A lot of people will say it’s all about time on the mat when it comes to improving. But it this really true? Will turning up to class and training really make you better? Or do you have to really be there in mind, as well as body when you train, to really get the benefits and improvements? This may sound like a strange statement, but if you think about it, this situation can occur.
There are a few situations that could arise that really can affect you. The first one is the real life impact. Situations happen in your life that take your focus away from the class. Even though you are there watching and listening it just simply isn’t going into the brain box. Your brain is somewhere else, the work deadline, stuff that needs doing at home or family worries. We can all accept that bjj is a very technical activity, having your focus elsewhere means you are not taking it on board. If you are able to drill, you won’t be able to feel the technique you’ll just be performing movements. Even though you are there you are not absorbing the information.
Another way this can happen is when your training buddy turns up. The problem here is that the training session then turns into a social event instead of training. While the coach is showing the techniques you still take notice, but when you are expected to drill you have a few half hearted attempts whilst chatting. It even might end up with one of you showing something cool you saw on You Tube.
Finally you could just end up with the training partner who isn’t there and it can affect you. There not feeding you the technique correctly or they are not being realistic with weight or movement. You can feel the technique is not working and could potentially be put off trying it at all. The frustration this causes takes your mind away from the learning and focussing more on the perceived negativity of the situation.
Each of these type of situations puts you a class behind all the other attendees. I am sure you will have experienced other similar situations yourself. So effectively this time on the mats isn’t helping you progress. Each time you turn up to class you really owe it to yourself to really be there, especially if you’re a beginner. Being truly there at each jiu jitsu class you attend not just helps your jiu jitsu, each can help you mentally. Giving yourself a chance to relax about whatever is bothering you in real life and focus on something else for a while. If someone isn’t being a good partner don’t let that stop your learning. Focus on remembering the parts of the technique and drill what you can. Then at the end of class or before one the next time you are there, grab a friend and run through the actions quickly with someone who will be helpful. You can even run through the actions as a visualisation until the next time you can physically do them. The remedies to all these situations are within your control.
You need to do than just turn up to make your time on the mats effective and beneficial. A quote from Bruce Lee summarizes this appropriately
“To spend time is to pass it in a specified manner. To waste time is to expend it thoughtlessly or carelessly. We all have time to either spend or waste and it is our decision what to do with it. But once passed, it is gone forever.”