Your Jiu Jitsu New Year’s Goals
By: Daniel Frank
A new year is nearly upon us. The new year means different things to different people. Hopefully, for most, it is positive and the new year brings the prospect of great things in one’s life and also great things in one’s jiu jitsu life. Here are some common jiu jitsu goals that you may wish to attain in the new year.
Promotion – The most common goal that I hear students wish to achieve in the new year is promotion. Stripes and belts are sought after because every student wants acknowledgement of a job well done. Students take pride in showing off their accomplishments. Don’t put too much into setting your stripe and belt goals for the new year because, for some, not achieving that stripe or belt goal can be devastating. Set realistic goals on what you can achieve based on how many classes you can come in to train at, how intense your training will be, and what level you are currently at. Realistic goals, dedicated training, and patience will pay off.
Fix Your Cardio – The most consistent complaint that I hear about in jiu jitsu, from students white belt and up, is how the practitioners’ cardio is not where they desire it to be. A goal to improve one’s cardio for jiu jitsu can be attained if you strive for it. First of all, if you smoke cigarettes, stop immediately. Stop, not just to improve your cardio, but to improve your life and the lives of those around you. Improve your diet to lose a little weight, if need be. Your cardio will improve if you do not have to move around as much mass. Get after it, on and off the mat. Swimming, biking, rowing, running, stair climbing, and longer(and more) rolls of jiu jitsu will help you to become the cardio machine that you are setting your goals to be.
Social Interaction – The world has become a lonely place. Technology has made it possible to live your life without having to interact with other people, if you so choose to do so. A lot of communication between people is now done electronically. Humanity is slowly forgetting how to interact with each other if a keyboard is not involved. Jiu jitsu can help to reverse that trend. If you feel you are stuck in the rut of not interacting with people enough, then get into more classes. You do not have to be the ‘Belle of the Ball’ and try to be the center of attention in class, but jiu jitsu makes you talk to others, ask questions, roll with each other, laugh, and enjoy life. A goal to do more jiu jitsu to increase your social interaction with others is a fantastic goal to set.
Get Clear of the Injury Bug – This is a great goal to set, but a hard goal to achieve. Accidents do happen anywhere. An injury while tubing on vacation can derail your training for a year. A trip on the steps at home can put you out for a month or two. A slip of attention while cutting a carrot can take away a couple of weeks of training(and possibly a finger). We cannot bubble wrap ourselves and live in fear of injury, but we can be careful to avoid unnecessary risks. We can be safer drivers. We can be more attentive to our surroundings. We can stop our ego from giving us a jiu jitsu related injury by tapping earlier. We can also do all that we can, after an injury occurs, in order to lessen the time off of the mats so we can get back to doing the thing that we love.
Competition – All jiu jitsu students need to learn technique and to practice it. Not all of these students need to compete. Competition is a good way to test one’s skill in jiu jitsu against others whom the practitioner might not get to train with regularly. Competition is also a good way to test one’s ability to deal with stress and anxiety. Will you crack under pressure or will you excel? Some students do not want to compete and that is alright. Achieving your jiu jitsu goals does not always involve competition. If you do enjoy competing though, then setting your goals before the new year will give your training purpose and the success you earn will be more rewarding. Look at your calendar now, if you’d like to compete, and decide which competitions you’d like to train for in the new year and get it done.
New Year’s Day will occur across the globe. Some people will have made goals for the new year and some not. If you would like to see an improvement in your jiu jitsu in the new year, then just pick one section and make a goal. Strive to attain that goal. Get that goal and feel better about yourself.