One of the most common questions asked in the academy is usually how often do you train? This is one of those topics where people can fall in a wide array of categories, from the avid competitor who trains 2x a day down to the injured guy or business men who are only able to train once or twice a week. I believe we all share one thing in common on the subject though. We all “wish” we could train more. So how much should someone train? While we all have different goals in Jiu Jitsu, I believe we all share one goal…black belt. I know some people say they don’t chase belts and neither do I. On the other hand though we all know dam well that becoming a black belt is one of our goals. This is probably the one goal we can all share. I think we can also agree that most people would like to get their Black Belt in 10 years. Although this is not possible for everyone it is a good starting point for defining how much someone should train. So far we know that most people would like to reach Black Belt in 10 years. So what is required to do that?
A good place to start is with what’s known as the “ten thousand hour rule”. This rule states that in order to become an expert on a subject it will take about ten thousand hours of practice, or roughly a full time job for 5 years. Obviously this is extreme as we would see very few black belts as experts under this guise. But, in all honesty black belts still learn a massive amount after receiving it. So maybe an expert in Jiu-Jitsu is more like a Coral-Belt ? This is not to say that black belts are not experts because they are, but not in the same degree that this rule explains.So if we want to achieve black belt in 10 years, and the “IBJJF guide” states that it is about 30 years from black belt to the coral belt; this means that in general Jiu-Jitsu is about a 40 year journey to become an expert under the 10k hour rule. So if we then divide the 10k hrs/4 (because ten years to black is ¼ the way to coral) we then end up with about 2500 hours to get a black belt. However the rule only states that we need 10k hours of practice not 10k hours of class or rolling. In Jiu-Jitsu we spend a massive amount of time in our social lives watching videos, talking about moves with other practitioners and just thinking about Jiu-Jitsu in general. So let’s be reasonable and state that 500hrs will be spend on Jiu Jitsu studying outside the mat, and now we are left with 2000hrs.
And now that we have a good base to show that it is about 2000hrs I want to take this a step further. Most classes are not as useful if you do not roll. So in general a class is actually about an hour and a half. For this reason let’s just say it is a bare minimum of 2k actual classes with live rolling afterword+atleast 500 extra hours spent off of the mat. So now if we subtract holidays and other life events that may get in the way here and there, we can probably subtract about a month of actual time from each year in total. Under all of these stipulations we end up with this formula
Now we get our final equation which is 2000=440X — 2000/440= X
X=4.54 (Lets Round this up to an Even five )
This states that in order to get your black belt in 10 years you need to train at least 5 days a week !
This actually makes a good amount of sense from everything I have learned in my training. Obviously this is just a general guide, but it is interesting non-the less. What do you think about the subject?