by John B. Will
Here’s a little advice for any Blue Belts languishing on the Blue Belt plateau. I am confident these tips will help!
ONE: Develop the habit of paying attention to detail from here on in … as soon as you have the ‘big picture’ or broad-strokes covered off, begin fleshing out the details; the real Jiu-Jitsu resides in understanding nuance. Drilling down is how we unearth the diamonds.
TWO: Ask 5 simple questions for everything you learn … what is our left arm/hand bringing to the technique? Our right arm/hand? Our left leg/foot? Our right leg/foot? And what is the general direction/shape of the technique? By asking and answering these five questions, I have noticed people really begin to take faster ownership of a technique. Using this little formula was how I stepped onto the path of technical Jiu-Jitsu.
THREE: Embrace the suck … there it is! Sometimes training sucks (sometimes life sucks) – it is just important to realize that this is often when the real learning is to be found. Seeking out the suck is the antithesis of being fragile. No one likes the suck …. but it is our response to the suck that brings positive change/immunization, etc.
FOUR: Begin to develop a game after Blue (used to be purple). Developing a game is an important part of developmental strategy. A solid three-pronged approach is to identify, practice and develop – a passing strategy – a guard strategy – a top-game finishing strategy. A highly recommended fourth prong would be to develop a solid takedown plan as well. Don’t worry too much about your first game (or you second or third for that matter) – it’s not set in stone; but it’s a start and a way to begin focusing on what you are doing.
FIVE: Be the training partner everyone wants to roll with! Just that!
Hope this is of help to those here who want to build a better mat. – John B. Will of Red Cat Academy