1) Supplemental workouts outside of your academy – Try doing cardiovascular, strength and endurance training when not on the mats. Doing this will go a long way in helping your Jiu Jitsu. Stronger muscles will help you prevent injury. Cardio and endurance training will help you roll harder, longer.
2) Hang around when class is over – Inevitably when class ends a few people will hang around drilling techniques or talking about Jiu Jitsu. This is a great time to ask questions and learn tweaks for your game that you might not learn if you were to leave as soon as class ends.
3) Use what you learned in training that day – Your BJJ coach teaches specific techniques for a reason. They want you to learn how to use those techniques while you are rolling. If your coach teaches a mount escape, go for that particular escape that day when you are mounted. Doing so will give you practice with the technique and show your instructor that your were paying attention in class.
4) Increase your training hours per week – Try to squeeze in as much Jiu Jitsu as possible per week. Sometimes there are classes we could attend at our academy but maybe we don’t feel like waking up early or staying up late. Force yourself to get to the academy during those times. You will absolutely be glad that you did. I have never left BJJ class thinking, “I should have stayed in bed.”
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5) Rest/Recover – Rest and recovery is extremely important in terms of improving your Jiu Jitsu. Gains are not made in the gym. Gains are made during the period of rest. 8 – 9 hours per day of sleep will keep you energetic on the mats and will ensure that you don’t over train your body, which can set you back more than it will help.
6) Proper nutrition – “You are what you eat.” You have heard this spoken and it is true. Fruits and vegetables are your friend. Processed fatty foods are your enemy. If you adhere to a proper diet you will literally have more energy than you can burn off. Eating the wrong foods will make you feel slow and sluggish.
7) Have fun – Sometimes folks can take Jiu Jitsu too seriously. Remember why you started Jiu Jitsu. We started because it is such a fun sport! Try expressing your creativity on the mats on occasion. Forget about being tapped out. Try techniques just for the fun of it! Come to Jiu Jitsu as a child would, ready to have fun!
8) Visit other academies – Visit some other academies in your area to get some new rolling partners and fresh perspectives. Visiting other academies will go far in showing areas you areas that you can improve in. You will also make new friendships and form new relationships! This is a huge part of BJJ that keeps us all bound together and enjoying ourselves.
Below are some cool videos that offer further assistance in improving your Jiu Jitsu. Enjoy!