Plateaus, peaks, and valleys are a part of everyone’s jiu jitsu training. Are you in the midst of a slump, or does it seem like it’s not worth going to class any more? Believe it or not, this happens to almost everyone at some time or other. Here are seven things you can do to revitalize your interest in BJJ.
Alternate title: You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling, BJJ:
1. Switch up your training schedule.
One simple fix is to start training during a different time. Does your gym offer morning and evening classes? Try mixing in some early morning classes if you’re only used to training nights, or afternoons. Different training partners can give you different sources of motivation to train.
2. Add in more gi or no-gi classes.
If you train predominantly in gi, try mixing in a couple of no-gi classes per week. Similarly, try adding in the gi if you have been training no-gi lately. Gi and no-gi are certainly two facets of the same art, but each offers its own options and possibilities. To Gi or Not to Gi and the follow up article outline this concept in far more detail.
If you’re not sure why this is a great way to kickstart your training, check out this article. Competing is not only invigorating in and of itself, but it also gives your training a purpose.
4. Try adding in striking.
That’s right, striking. Does your gym have a Muay Thai program? How about boxing? If not, could you mix it up at another gym for a while? Adding in a striking art can help renew your appreciation for jiu jitsu, and it can help augment your game, making you a more well rounded martial artist. You may even fall in love with the new art you pick up.
5. Play specific positions.
Try working on only the turtle position for one week. Either ask your partners to start sparring from there, or just find ways to end up in turtle as they’re passing (replace “turtle” with “deep half”, “bottom of side control”, etc). If you have partners you normally beat when rolling, try limiting your options in order to perfect certain positions. Quite frequently, this can give you the motivation to enjoy your training again.
6. Consider your BJJ friends.
BJJ gyms are like families; you develop strong bonds with your training partners over the years. If you haven’t developed that type of bond yet, you have most likely not been training very long. Give it some time and you will develop lasting, meaningful friendships through jiu jitsu.
7. Enjoy the workout.
Seriously, where else are you going to get this type of workout? You get a great combination of strength training, cardio, mental chess, flexibility, and intensity training you don’t get anywhere else. During an average BJJ workout you can burn anywhere from 500 to 1000 calories, build core strength, and think about escaping positions and making techniques work for you.