Here is a small list of ways to be a better student; not only will this bring something positive to your academy’s culture, but you will definitely improve your Jiu Jitsu.

For those ripe to understand what real leverage means, you may also find that a lot of it applies equally to life away from the mat.

Most people readily agree that we need to seek out a good instructor but remember, the instructor is only half of the equation – you are the other half.

Be the best student you can be. Get the most reward for your time invested. Excel first – then prevail.

1. Get a training diary. Make notes after each class. Notes on what you learned. Notes on the good things that happened in rolling as well as the problems you had. Problems in RED colour.

2. Drink a litre of water before you head to class.

3. Ask a question each class. And this is important; listen to the answer.

4. Learn a fellow classmates name. Make sure to thank them, using their name, after every drill/roll.

5. Choose a technique, try to hit it ten times in a row.

6. Sit up straight and face instructor when he or she is talking. This subtle cue will let them know you are very interested in what they are saying and teaching.

7. When drilling, try to do a couple more reps than everyone else in the time allocated. Over time this makes a huge difference. I always went for a simple 10% more.

8. Try to identify the step-by-step process of every technique rather than just thinking of the technique as one large single movement.

9. When you learn a new technique, try to “connect/relate” it in your mind to some other technique. The more “memory anchors” you have, the better chance of retention.

10. Pay attention to detail. if you are not good at doing this, train yourself to do so. You want detail, you need detail; then, and only then, you will become detail oriented.

11. Dial back your rolling intensity and keep your breath under control. Do this, even if you get tapped more.

12. Embrace worst case scenario; bad positions, being tired. If you can become okay with those things, anything else is upside.

Best wishes,

John Will
5th Degree Black Belt