So you’ve started training. You’ve got your GI. You’ve got everything in your life situated so you can get to the gym on a regular basis so that a part of your life is devoted to learning. Your instructor told you on the first day to take it with a grain of salt and that change come’s slow, and a whole bunch of other things that really seem like fortune cookie wisdom. In today’s world it seems like everyone seems to think that they are different. That they have somehow found the secret, and because people their whole lives have told them how awesome they are at one thing or another, that they will somehow be able to pick up one of the most complicated sports in record time, and they will never experience any of the potentially frustrating points of learning a combat art. Wrong. That “fortune Cookie wisdom” that sounds like a bunch of mumbo jumbo, actually has something for you. Every school is filled with them, but here are a few of my favorites, and what they really mean.
- Attitude determines Lattitude. There’s a lot to be said about having a good attitude. The student that has a good attitude finds a way to efficiently and incrementally get the most out of training. There are a lot of options in Jiu Jitsu, and your attitude about things will govern your choices, and will let you see what is open and available. Have fun in training. Don’t pit yourself against your training partners. Go into training with a good attitude and open up your game. Also don’t put so much pressure on yourself that it alters the way you play in class or can’t effectively get stuff done in a tournament.
- Hard work Beats Talent – This one can be misused. Basically don’t be afraid to work hard. That doesn’t always mean Try to break yourself, because if you physically can’t show up for a week due to being injured, than that’s counter productive. Also don’t spend more time on the athletics of preparation, especially when you are in the beginning stages of learning the techniques to apply the athleticism. I frequently tell people “What good is a 500 HP engine if you can’t figure out how to switch gears?” Replace your guard first. Then squat on the weekends if you have extra time.
- Sometimes you are the hammer and Sometimes you are the nail/or sometimes you are the statue and sometimes you are the pigeon. I guess it goes without saying that everyone gets the rough end of the stick in training from time to time. Sometimes you show up for practice, and you are the smallest guy in the room. Sometimes when you’re the smallest guy your goals need to be different than if you are the largest of your training partners. There will be days when you work finishes from the top, and then there will be days when you spend all your time replacing your guard, and trying not to be submitted. Have a good attitude(#1) and reap the benefits of your own dedication and consistency.
- Repetition is the father of learning. This is one of my favorites. No, you cannot go over Inverted theta guard. You have to shrimp. You have to shrimp a lot. Especially if you plan on trying some sort of inverted theta guard, and rolling with anyone worth there salt who knows that you can’t shrimp. There are techniques that you have to practice till your body remembers and your mind forgets. Think Karate kid…Paint the fence. It doesn’t get more fortune cookie than that. Spend the time trying to get as many reps of the move as you can when you are initially learning the technique. Don’t do the move three times and watch other people.
- Make perfect not powerful. . I think I’ve even had a Bruce Lee wall paper on my computer at one time that said something to the effect of “Don’t fear the guy who has done 1000 techniques 2 times. Fear the guy who has done 2 techniques 1000 times. Kinda goes hand in hand with #4 and even #2. If you work on a technique so that you can still do it when you are tired, it will benefit you, surprisingly, when you are tired. Seriously spend the time trying to figure out the most effective way to execute a technique. If you have to force it too much than there needs to be an adjustment made. Look for the adjustments, not just the benefit of building a muscle that makes your intended move easier.
There are a lot more as I’m sure you will figure out but these are the ones I find myself sharing with my newer students more often than not. If you are interested in Learning Jiu Jitsu, and live in the Spring Valley/San Diego Area, check us out!!