BJJ – Learn it your way

When I first donned my crisp BJJ gi and white belt, one of my friends and training partners was a fellow student who could never sit still during a technique demonstration.

Whilst the rest of us were intently watching, my friend would simultaneously adopt the same body position as the instructor and follow through the technique, mimicking the instructor’s hand/feet etc movements as the technique required on an imaginary partner. To the uninitiated, this often made for an unusual sight of a lone figure twisting around on the mats.

I wondered if my friend really benefited from this. Surely, if one simply concentrated on what the instructor was doing rather than trying to watch and do at the same time, more would be absorbed?

Fast forward years later and the above scenario makes a lot more sense to me. That was simply how my friend best learned technique.

Everybody learns differently — some by simply watching; some through having the technique demonstrated on them so they can feel how the technique is meant to work.  Some people like to roll with their eyes closed so they can feel movement better; some can visualise techniques in their head; others draw blanks and need to workshop certain moves. Some simply are drillers – practising the same move hundreds and hundreds of time until it becomes muscle memory.

Personally, I wish I was one of those people who could simply watch BJJ videos on YouTube and execute the moves perfectly on the first go.

I’m not one of those people. I need a combination of all the above. I need to watch, feel, talk out loud, drill, telegraph, troubleshoot (and then do it all over again). It’s an iterative process. But everyone gets to choose their own process and learn BJJ (or any martial art) the way that best suits them.

VT (Blue belt – 2 stripe)

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