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BJJ Resolution Ideas for 2018
With the holidays upon us and the end of 2017 nearing fast, this is the time we reflect on goals and resolutions we made at the end of 2016 and measure our successes and the areas that we came up short in this year. Millions of people every year make grand statements about life changing goals, but sadly, many never follow through. Let's take a look at some Brazilian Jiu Jitsu related resolution ideas and put a plan in place to make sure that 2018 is the year that you step out of the less than 10% of people follow through on their resolutions, according to the studies.
Before we get into the BJJ specific ideas, let's examine some of the most common resolutions and why people are generally not that successful. Studies show that the most common resolutions typically fall into a broad category of "getting healthier" which can cover losing weight, exercising more, or perhaps stopping any less than healthy activities, i.e. smoking or drinking are common. Other popular resolutions involve things like finances which can cover our jobs, our savings, or other financial aspect of our lives.
Here are some questions we must ask to ensure that our resolutions are more successful. Is the resolution something that is specific? Losing weight is an amazing goal, but it becomes much more real when I say that I would like to lose 25 lbs. Giving it a specific and very measurable end point can help to focus your mind on where you need to go. Is the resolution or goal realistic? It's possible to have a very measurable and specific goal of losing weight, but if I say that I'm going to lose 100 lbs in 3 months, that may be extremely unrealistic, especially if I'm currently leading a very sedentary life. It's okay to challenge yourself and set the goal of 100 lbs, but it would be far better to give yourself a longer time frame and to perhaps break it into smaller chunks to build momentum and increase the chances of healthy weight loss.
Now let's look at some general BJJ related resolutions and see how we can put a plan in place to ensure that these can be achieved in 2018.
I will start BJJ in 2018.
Without assuming that you are already training BJJ, this might be the first step you're going to take in the new year. If you're not already training, but are reading this, perhaps a friend or family member has shared this article with you. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can be one of the best activities you can partake in in the new year. You will find yourself getting into better shape, losing weight, and meeting an amazing community of martial artists of all walks of life who all share the same passion as you. Through BJJ, many of the other common New Years resolutions can be supported and achieved. There is also the very practical self-defense knowledge and the confidence that this can bring that comes from training BJJ.
Do your homework and research academies in your area. The New Year is generally a busy time for fitness related institutions and there may even been some special pricing available this time of year. Visit as many academies as you need to and take a trial class. The vast majority of schools will allow you to come and attend a class with no obligation to see what you think.
Pay attention to how the academy makes you feel and how the coaches, instructors, and students interact to not only you as the guest, but to each other. Most likely you will get a vibe right away to how the school makes new visitors feel and it should feel like you're not only welcome, but almost as if you've been attending the school for a number of years. The BJJ academy is somewhere you will be spending lots of hours at, for lots of years in a perfect world, so it's got to be a place you want to go. Ask lots of questions. If the instructor or coaches aren't teaching, they should be friendly and willing to answer your questions, as the cliche says, there are no dumb questions.
Once you've got your new academy picked out, the most important thing you can do is attend as many classes as you possibly can with your work, school, or family commitment schedule. Once you've been bitten by the BJJ bug, you will want to attend classes everyday most likely, but be realistic and design a schedule that allows you to progress and feed your newfound healthy addiction. Three to four classes a week is a great place to start, but remember, if you can't attend that many, 2 classes or even 1 class a week is better than zero.
I will compete in BJJ in 2018.
The topic of competition is a much discussed and debated one in BJJ circles. The vast majority of BJJ practitioners do not compete. Plenty of people work their way all the way to black belt without having ever competed. Some academies put an emphasis on competition for their students and some do not.
Tom DeBlass, someone who's been competing in BJJ and MMA for the better part of 15 years, often says that competition should be the consequence of ones love for jiu jitsu. In this respect, he is saying that competing in BJJ is simply another opportunity to do something we love. It is another skill to be developed and building the mindset of a competitor is something that requires a special level of dedication and hard work. Competing for DeBlass, is not something he requires of his students, but as a world class competitor and instructor of people like Garry Tonon and Gordon Ryan, it's' not something that should be taken casually. Take a look at our holiday gift guide which will give you an overview of all of the Tom DeBlass related instructionals to help you with your resolutions this year!
So if one of your 2018 resolutions involves competing in BJJ, here are some ways to help make it a great experience. First and foremost, it goes without saying that you obviously have the desire to compete, if this is your resolution. You must understand that by setting competition as your goal, winning is what you are striving for. This means that you must hold yourself to a much higher standard during your preparation for the tournament. Your instructor and coaches will most likely be helping you with this higher standard, but know that it must also come from you. You must have a plan for your training, you must not miss scheduled sessions, no matter what and you must maintain a high level of commitment to other areas, like diet, cross training and recovery that will help you get to the top of the podium.
If you plan properly and execute your competition training plan, the easiest part of the process will most likely be the day of training. This should be when all of your preparation comes to fruition and you are focused only on executing what you've been working towards for all those months and weeks. Pick yourself a competition a reasonable time out from today and get yourself signed up. Study the rules of the particular competition and make sure you understand them. Get training and good luck.
