Making a mistake here and there is a given in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. You have to make mistakes, because that’s how you actually learn and improve. However, a lot of BJJ students become “afraid” of not doing things properly in training, so they start lagging behind.
Kit Dale explains this issue well:
If you feel stagnant or stuck in your progression, know that it is so common. And a big part of that is not failing enough/making enough errors.
Although Jiu-Jitsu is outside of most practitioners’ comfort zone (which is often the reason we start in the first place), most people also get complacent.
Sticking to what they’ve learnt, being scared that people will think less of them if they’re not winning. It’s survival instincts, really!
The common mistakes that go hand-in-hand with this issue are:
- “Trying to look good” in training, thinking that it determines more than it does.
- Being too scared to take risks and being worried that your training partner (or people watching you) will judge you.
- And the mistake I always come back to: trying to stick to techniques you’ve learnt in class, in the hopes that they’ll work in live rolling.
So, if you want to blast through the plateau, perhaps it’s time to start making mistakes again:
Learning is a trial and error thing! It always has been, since we learnt how to talk, walk, ride a bicycle.
If you’re not using trial and error, you’ll have less errors to learn from. By using trial and error, you’ll automatically get ahead.
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