Contrary to what you might believe [FIRST NAME GOES HERE], the hardest thing about Jiu-Jitsu is not “doing”Jiu-Jitsu.
THE hardest part about Jiu-Jitsu is “learning” Jiu-Jitsu.
Any New Skill Presents Its Challenges - It doesn’t matter what new skill you want to learn, there is an optimal way to learn it.
For example, some people learn with their “ears” (“tell” me what you want me to do), while others learn with their “eyes” (“let me see” what you want me to do), and others still learn by “touch” (“let me feel” what you’re wanting me to do).
Many learn through a “combination” of one or more of these modalities.
With some activities, we have to “connect” our mental learning with our body learning, similar to learning a musical instrument.
Now add in physical “stresses,” and you’ll see that learning Jiu-Jitsu is on a whole ‘nother level altogether.
The best learners in Jiu-Jitsu have been able to combine
1) their mental learning with their
2) physical learning with the ability to
3) control their emotions when feeling both physical AND mental stress.
Sound daunting? It is!
But can anyone learn Jiu-Jitsu skills? Most definitely!
The keys to learning Jiu-Jitsu in the most efficient manner must be broken down into steps.
Step 1 - Find A Suitable Curriculum.
Without a curriculum in your hands, what exactly are you learning? If you’re attending a local academy, do they even have a curriculum?
Sadly, most don’t. Many instructors get their ideas for the day from someone else or worse, YouTube.
You can also find suitable curricula online (like at KamaJiuJitsu.com) or in DVD (old school) or streaming format.
Step 2 - Make Sure You Have A Methodology To Learn The Curriculum.
You found a suitable curriculum. Now, how do you go about learning it? Is there an order to learning it?
Do they recommend a “linear,” “circular,” or (worse) a “random” order to progressing through the curriculum?
Do they have “tips and tricks” (or hacks) to learning their curriculum in the most efficient manner?
A good methodology gives you a way to remain disciplined in running through the curriculum.
Step 3 - Is There A Way To Monitor Your Progress Regularly?
No, this step is not simply you being awarded a new color belt or stripes on your belt.
TIME training or in class is NOT an adequate measure of your success, as you might be led to believe (“the most important gauge in your progress is your ‘mat time.’ “).
We have met dozens of practitioners who have years “on the mat” who know less than a properly trained student with only a year under his belt.
If you’ve purchased an online curriculum, make some time to visit the creator of the curriculum to test your progress before attempting to move on to more advanced concepts.
Getting a command of your recent learnings before moving on is of utmost importance.
Step 4 - Do Periodic Reviews Before Going Forward.
Make sure you have a comfort level in what you recently learned (and what you learned months ago) to where you can execute the concepts without much thinking required.
Making these concepts “instinctive” takes time and repetition, but time spent in this step is well worth the time and effort.
Step 5a - Strive to be 1% better today than you were yesterday.
Don’t expect large improvements on a day to day basis. Shoot for small incremental improvements instead.
A simple 1% rate of improvement on every training day will amount to a HUGE improvement over the course of a month, let alone a whole year.
Step 5b - Be patient with yourself.
We all want results “yesterday.” The fact of the matter is that it just doesn’t happen that way. As we commonly say here, “Yesterday you were the nail. Today you were the hammer.
Tomorrow, you’ll be the nail once again.” Bad days are simply a consolidation of all the progress you made leading up to those days.
Take them as a learning opportunity and don’t be down on yourself. Nothing goes up in a straight line. Bad days are where your perseverance is required.
No one needs to “dig deep” when things are good and easy.
Granted, some of us have to dig deep more often and for longer periods than others, but remember, we ALL have our issues and where I’m strong, my partner may be weak, and vice versa.
Professor Ryan Young
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