I will lose weight and get in better shape for BJJ.
One of the best things you can do for your overall health and your BJJ game is to normalize your weight to a healthy and manageable place. Excess weight does nothing positive for your BJJ. Your stamina and ability to execute certain body movements will make dramatic leaps with even small weight changes.
As was stated in the introduction, health-related resolutions like losing weight are common, but many times unsuccessful. One of the best ways to ensure you are successful is to make the goal as attainable as possible. Let's say ultimately you want to lose 50 lbs. It's best to break it into smaller, more digestible chunks of say 10 lbs each. What you can do is say to yourself, I want to lose 10 lbs in the first 6 weeks, which equates to less than 2 lbs per week. Physicians typically recommend that weight loss not exceed 2 lbs a week for health reasons. This goal gives you a little bit of wiggle room in the event you have a slow week or two.
Let's assume for arguments sake that you train BJJ relatively consistently, but perhaps your diet is not the cleanest it can possibly be. If your goal is to lose weight for BJJ, you might be shocked at how simple and easy the changes you need to make are to start losing. What you don't want to do, is try to change things TOO much. Let's say you eat whatever you want and don't pay attention to the make up of your food. Rather than saying, I'm going to convert to veganism and eat 1200 calories a day, instead start by removing "junk food" from your diet. Simply by eliminating desserts, candies, sodas and items like this from your diet, you might trim a few thousand calories from your week without making any other changes.
Once you've done that for a few weeks, you might be surprised that the scale has begun to move and you feel better. Let's take it a little further and suggest that you take a look at the make up of the food you eat. Are you eating enough lean proteins for muscle repair and recovery? Are you eating good, healthy, high fiber carbs for energy, i.e. fruits and vegetables? Do you incorporate healthy fats like nuts and avocados into your diet for energy and for the benefits of healthy omegas? By being more cognizant of the fuel you are feeding yourself with, you may be surprised by how much food you can actually eat and still lose weight.
In terms of exercise, you would be hard pressed to find a better workout than BJJ, but sometimes for weight loss, it can be helpful to incorporate some additional exercise into your routine. You don't need to sign up for Cross Fit or do P90x either, unless you want to. A simple routine of strength training exercises, 15-20 minutes a few times a week, can be all it takes to spark a great deal of fat loss.
I will add a new element to my game, i.e. leg locks.
After you've been training for some time, you may find different areas of the game or sport that you are interested in and perhaps you have never studied them and want to add them to your arsenal. This could be any area or trouble spot you want to improve or make stronger. Perhaps you want to be a better guard passer or guard player, or you have never trained leg locks and want to find out what all of the fuss is about and make yourself better with lower body submissions.
Once you've decided what your area is, it's important to do your homework and put a plan together. Let's go with leg locks. Unless you're currently living under a rock with regards to your BJJ media exposure, you most certainly have seen the rapid rise of leg submissions as more and more competitions allow for their use. The current crop of submission grapplers are as equally adept at breaking the lower limbs as any other limb. What is the best plan of attack for adding this element to your game?
First and foremost you will want to seek out information on the techniques. This can be achieved by starting with your instructor and coaches. They will be your best and most accessible aids in this journey. Additionally, you may want to seek out seminars or classes with experts in this area. The high level submission grapplers still spend much of their time traveling and teaching when they are not competing and it's important to take advantage and support their seminars and learn directly from them when you can. Besides seminars with experts, seeking out instructional materials, like videos, books, online courses can also be beneficial to help build your overall knowledge of an area like leg locks. This can be a very efficient and relatively inexpensive method, that can afford a great deal of flexibility in that it is available whenever you need it and can be viewed and reviewed when it is convenient.
One of the most important things to realize about adding a new set of skills to your game is that you must set reasonable expectations for yourself. Going to a Garry Tonon seminar won't necessarily make you good at leg locks. It's okay to realize that if you've never trained them before, you are a white belt in them, regardless of your current belt rank. And because of this, you've got to understand that just like it took you a while to understand what you current know and execute with almost second nature, with proper practice and drilling you can get your leg locks to a reasonable level over time. Perhaps you focus on one particular technique for some time, or perhaps you focus simply on drilling leg attack entries until they become automatic. Once you've become better at a particular skill, you can then begin linking more and more knowledge to that particular skill. And over time, you will move close to your goal of being a leg destroyer.
Setting resolutions and goals is a great activity. Setting them in a way that builds in more chance of success is an even better activity. Whether your goal is to start BJJ, compete this year, lose weight or add some new element to your game, it's important to approach that goal with a strong sense of realism and to develop a plan. No matter how lofty the goal, it must be specific and able to be measured. Once you set a goal that fits these criteria, the next step is to develop a plan. Take a goal like losing 10 lbs and take out a sheet of paper and write a list of all the things you can do TODAY to achieve that goal and get to work. Action will lead you to success and set you apart from all of the people who set resolutions and fail to follow through, whether BJJ related or not.
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