For the BJJ in a Year challenge I have set the goal of getting as good as possible in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in just on year. To do that I will be aiming to maximise the equation:
Good Practice x Lots of Hours = Success
But what is the best way to do that? Here is my plan of attack based on the principles we developed during the original challenge:
Lots of Hours:
- Turn it into a thing. I don’t just have the abstract desire to get good, instead I’m setting it up as a one year challenge and telling everyone about it. My first goal is to place at the English Open on the 27 November. By doing this I achieve two things.: I have a end point in mind so that when it gets tough and I get demoralised I can set my eyes on that finish line. It doesn’t mean that I need to stop after a year, but it means I won’t stop before then. Secondly, now that I’ve told everyone about it it would be way too embarrassing to give up!
- Don’t break the chain. I’m going to train everyday. I know that’s not really practical but given that rest days create themselves. Check out my live timetable to see how I’m getting on.
- Be selfish and make sacrifices. There are too many good excuses for not training. In order to fit in training everday and working full time, sacrifices will need to be made.
- Make it as easy as possible. I have joined a gym that has classes everyday of the week and is easy to get to from my house. It’s more expensive than most of the other MMA gyms in the area but it is very easy.
- Train when not training. ‘Mat time’ is what I am counting as training time for my timetable, but there is only so much of that I can do. A lot of the research shows that visualisation and watching good quality practitioners is a very powerful training so whenever I have empty time, such as during a commute, I will try and spend it ‘training’.
- Master the fundamentals. There are thousands of ‘moves’ in BJJ . To quote Bruce Lee: “I fear not the man who has practised 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who had practised one kick 10,000 times.” Once I learn what the fundamentals are, I will use the seven steps to master them. I will only consider myself proficient in the fundamentals when I can ‘perform them very well, at speed, under fatigue and under pressure consistently in competition conditions’.
- Analyse myself. I will be recording and watching back my training, both to get a better understanding of how my movements look in real life compared to how I think they look in my head, but also to analyse what I should have done in each situation.
- Find an a coach/expert to teach me. The gym I have joined, Urban Kings, has coached daily sessions run by experts. As I progress I will start hunting out more personal tuition.
- Find a community. Everything is more fun when you have friends doing it with you. The gym is very social but on top of that I’m trying to convince some friends to join me on the challenge.
- Overcome the fear of looking stupid. There’s a saying in BJJ, “leave your ego at the door”. Most people take that to mean you should tap early and not be afraid of losing, which is true but I think that it also means trying new things and not worrying about losing to people who you should be beating.