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Making the Most of a BJJ Seminar
We all love attending a BJJ seminar with our favorite pro. It’s a chance to get an inside look at the what makes the champions tick. How they do such incredible things. It’s a rare glimpse into a mind that we do not have access to on the regular. But how do you make sure you leave with a lot of information and avoid the spinning head syndrome we so often encounter after we depart from the experience?
The typical seminar lasts an average of 3 hours and, depending on the athlete, the format, content, and number of techniques will vary. Some elect to give you as much information as possible in the time allotted, which can be inundation on the highest level, but ideal when trying to get your money’s worth and exposure to as many ideas as possible. Others may choose to demonstrate a limited amount of techniques but leave lots of time for drilling. In either case, a few hours of learning jiu-jitsu is enough to scramble the brains of even the most attentive and observant BJJ player. So how do we make sure we leave a seminar satisfied and loaded with info?
Here are a few ideas to help you prepare and get the most out of the experience:
Seminar Tip #1
Rest up. Our brains process information at a much higher rate when we are well rested. Get at least 8 hours of good sleep the night before the seminar if you want to maximize absorption of info.
Seminar Tip #2
Your partner. This is paramount, especially if you are a beginner. Secure your partner early. If you have a favorite training partner make sure you confirm them! BEFORE the day of the seminar. Don’t get stuck wandering around aimlessly looking for someone to train with. The right partner can make or break the session.
Seminar Tip #3
Take notes. Obvious, right? I find the best way to do this is to drill the technique a few times with your partner, get the feel for it, and then jot down some notes on the sequence that will create some light bulb moments for you when referring back to them. If this happens to be a seminar that’s moving quickly, you’ll have to be ready to move quickly as well! I once did an 8-hour seminar, I actually brought a blue tooth keyboard and typed the notes directly into my phone in between every block of instruction. Yes, I was that guy. But I was also the guy that went home with 8 hours of solid information.
Seminar Tip #4
Skip the break. There will most likely be some sort of intermission during the seminar. Instead of getting a drink and socializing take a few minutes to look at your notes. Grab your phone and film what you’ve covered with your partner. More than likely filming the athlete will not be permitted, and that must be respected. But you and your partner might be able to steal a few moments during the break to commit some of the material to video. Always ask the school owner and the Professor and be respectful of their rules.
Seminar Tip #5
That one detail. I have attended seminars where for whatever reason I was not able to take notes as detailed as I would have liked. Maybe things were just moving too quickly, I needed more time to drill, my phone died, etc. Don’t stress! Just be on the lookout. You may just happen to pick up that one game changing detail that was the missing puzzle piece to something you’ve been trying to master for months or even years. One concept can make the entire seminar worth the price of admission.
Another way to spike your BJJ progress is to check out online and DVD instructionals. Check out Rodrigo Cavaca's "Wiseman BJJ" where he covers such diverse topics as footlocks, stopping the guard pass, and closed guard attacks. You can get it here at BJJ Fanatics!