Sure, sure – we all know the usual answer to this question: „Look, just keep training on a consistent basis, put your heart and mind into it. That is the fastest way to become better.“
And of course, this is common sense. And yes, being consistent will get you further and faster down the road of BJJ than not coming to training ever could. But, let’s be honest: we’d all like to „have that something“, that shortcut that’d make us better at a faster rate than our teammates.
So, then let’s look at three things a jiujitero can do in order to become better in BJJ, faster.
1) Have a defined goal. By creating a specific goal in front of himself/herself, a BJJ practitioner will achieve success more easily.
This is predominantly because, by having defined a newly defined goal, success has now become something tangible. It has become something that has an actual look to it, rather then being an undefined ideal to aim at.
So, a jiujitero should define a goal and set a deadline or a time period in which he’d like to achieve it. It always helps, too, to have a way to achieve this goal on regular basis.
For example, instead of trying to get „really good“ at the straight ankle lock game by the end of this year, he should tell himself that: „I will attempt more than 10 straight ankle locks on each rolling session until the end of this year, and I will try to make those attempts as high percentage as possible until the end of this year.“
This kind of a setup makes for a specific, concrete approach for improvement, which will make every BJJ practitioner progress at a much faster rate.
2) Take notes. The saying „what is written down is remembered“ is especially true in an environment where there is a lot of stuff happening and changing constantly. And BJJ is perhaps one of the toughest continually changing environments there are.
So it helps out to write down what happened during training. Which details were shown for each position? What could be done better in the next rolling session, considering the mistakes made in this one? Which little snippet of insight from tonight’s training proved to be the most beneficial during rolling in later rounds?
By making oneself write down all the important aspects of each training session, a jiujitero forces himself to pay more attention during classes; both when looking at and listening to the instructor’s instructions, as well as when rolling with teammates.
This leads to retaining more knowledge, which amounts to a larger capability to make faster progress.
3) Go for the 1 on 1 class every now and then. Sure, it might cost a little bit of money, but it also might be the best thing to do if a jiujitero wants faster progress.
By choosing an instructor that he/she can trust, the BJJ practitioner will be able to obtain a much better understanding of his game and ways to improve it.
This is especially true if the instructor in question is the same one from their Academy, who has been looking at them roll, throughout a longer period of time. This instructor will have seen where they need improvement the most and will thus be able to point them into that direction, while showing them how to execute the necessary concepts and techniques properly.
To make the most out of these steps, incorporate each of them one at a time. You’ll be amazed by how much faster you’ll improve.