In jiu jitsu there are both the individual and the collective side to the sport. And no matter how you slice it you can’t really put one aside.
Many instructors have their curriculum set around a certain playstyle they believe to be effective or they’re just especially proficient in it – but in order to fulfill your maximum potential you have to do your homework essentially.
When looking at techniques there are not many absolute truths out there in fact some even go as far to say there’s no perfect technique, there’s just technique that works for you. No matter how good the class or the instructor we all have to adapt- adapt to our own capabilities and potentials as well as to find a response to those we’re faced with.
This means you have to go off on your own personal tangents and simply research thoroughly and collect as much data as you can about those techniques that fit into your scheme and or you’re especially attracted to them. You can check out one very interesting example of a mind map here.
While you may be tempted to identify with absolutes it’s a big truth that it takes forever to get a bjj black belt. A lot of this is due to the fact that you have to find your own solutions and build your own sort of network – mind map. And of course as you get more proficient the map tree gets more branches and more polishes are added. And as you develop your A game several parallel plans will emerge – each contributing to your personal growth.
So naturally the question arises – how can I speed up my own personal growth?
The simplest and cheapest way to do this is to really think things through and to have a sort of a journal. Many details and polishes get lost in between many classes, seminar and even online resources .
Neat and proactive notes can go a long way in getting you where you need to be in terms of skill. Along the way details get lost, many techniques get completely forgotten. Depending on your own personal goals you may keep notes just in as how they relate to what you already know and use or you can be studios in your approach and sort of make your own mini encyclopedia.
Also when looking at online resources it helps a lot if you’re able to estimate and appreciate the quality of a resource. While many top level athletes have instructional they sometimes approach it like their class – you get a certain technique but they don’t really deconstruct how they use it in live competitive situations. This is why I personally always try to find many instances of where an athlete will use the technique he’s showing in live rolling and ideally competition scenario. While the essential instructional will give you brute guidelines as to key principles seeing it applied can often help you deduce other key details that could end up making this technique your personal secret weapon.
Another relevant aspect is thought. We all enjoy rolling and can sometimes goof off endlessly, especially with those closest to us. But it’s incredibly important to work on the psychological aspect of the battle as well. It’s about more things than pure technique choice. It’s about combining them in such a way that you also get the desired effect from the other side – in terms of getting a desired reaction of them both literally and or mentally but also to truly dominate you have to be capable to psychologically overwhelm the person – for some this is a part of the smash tactic while others will float like a butterfly never letting you even get close to compromising them utterly disarming you psychologically.
Of course there’s a great many deal of other things you can also do to improve including investing into private classes, seminars, road trips, camps etc but just these essential 3 ways- each have a great deal of impact because it’s not costly to apply them daily and it will help take your game to the next level.