Tuesday, December 18, 2012

How to get good at BJJ

Seinfeld has a great bit about being grown up and getting to do anything that he wants.  He starts out by complaining about all the stuff his mother used get on him about when he was younger.  Stuff like, "Go to bed now" or, "Take out the garbage".  Then he goes, "You know, now I do whatever I want.  Sometimes I even do things on purpose that my mother wouldn't approve of.  I like to ruin my supper every now and again.  Like, I'll eat a bag of cookies and then call my mom up and say, 'Guess, what?  I just ruined my supper'". 

I think the key to getting really good at BJJ and progressing, is forcing yourself to do things that you hate or really don't like to do.  It's different for everybody.  Maybe, you don't like playing guard.  Perhaps, you think drilling is boring.  It could be that your cardio sucks, and you don't really want to spar every round or do any extra conditioning. 

For me, I had to force myself to play top for a good long while.  I had to do this, because this was the weakest part of my game.  Not only that, I'm really small and guys would just bench press me off of them and reverse me.  It took a long time for me to get better at top control and passing.  I'm talking a good two years of focusing on it relentlessly.  I made sure to still focus a lot on my guard, but I made certain days "Top Game Days"  where I would only focus on passing.  I actually love playing top now.

Also, being a fan of leg locks, I made myself not roll back from top position to go for any leg locks whatsoever.  At least on certain days.

The other thing that I have been focusing on ever since I hurt my MCL is doing extra cardio training.  I don't mind being squashed, twisted into a pretzel, or choked.  The hardest thing about BJJ for me has always been cardio.  I rarely sit out rolls, and I always spar after class.  I felt like I  still needed to do something a little extra even though I really didn't want to.  Since the summer, I've been hitting the exercise bike (something I absolutely loathe) at least twice a week, and I feel like I've seen some improvement. 

Make yourself do things that you hate and watch your grappling skills flourish.   Also, try to remember that in the end, BJJ is supposed to be fun, so don't lose sight of that either.  Here's some pics from Saturday.  I trained from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., and then lifted weights when I really didn't want to....

                               Park Jun-young and Young-uk

                                         Jackie and Mr. Chuong

    Young-sak and Do-hyunh

                               Vince and Danny

                                                   Master Sung

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