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четверг, 30 января 2014 г.

How Often Do You Train BJJ?

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a sport where hard work and dedication matters a lot more than talent. While from time to time you will see guys that have a background in grappling and will come in doing well as white belts, as time goes by if they are not putting in the mat time hours, you will see their abilities relative to you reduce somewhat.

This is what happened from my experience. When I was starting out as a fresh white belt, I trained at most 3-4 times per week, often missing sessions due to work obligations and I think in reality achieving perhaps 3 sessions on average per week.

I would slowly progress, starting out right at the bottom of the food chain. Bigger white belts would have trouble with me and blue belts would really have me for breakfast most of the time, either submitting me or at the very least passing my guard and dominating me.

I really looked up to some of the purples though. We had some very good ones (or it seemed to me so) that had some other grappling style background and who seemed to me invincible at the time.

A few years went by. Got my blue belt but really did not make much of it at the time. Yes I could do ok against most beginners but when you had someone who knew what to do, I continued to have a lot of trouble.

Nowadays as I continue to mature as a blue belt the situation is starting to change and it amazes me how vastly different the improvement is for each bjj student. Some guys who I started out training with and who were a lot more experienced than me at the time seem considerably weaker, with their game no longer as solid as I remember it.

I remember I trained with two blue belts in the beginning that from time to time submitted me even though I would give it my all just to make life hard for them. Nowadays however these same guys, because they did not train regularly would be happy if they can score anything on me at all.

The purples however is a different story. Some of the guys that progressed to purple long ago or were purples when I started now seem tough but in a different way. For me they have lost their invicibility aura somehow. For sure they are still very good, but now as I continue to train I feel they are beatable.

Jiu Jitsu is all about investing mat time to improve. You have to spend the time and you have to train with the best at what they do. You will improve and when you do it will be the best feeling. Training is what gets you from struggling against your sparring partners to anhilitating them and tearing through the comps. It also makes jiu jitsu more fun for sure especially if you are a lighter guy :) there is just that element of enjoy when you can dominate a bigger or stronger dude especially if he has been training longer than you have.

четверг, 16 января 2014 г.

Casual to Serious Training

Most of us are training and enjoying the jiu jitsu lifestyle every day. You come to practice and normally you do ok against guys of the same grade. Some lower grades you can demolish while higher grades tend to beat you in sparring. One day however you meet the bjj competitor breed though....

This is a special breed of sparring partner. From my experience there is always one or two guys at an average decent academy that is just way above the rest for their grade. It might be a guy that trained in wrestling or judo since early child hood but not necessarily. Sometimes its a guy that just trains a lot and by a lot I mean A LOT more than everybody else. 

The thing is no matter how talented you are, or athletic or what you did before bjj, if you train a lot you catch up.. you close gaps in your game and evolve into a fighter that can hold his own against guys that have been doing bjj much longer timewise.

There is just a different approach when it comes to serious players. If casual bjj players would normally train 2-3-4 sessions per week, most serious players would train at least 6 classes a week which is when your improvement speed starts to kick in and you begin to feel that you are developing faster your partners. 

Most serious players would train twice a day every day or more and this makes all the difference. Guys at the top of the major IBJJF stands train often and once you start taking the sport seriously it starts to bring in good results. 

Once you start feeling progress I think its really time to get even more motivated by competing. Competition is an excellent driver. A good start is to take part in the local bjj circuit. Smaller comps is a great start and an excellent incentive for your training. You now have a goal to work towards and something you can work together with your partners helping each other in training and then going out and competing together against guys from other schools. Over time you move forward and progress to bigger competitions and tougher guys and I think this is where it gets really interesting to see for many, how far they can go and improve.