position and then take a break. While you and your opponent take a short reprieve, your body rests but your mind is still working – figuring out the next pit stop. And then going back to physical work.
Work like this, and you can grapple a long time and make consistent forward progress.
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