If you’re a white belt – whether you’re fresh out of your second class or if you’ve already spent some time on the mats – chances are that you can’t wait to get your blue belt. And rightfully so; even though you shouldn’t judge your progress solely by your belt level, the blue belt is a big achievement nevertheless!
Here are some of the things that you can do in order to achieve your blue belt rank faster.
CHOOSE THE TECHNIQUES AND DRILL!
One of the things you can do is to choose a set of techniques for each BJJ position, and then focus on getting as proficient in them as possible.
What this means is that you’ll figure out 2 to 4 techniques that you want to be good at when you play your takedown game, your Side Control defense and Side Control submission game, your Mount defense and attacks… And then practice them as much as you can, building a solid arsenal of techniques by doing so.
Visit your gym a bit earlier with a teammate or two – maybe half an hour or an hour before your training starts – if that’s fine with your instructors, and get in additional reps for the techniques you chose!
Try to set a number of repetitions that you want to hit; 50, 100, 200 even! Depends on the technique, just make sure that you get those numbers in.
PAY ATTENTION, ASK YOUR PROFESSOR AND CONTINUE PRACTICING
While your coach is showing the techniques, pay attention to them and try to figure out if everything is clear to you. Ask yourself: „Do I really understand the way this technique is being done? If not, what am I missing?“
Once you figure out what the missing piece may be, ask your professor if he can explain it to you; maybe even ask him to stay with you for 10 additional minutes after training, so that you can better understand the stuff he’s shown!
By being more focused and proactive in class, you’ll not only become way better than all those who take the demonstrated techniques for granted – but you’ll also make your coach happier, knowing that he has a student who is really attentive and appreciative of his classes!
Also, make sure to continue practicing those techniques throughout the following training sessions. Don’t just „leave them be“, thinking that because you’ve drilled them on that one class that you’ll be able to do them afterwards.
You’ll find that, if you don’t dedicate yourself to continuous practice of the techniques you’ve learned, you’ll forget them quickly – what a shame!
If your coach has the additional time and you have the resources, ask him for a private lesson every once in a while.
During this private session, you’ll have more time to work on the things you believe you should be working on – and your coach will be able to better notice the missing pieces to your Jiu Jitsu… Which will make your progress nothing less than exponential!
KEEP A JIU JITSU NOTEBOOK
Write stuff down after class. Seriously, can you imagine just how much useful information is lost from your training, simply because you didn’t take the time to review it afterwards?
Don’t let it happen again. Start writing notes on the details of the techniques and principles that you were taught, on the stuff you’ve successfully done when you rolled and the things you could’ve done better.
This will keep your mind more actively engaged during training, as you’ll be on the lookout for the details you can later on write about in your BJJ notebook.
Lastly, take full advantage of Jiu Jitsu instructionals. Whether or not they come in the form of books, or in the form of videos – either Youtube or purchasable ones – matters less than the fact that you can find just about anything about a specific technique or a BJJ approach that’s interesting to you, and learn great tips which you can utilize later on in your training.