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Feeling stuck? Here are 10 key points for getting better results from training

Rolls Gracie
Rolls Gracie. Photo by Ricardo Azoury

summer promoAll those who roll know how tough it can be when we get that feeling that we are just not evolving in our performance on the mats.

Maybe the problem is that we are not paying attention to key points that can really hurt our ability to improve our game.

We listed 10 of the most important things you cannot not do if you want to thrive in your Jiu-Jitsu journey.

We selected then from 21 years of learning from the best in the business.

Take a good read and put that to work for you.

1. Vary the duration of your rolls

It’s important not to be a prisoner of the same duration on your rolls. You need to be able to deal with the necessity of managing your gas tank on long rolls of 10 and even 20 minutes, but also have the quick thinking to solve problems on short rolls of 3 minutes or even 1 minute starting from specific positions like the back or the mount.

2. Don’t train like a staller 

Don’t let vanity get the best of you. When training, take your mind out of the outcome of the roll and focus on what you are doing and how that moment will help you improve your game. Go with the flow, allow yourself to be in uncomfortable positions, tap as much as you need and go home knowing you learned a lot.

3. Know your basics

As exciting as it is to be doing the latest trend in terms of techniques, don’t ever forget to have your basics in order. Take your time to practice those simple techniques you learned as a white belt so you can get a better understanding of how the whole thing works.

Roger Gracie. Photo by Gustavo Aragão
Roger Gracie. Photo by Gustavo Aragão

4. Know your body and look for the best fuel

Maintaining is always better than fixing. Pay attention to your body and go see a professional whenever you feel that something is not right. Also, you can’t expect to be a champion if you run on bad fuel. Study the principles of a healthy diet and look for the best nutritional plan for you. Again, ask a specialist.

5. Repeat!

If you don’t practice, you’ll never get it right. The secret for having a flowing game is to make every movement a reflex. The only way to do that is to practice as much as you can and understand why you are doing each movement and how it connects to the next one as well as the one that came before.

6. Always warm-up (no really, always!)

If there’s no excuse for not training, there’s also no excuse for not warming up before training. Modern science shows that dynamic stretching is vital for safer rolling. Work your joints and muscles and get your body ready for the demands of a training session.

7. Sleep well 

This is so basic we feel we should not even mention it, but we will. If you don’t get that nice 8 hours of sleep every night, you are not allowing your body recover properly. Make it a habit as much as going to the academy and washing your gi after each session.

Royce Gracie. Photo by Luca Atalla
Royce Gracie. Photo by Luca Atalla

8. Train even when tired

It doesn’t need to be a every day thing, but now and then try going for a second roll without resting after a specially tough session. It’s going to be good for your body and for your mind. It will help you find that extra fuel and also train your mind to solve problems even under a lot of stress.

9. Strengthen your grips

Strong grips are one of those things that go unnoticed despite its incredible importance. Include in your routine exercises to strengthen your hands and fingers and also learn how to break grips. The one who is able to have a strong hold of the opponent is closer to victory.

10. Always come back the next day 

Don’t quit! Just don’t! Even after a really bad session (or competition). That’s when it’s specially important to be at the gym the next day to work on the mistakes made. Also, don’t focus your Jiu-Jitsu journey on results. Enjoy the ride!

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