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Mental Shifts for better training and skill development.

How do I get better? Where do I start? Why is this not working?


Jiu Jitsu is different for everybody and every body. The physical nature of Jiu Jitsu creates an abundance of technical issues that are solved with physical maneuvers, techniques, and adaptations. However most of your plateaus will be overcome by training how you think about training. Below are a few options to help you improve your training, hurdle plateaus, and develop the skills you want.



Small wins. If your sole focus in the training room is to beat John or Mary then you are losing potential large gaps in growth. Focus on small wins and objectives. Say you didn't sleep well the night before, had a crap day at work, or any other state that may impact a good performance and beating John or Mary isn't possible. Do you just lose or do you find a way to get something out of the session? Maybe Mary always passes your guard. A good small win to get would be to maintain guard a little longer. Maybe you and John are neck and neck always. A good small win would be to prevent a submission. I can't tell you exactly what your small win or objective should be without speaking with you directly. But one I just spoke to two different students about was breathing. Don't quit when you're too tired to "win" the round. Most of the benefit of Jiu Jitsu is gained while training tired (in my opinion). I told them to focus on their breath. One of them I told to try to maintain their breathe frequency throughout the round. If they can even come close to that it's a win. They walk away from that round with a feeling of growth and satisfaction instead of failure and disappointment. My small win with my coach is to establish a guard. He's so much better than me that establishing a guard and trying an attack before he passes is a win for me.


Effort. As a coach I can show you technical solutions to your troubles on the mat. I can help on the mental side of Jiu Jitsu and with strategies. I can help with most things but I can't control your effort level. Only you the student can. I'm not asking you to try and roll like your life depends on it, potentially hurting teammates. I am asking that, if you want to get better or start better, you put forth effort in and after class. Don't skip the warm up. Don't stop drilling once you think you have it and stare at the wall waiting for others to finish. If you're doing shrimps for the 1000th time, do them well and with vigor. Put in the effort and you will reap the benefit.


Observe don't perceive. This may seem a little deep for a Jiu Jitsu gym from St Mary's County's blog but it is necessary. To observe is to look at something absent of ego, and absent your identity. That's my interpretation and use of the word for this point anyways. To perceive is to look at something with your opinion, identity, and ego attached. When I see a white belt sweep, pass, or sub a blue belt I am observing the situation. I am not casting judgement. I am looking objectively at the situation. I encourage all students to do this. If I'm a white belt and I sub a blue belt I should feel good. Not that I beat this person but that I did a technique correctly. It's positive feed back, and it's my job to take that feedback and to use it to improve my technique more. If I'm the blue belt that got subbed I should observe it as feedback and make my necessary adjustments to prevent it from happening again. If we allow our egos to take over in this situation growth will halt for everyone. The successful white belt stops looking for ways to improve their sub because it's already beating blue belts. The blue belt doesn't grow because the next round they roll hard and their A game crushes said white belt, never truly understanding why they got submitted. When I observe the situation I can see what actually happened and how I can improve it. When I perceive the situation I see that ( insert whiney voice) I only tapped to the white belt because I let them get a good position and they were trying way harder. ** This is a hypothetical situation used to help give an example. Although I've seen this play out thousands of times across a ton of gyms**


I'll stop here for this one. I'll add others here or on another post.


Just remember Ego is the Enemy, look for small wins, put in the effort to get the result you want.


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