As your passion for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and knowledge of it, grows – you’ll start asking yourself the following question quite often: “Okay, this is all good… But which technique should I learn next?”
There’s no easy answer to this question. Brian Glick, one of John Danaher‘s top black belts, shares a piece of advice for all those who are struggling to decide their next step:
One question I get asked quite a bit is about how to know what you should pay attention to as a practitioner. How do you know if something is worth your time?
There’s no one good way to determine it; the methods you find successful today will need to change as you evolve and grow. What you need is a set of reliable indicators you can use to sift through the heaps of weak signals that you encounter.
The thing Brian looks for most when deciding on his next technique is the utility it will carry over to the rest of his game… But he doesn’t stop there, either:
When I’m considering whether or not to spend time on a new technique or tactic, I like to think about it in terms of UTILITY. How often do I encounter the problem that this technique solves? If no one’s been tying me up in rubber guard recently, I probably won’t spend a lot of time on studying defending or countering the rubber guard.
Next, how much time and energy do I spend when I encounter the problem? If I spend a lot of time and energy every time I try to open the closed guard, it might make sense to work on how to do it.
And then, how much stress do I experience from this problem? If I get swept with the push sweep but I can follow up with ashi-garami, I might not feel like that’s a problem I need to solve right now.
If you can come up with a good answer for these three questions, you’ll have a fertile area for steady growth.
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