No, no, no. You don’t need to write notes about your training into your BJJ journal. It isn’t something that’s absolutely necessary. Because, truth be told, writing notes can take quite a bit of time… However, in turn, it’ll skyrocket your Jiu Jitsu!
So, if you’re up for the challenge, then you should follow this 5 step method to writing into your BJJ journal.
1) START WRITING AS SOON AS YOU’RE BACK FROM TRAINING
You know how, sometimes, you have really vivid dreams? The moment you wake up, you’re mesmerized by them; they leave such a huge impression on you, that you’re convinced that you’ll remember them for a lifetime.
But guess what? By the time it’s lunch time, you’ve forgotten most of the dream. And by the next day, you remember the most important parts (if that).
Your memory isn’t as good as you’d like it to be. So, in a similar way, you’ll forget the vast majority of what you’ve been shown at training quite soon after you’re done with it.
Therefore, don’t wait for too long to start writing your notes. Do it immediately, or as soon after training as you can.
This way, you’ll make sure that you’ve written down the most amount of details possible.
2) WRITE DOWN TECHNIQUES
The second, or the first concrete step to writing into your BJJ journal, is that you should write down techniques that you were shown in class, describing them into as much detail as possible.
As previously mentioned, this can take up quite a bit of your time, but it doesn’t have to. In simple terms: the more that you want to become better, the more of details should you write.
Secondly, it’s important to figure out a „system“ that will make technique note-taking (and for returning to them later) more intuitive to you. For example, you can divide it into sections based on positions (Closed Guard, Open Guard, Mount, Back, etc.). You could also draw diagrams or illustrations, if that makes more sense for you.
The most important thing is to figure out a style which makes technique writing and memorization easier for you. Experiment.
3) WRITE DOWN CONCEPTS
This is an especially challenging step, as it requires of you to think more deeply about the techniques which were shown. Here, you’re supposed to take a deep look into the taught techniques, and think if there are any concepts and principles which lay behind them.
That is, are there any commonalities that all of these techniques possess? What are the most important things that make this/these technique(s) work? Can these insights be transferred onto other techniques and setups as well… And how?
By doing this, you’ll develop a better „feel“ for BJJ as a system. This will prove to be vital as you keep progressing onward.
4) YOUR FAILURES
Now comes perhaps the shortest, but a difficult part nonetheless – you need to be writing about your failures in training.
This can mean the things you failed while drilling techniques, but it can also mean your failures during the rolling part of training. It’s important that you’re brutally honest with yourself; every single mistake you made, write it down. And then, write down how you could’ve done it better.
5) GO OVER IT AGAIN
And finally, you wouldn’t read something once, and expect yourself to remember it well – right? It’s vital that you come back to what you wrote, from time to time, and re-read it again. Do it on a regular basis. This way, you’ll remember everything with much better quality, and will – therefore – be able to use it on the mats.