Year 13: Foundations, Focus, and the Future
Today marks the first day of my thirteenth year in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
I’ve kept pretty immaculate training records at least since 2009. I’ve got records going back to 2006, but they aren’t as complete. Maybe combined with the blog I could build a fairly accurate training record going all the way back to day one. Something for retirement, maybe.
The quantitative nature of the record is great for perspective. Sometimes you feel like you are training at your very best and can’t put your finger on why. Then you look at your training log and realize you’ve been averaging four classes a week with more than two hours a week of Live Training alone. Other times, you feel like nothing is working, your timing is off, your cardio is weaker than it should be given your off mat conditioning program or improved diet or whatever. Then you check your training log and figure out that your four-week training average is under 2.0. No wonder you’re struggling. You aren’t training enough to feel like you are making progress.
It’s also good for understanding the impact of life changes on your jiu-jitsu career. I look at my peak training years from 2009 to 2013 and it is clear that working from home and not traveling 4-6 times a year was great for my jiu-jitsu development. During those four years, I averaged 3.3 training days a week – something I can’t even imagine now.
The four years since have been rougher. My average is down to just below 2.0, even with a pretty strong finish in the third quarter (my training year runs from August to July since I began training in August). But I do have a new, more realistic training goal to shoot for now. I realize that a lot of my frustrations on the mat are tied to not having significant amount of my game “top of mind.” I have to “remember” things, which is a poor use of time when you’re in the middle of training.
So the first goal for my thirteenth year in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is simply to make sure I show up, on average, at least, eight times a month. The move to Kent hasn’t made it easy to slip in a quick nooner here or there. But I don’t see myself taking seven business trips out of state in a year again any time soon, either. I’ve got other tools to help take care of technical issues (see BUG report). And as for the 80%, so to speak, I’ve just got to keep an eye on the numbers and everything should take as much care of itself as it can.
The second goal is to return to basics. Sometime during the last two years I’ve become a little disassociated with the jiu-jitsu that got me here. And over the past several weeks, as my training frequency has increased (four-week training average is up to 2.75). I’ve had the opportunity to see – and begin to repair – some of the gaps in my game, especially w/re2 the guard. Most recently, I’ve gone intergalactic planetary for a little specific study and have not been disappointed. I’ve got drilling to do, to be sure. But I feel increasingly at a good place from which to make some major improvements to my main squeeze.
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