What do you look for?
As a coach my biggest concern is the quest to get an athletes level of performance as close as possible to their potential in the least time. As such, I spend a lot of time looking at and monitoring the performance of the people I coach. I am often asked - what do you look for? Well, obviously there are a lot of things, but among the most important is THE ABILITY TO GET THE SAME JOB DONE WITH LESS EFFORT. Remember, it’s not just that you get the job done that counts; but also HOW you get the job done. There is a LOT of repetition in jiu jitsu training (or any other skill) so a very clear indicator of progress in a student is that he or she IS ACCOMPLISHING THE SAME TASKS AS EVERY OTHER DAY, BUT DOING SO WITH LESS EFFORT AND GREATER EFFICIENCY. The key to this vital form of progress is first, learning when to exert strength and when to relax. Within any match there are many opportunities to lower your energy expenditure- don’t go one hundred percent one hundred percent of the time. You will simply exhaust and defeat yourself. Second, remove any extraneous movement. Third, don’t get tunnel vision and hammer away uselessly at heavily defended points. Whenever you run into walls of resistance ask yourself if there is a way AROUND them rather than THROUGH them. Fourth (and most obvious) The better your mechanical application of technique the less brute force you will need to apply per move. Thinking in these terms will quickly bring your energy expenditure within acceptable bounds in training and competition and manifest one of the most important forms of progress that indicates that your training is working well.