Is it a cliche to make a New Year’s BJJ resolution? I’m going to say no as the first of January is the symbolic fresh start in our lives and you may as well get started right after reading this article.
Most of us have some training goals for things we want to improve in our jiu-jitsu. Those goals can be highly individual and specific to your game and experience level.
I’m talking more about some general things that the majority of jiu-jitsu guys would benefit from but all too commonly neglect.
Here is the thing: these are all easy to do.
Here are three things you can resolve to do more of in 2018.
1) Stretching and mobility work
Is there anyone here (assuming that you are not a part time yoga instructor) who is perfectly satisfied with the amount of stretching they do weekly? I bet not.
Truth is that most BJJ classes just don’t have enough time to adequately stretch all of the important muscles and joints in the warm up.
Yes, you could join a yoga class a few sessions a week, but realistically most of us are challenged enough for time. The easiest thing would be to show up to class a few minutes early — or even better yet at the end of class — and perform your own mobility routine. There are abundant resources (check out Steve Maxwell) to give you some ideas.
Now you just need to make sure you do it.
2) Focused drilling
When you drill, do you do five reps then pause to discuss a detail, three more reps before you stop again to talk about how Andre Galvao likes to do a different variation, three more reps, and then digress to a different move that you just saw on YouTube?
What would be the cumulative effect over the next year if you wordlessly busted out 30-50 reps of a technique you want to sharpen before class starts or at the end of class? No talking, no joking around. Reps.
For most BJJ students, this (save for #3) is the most neglected part of training that they know they should do. You promise yourself that you will drill your sweep but as soon as someone invites you for a roll, you forget your drilling plan.
Getting a regular drilling partner who buys into your shared plan is super helpful.
3) Start some matches standing
Very seldom do I go to a BJJ school where the rolls start standing. I understand about safety and limited mat space.
But if you never start any training from standing, you are like a BJJ guy who never actually rolls against a resisting opponent. Get my point?
If you don’t start at least some rolls standing, you will feel like you are in foreign territory when tournament time comes or — heaven forbid — in a real life altercation.
Ok, you aren’t interested in full on judo matches. A simple, doable suggestion is to just start some rolls from standing. Do a little grip fighting, move around, try your best takedown and if you must, pull guard. But do some stand-up grappling on a regular basis.
What small change do you resolve to make as we start 2018?