By Eddie Edmunds – Achieving a blue belt level of Jiu Jitsu may take only a year or two. But what if you’re not content with intermediate Jiu Jitsu skills? What if your goal is to get your black belt and become a submission machine?
Your Brazilian Jiu Jitsu path To Black Belt will take exception achievement. Many McDojo’s will give away a black belt after a maximum of 3-4 years of study. In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, it requires a minimum of 5-8 years before one is even considered as a black belt candidate in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. And, you also must take into account the vast technical knowledge combined with the physical demands needed to achieve a black level ranking in Jiu Jitsu.
In this article I will share with you two powerful methods of learning that will catapult you closer to achieving your black belt.
1. Ask questions. Studying Jiu Jitsu like other martial arts is an investment in you. Those who take this investment seriously will start asking questions. What are the advantages to those who utilize the potent practice of questioning?
A. Asking questions means your trying to understand Jiu Jitsu from a perspective other than just doing repetitious movement without really knowing why. Jiu Jitsu is learned not just from physically participating in class each day but by careful observation of others training and striving to understand (asking questions) the root of each individuals style.
B. Asking questions is similar to a private lesson. The purpose of a private lesson is to custom-fit Jiu Jitsu to the student. If a student asks a question in a regular class, my customized response to that student will help him retain the answer for much longer because it is asked by him and the answer is directed to him for his benefit.
2. Keep a notebook. During college I came to class each day with a notebook and a pen/pencil prepared to take notes. I needed to remember the material presented to me and taking notes allowed me to review the material over and over again. Is there any other
way to remember the lecture? Well you can video tape the class or use a micro-recorder but you will still be taking “notes” in order to remember the content of the lecture.
A. Getting a notebook and taking notes will allow you to review a move as many times as you like. Through consistent review my ability to remember the move in detail is enhanced. In addition, there are numerous scientific studies that clearly show a vividly imagined event triggers our nervous system and aids in the embedding of a technique in our muscle memory.
B. Keeping a notebook also provides:
1. A place where you can write down the techniques your working on and be able to track your improvement.
2. A forum to record the development of your trademark moves and comments on your teammate’s strengths, weaknesses and what strategy works best against each one.
3. A history of the progression of your Jiu Jitsu game. It will show you where your skill level was six months ago with regards to a position or a move your working to perfect and the progress you have made since then.
Thus, the path to black belt can be shortened by performing these two, simple tasks.
Asking questions will build your ability to understand and remember Jiu Jitsu better. Keeping a notebook will also enhance your memory and aid you in executing a technique easier. And it gives you a blow-by-blow history of your progress.
Dedicate yourself to these two tasks and you will be surprised to see your Jiu Jitsu game step up a notch or two and get you closer to your ultimate goal: A Black Belt.
Eddie Edmunds is the head instructor of Fusion Academy of Martial Arts located in Salt Lake City, Utah. He is a Black Belt in the Bihonte Academy (Filipino Martial Arts, Jeet Kune Do, Mokuraiken Kempo) under Master Daniel Berry and a
Gracie Jiu Jitsu Brown belt under Professor Pedro Sauer.