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The BJJ Law of 33%

Tai Lopez gave a T.E.D talk that amazed me. He presented a concept that’s relevant to Jiu Jitsu, business, and life.

He spoke of the “Law of 33%”.

This is a law of self-development. This law shows us how we should divide our time up so that we can improve at just about anything. You can apply this principle to the practice of Jiu Jitsu.

The Law of 33% says that we need to spend:

  • 1/3 our time with people lower than us or worse off
  • 1/3 our time with people on our own level
  • 1/3 our time with people better off than we are (he specifically says 10x better.)

Now: how can we use this law in our Jiu Jitsu training to become better? The answer is simple enough, just follow the format.

So 1/3 of our time should be spent with lower belts than us (I suppose white belts can’t really find this as easy). This time not only benefits the lower belt as we assist them, but we also get practice teaching and trying new things. Rolling with white belts is actually very crucial to the development of both ourselves and our academy.

The next 1/3 of our time will be spent with people within 1 belt or even a few degrees of each other. These like he spoke of in the video are often our friends. These are usually the people easiest to hang out and train with in a social way. We can bounce ideas off of each other. We can push each other to become better. We can become more technical while we roll because the skill gap is often very small.

The last 1/3 are the people on another level than us completely. These are the people who can play with us and show us just how much further we can go. These are our Jiu Jitsu mentors. Often these are the instructors at our gyms. These are typically black belts , but in many cases brown and even purple belts can be mentors. Having a mentor in BJJ is one of the essential pieces for starting out.

Tai Lopez talks about how intimidating it can be to approach someone at this level and ask for help. But I believe that if you ask for help in the academy, you will almost always find that there are people willing to give it to you. Sometimes it can be hard to know when to ask questions. Although some instructors are very busy, if you show dedication they will pick up on that and in return you get the mentorship you deserve.

This is a very general guideline of how the law of 33% works in Jiu Jitsu and how it can help you improve.

How will you apply this technique?

About the author: Jiu Jitsu Purple Belt under Anibal Lobo and Pedro Sauer.

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