Always training/always learning
So often I am asked how to increase progress in learning jiu jitsu. The real question they are asking is “how can i get good quickly?” While I definitely believe there are ways to learn more quickly than most, there is simply no getting around the fact that you will need to invest large amounts of time and effort if you wish to gain competence in the kingly art of jiu jitsu. The better question then, is not, “how do I get good quickly,” but rather, “how do I sustain progress over time.” The danger is that as time passes, progress can be destroyed in two main ways. First, by extended periods away from the mat. Second, by showing up and training without a clear sense of purpose for each session, just complacently showing up and thinking that’s enough. The first will cause you to lose skills you once had; the second will simply maintain whatever skills you do have and no more - guaranteeing a plateau in performance that can go on for months or even years. If you seek excellence - as time passes make a concerted commitment to the idea of MINIMIZING TIME OFF THE MAT AND MAXIMIZING THE VALUE OF YOUR TIME ON THE MAT. Do this by having at least one clear goal every time you go to train and a plan to work towards that goal - showing up is not enough to avoid stagnation. The single best example of this mindset in operation over long periods of time I ever saw was Georges St-Pierre. Despite winning the success that could have easily made anyone else kick back and relax, he trains constantly and learns constantly. This week he caught up with the squad and went though all the latest leg lock work. Now he is flying home to work with some European tournament Karate champions to work on distance and movement skills. This constant push for volume and progress in training is deeply impressive and an inspiration to us all.