The mistake a typical new BJJ white belt makes is to try and use their strength and/or speed to defeat an opponent. Being able to perform a move smoothly is more important that simply forcing a move through brute strength.
Technique is more important that strength, which is why you
see so many smaller opponents tap larger ones in this sport.
Remember, if you can do it slowly, you can do it fast. The
trick is to learn how to do it slowly first!
Compare yourself to you yesterday, not others today
Like anything in life, you will make progress if you
practice often enough, and BJJ is no different. The problem is, it’s sometimes
hard to see the progress being made.
“Well this guy tapped me out, but it was close, so I think
in a couple of months I should be able to take him…” The problem is, that guy
has also gotten better in those couple of months! If everyone around you at
your club is progressing, then there’s no point comparing yourself to them.
What you can do however is compare yourself to YOU.
Think about where you were when you first started. Remember
how a single minute on the mats felt like an hour. Remember how exhausted you
were. Remember how sore you were the next day.
Now think about where you are. You can easily go 5 minutes on the mats. Those aches and pains no longer appear the next day. You know why? Because you’re getting better. You’re getting fitter. You’re controlling your breathing more.
Because you’re progressing.
Just imagine where you’ll be a year from now.
Put the hours in
Of course, all of this is for nothing if you don’t put the
Consistency is the key. If you can only make it to class once
a week, then make sure you GO once a week. If you can go every day, then GO
every day. Get used to the routine, let your body adapt to it.
Repetition ingrains the moves and techniques in your mind and
body so you don’t have to think about them when you need them. Muscle memory
will take over if you practice enough.
Ideally, you should be training 2-3 times per week if your schedule allows it. If not, then when you do attend class, do as much as possible. Stay after and do some sparring. Ask questions. Watch higher belts than you roll and ask if you can join them.
No one ever got good at anything without practice.