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Improving Jiu Jitsu off the mat

Everyday we are on the mats doing Jiu Jitsu in St. Mary's County we are improving. A saying we use a lot while training is "One More Rep". It's a simple but effective tool in improving your BJJ on the mat, as well as your mindset. While that gets us better on the mat, I get asked all the time "what can I do to get better outside of class." Note taking is the answer.

BJJ in Leonardtown

Improving at Bjj in St.Mary's County MD

We focus deeply on skill development practices during class. Each session has been designed to take each every student to the next level. Every student has the ability to improve their own skill level off the mat through note taking. It sounds boring, and if you aren't motivated it can be. But if your goal is to get better then this is definitely a step to take.


Note taking in class isn't always possible, although I did it as a white and blue belt, everyone can do it after. Best part is it only takes minutes but those minutes can reap so many benefits.


Strategies for Successful Note Taking for BJJ

This exercise can be approached in many different ways, but I will be explaining the strategies that I have had the most success with. I'll also display a few pictures from my personal notes ( some quite embarrassing haha.)


Method #1: General story telling Note Taking

This process is simple but can be time consuming. It works due to the need to visualize each technique you are trying to write about. This method is done by listing the techniques name and under it going into detail about everything to make the technique work. Example below

"Hip Bump Sweep:

Starting in Closed Guard break opponents posture down by bringing knees to my chest and hold them down with both arms. As my opponent works hard to posture up I let go and let them posture up (ideally hard.) As they posture I need to follow them up (using their momentum) and unlocking my legs. As I come up I chose a side to attack, and that side I place my hand to that side (close to my hips) and the other hand goes over my opponents shoulder (cross side) grabbing their arm at the elbow and pulling it tight to my body (to prevent their post). At this moment I am pushing off my far leg elevating my hips and twisting. Ultimately hitting them in their chest and sweeping them....."


As I mentioned above this can be time consuming and tiresome but never the less incredibly effective.


Method #2: Bullets Note Taking

Hip Bump Sweep:

  • Start in Closed Guard

  • Break posture using legs

  • Keep posture broken with arms

  • Allow opponent up

  • Follow them up, basing hand by hip

  • Other arm reaches over and traps the arm I'm sweeping toward

  • Unlock legs, raise hips, twist

  • Maintain mount with Grapevines

Method #3: Mind Mapping

Hip Bump Sweep:

Hip bump can be used to sweep opponent to mount. If failed there is the ability for a Kimura submission, Guillotine submission, or even a Omoplata submission/sweep.


For this method you would demonstrate that with a visual display. Imagine a circle with "hip bump" in it. From there you can draw a line and create another circle with the other submissions. This method allows us to see what other options are from each attack or defense. Granted it is a more advances method of taking notes but it will help you improve greatly when you are ready for it.


Photo examples coming soon!



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