In order to become a great competitor, you have to be dedicated to your craft. The sport of BJJ is growing very fast and the level of competition is only getting better. To be a great Jiu-jitsu fighter you have to focus on many pieces. Compromising is part of the BJJ lifestyle. Only you know what you have to do in order to achieve the five strategies I am about to share. These strategies will make you a better Jiu-jitsu competitor
Being an intelligent jiu-jitsu fighter starts away from the mats. For example, ask yourself this. Do you study videos of your matches? Do you learn from your mistakes? Do you ever analyze and write things down? Studying videos of different opponents will make you see the holes in their game. Most athletes have a particular style and favorite techniques they like to use. Another reason to study videos of your matches is so you can make changes in your own game. Your style might also resemble someone that you idolize or appreciate watching. Seeing what works for them might open a door for you that you may want to explore. Some higher ranks have a notebook and write down what they do in a given training session. You could adapt that as well. Keep track of techniques that you do in training and are successful. Write down errors so you do not repeat them or those scenarios where you think ‘’man I should have done that!’’ Lastly, try to analyze different situations during live training. This will teach your brain to slow things down Smart athletes maintain their weight with good nutrition. Doing so makes weight cuts easier. Your recovery and performance are also dependent on your nutrition. Quality food and enough of it will boost both.
If you are one of those people that does whatever they feel like without a plan then you are not training smart. Training smart means creating a plan in advance that outlines your training every day. When you try to do too much of a good thing it can hurt you. For example, isolating muscle groups when lifting weights. Killing yourself at the gym lifting weights without a plan or goal. These will negatively affect your recovery and BJJ game. Another one is gaining a lot of muscle mass without being able to use it to your advantage for performance. A program that does not supplement or improve your Jiu-jitsu is not a smart one. The other side of the spectrum is avoiding strength training. Strength is a base for all other attributes like power and endurance. If you want to improve the above you will need to build a great strength base. Doing too much cardio when you already have that box checked is another way to hurt your progress. Endurance work will help your BJJ, but only in the right dose. Smart athletes maintain their weight with good nutrition. Doing so makes weight cuts easier. Not to mention that your recovery and performance are also dependent on your nutrition. Quality food and enough of it will boost both.
Rafael Mendes, arguably one of the best jiu-jitsu fighters has one of the highest submission rate percentages in BJJ. Improving your submission game will make you more dangerous. Points are a great way to win, but nothing tops a submission finish. It is clean and fast, well maybe sometimes not so clean. A way to do this is by not being lazy if you get a submission opportunity in training. Always finish your submissions in training and if you can’t, figure out why that is. Most of the time people forget to pay attention to details. Small details make all the difference. A good strategy is to break down the submission into different parts and polish it up.
Repetition is king. It takes ten thousand hours to master a technique. Mastering a technique means that you can do it without thinking. You also have to have the mastery to pull it off in competition. Repetition and drills go hand in hand. Drills are a way to make repetition more enjoyable. The great thing about drills is that you can use them for different goals. Whether it is to train submissions, endurance, or just working on getting techniques down. One way is to create a drill and then through repetition achieve what it is you set out to do. A reason to set a goal first is to make sure that you are focusing on things that are important and you are not just creating bad habits. Learning new techniques does not make you better. Repetition of the skills that you already possess is what makes you better. There will be a time and place when you can add new techniques, but then guess what? You still have to master them through repetition.
Jiu-jitsu lifestyle is a balancing act. Finding these strategies useful and applying them will require compromise. If you decide to test them be committed. Dial in your nutrition, create a training plan, work on submissions, and practice repetition. Always remain a student of the game. Most of all enjoy the process and have fun!