Do you want to make progress in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu? Then you need to ask questions. For, the road to improvement is paved with asking your instructor (and your training partners) how to do things better.
Dean Lister, one of the best grapplers in history, has done it himself. Here’s what he had to say in an interview for BJJ Eastern Europe, in which he shared ways to improve at a faster rate:
I was never too shy to ask questions about things… I’m sure this was frustrating to others at times when I was young… So, I would have thought and asked: „Why is this way better? Who thought it is? Is there a better way to do it for me?“
He also emphasized the importance of having some perspective in mind:
Perspective is very important. For example, before Jiu Jitsu I was competing in Sambo and before that in Wrestling. While Jiu Jitsu is my home, I definitely know that Sambo and Wrestling have both helped me achieve my goals – in a similar fashion that learning more than one language can help much in life. It gives you a different perspective on things.
In more concrete terms on making progress with your techniques, Dean pinpointed positional sparring:
One of the best tips that I have for leglocks or other submissions is to do much more positional sparring. This is so that you can take a chance, and if you make a mistake then you can simply restart. This will help with your confidence.
For example, let’s say that I am starting on top with open guard – if I pass, then good, I will restart. If I get a leglock, good, I shall restart. If I fall over and lose the leglock, ok – restart, if I am swept, well, okay, let’s restart… This is how much training repetition should be done in order to develop skills.
Make sure to read the rest of our interview with Dean Lister here.