Approach to Learning.

Who knew that getting beat up could be so damn fun? Well, if you do jiu-jitsu, you know.

Last night was one of my best classes to date. I don’t know if I’ve ever smiled and laughed as much as I did last night. I am assuming that a big part of it was having to miss a few classes and just being really, really happy to be back.

Yay! More bodily torture!



We really are somewhat of a crazy breed. I mean to an outsider we probably look really, really foolish to want to subject ourselves to what we do. But, really the outsider is the fool. An outsider sees only the surface. If only they knew, really knew and understood what we get out of this, maybe there would be a shit-ton more people on the mats.

Yes. Yes it is. Shit-ton is an actual measurement in my world.


The other side of my extreme happiness was from seeing a little bit of the extra work and effort I’ve been putting in at home during my morning workouts actually pay off.

Sweeps have been something that I just really suck at. I can’t ever seem to get the timing right or the details all in check in order to actually get the sweep. Every night we do pass, sweep, submit and every night I majorly lack in the sweep department like a janitor without a broom. I figured I can either keep having trouble with my sweeps and letting it frustrate me or I can do something about it. So, I studied. I drilled. I watched videos to make sure I was getting all the right details. I drilled. I studied. I drilled some more. I was determined to better my sweep game. And, guess what happened?

I swept people. I actually swept people.

Five to be exact, and two right on the verge as the timer went off, but who’s counting…

One week of extra effort and in return for my time I was rewarded with many new victories.


All this week I’ve really thought a lot about how people approach learning jiu-jitsu. I became really curious as to if people supplement their training, if they “study” jiu-jitsu, watch videos, drill at home, or take notes after class. Lately, out of my increasing love for jiu-jitsu I keep having this strong urge, a need to get better. It’s not really coming from a place of extreme frustration or urgency to advance, I just want to make sure I am maximizing my efforts. It’s a need to make sure that I am approaching learning in a way that is going to make all this effort and training stick with me. It’s no secret that we all learn and absorb information in different ways and I’m curious to find out what the best approach for learning jiu-jitsu is for me.

I already know that one of the best ways for me to really digest and retain what I’m learning is to study it and get into a better, deeper understanding of why a technique works and how it works. I’m one of those people that loves information. I question everything and find joy in researching what I don’t know to understand it better.


I feel like this was instrumental to how I was able to get those sweeps last night. I may not have gotten them with the exact technique, but just simply understanding the concepts of how a sweep works helped me tremendously.

I’m also trying out taking some notes after each class. I’ve always kind of wanted to do this because it fits right in line with how I usually approach learning. I am a list making, note taking addict. My problem was that I could never really find an approach to it that fit my need for organized perfection and I just never took the time to figure it out. But, after reading a really good blog post from Lucas Walker (click link to check it out) about how to take notes after class, I was able to come up with an easy and more organized plan for that. So far, I really like it. I know a lot of people hand write their notes and that was were I was having some trouble with it. I didn’t want a notebook that was hard to navigate and find what I needed when I needed it, so instead I do all of mine on my computer. I have a BJJ folder on my desktop and each technique I have typed up notes for has it’s own document. This way I can easily find and add to what I need, when I need it. It’s easy, it’s organized in a way I like, and so far it seems to really help me retain the information I’ve learned.

After just one week of really focusing in on how I learn and trying to maximize those tools, it already made a big difference in my performance on the mat. I’m really glad that I finally took this approach and a part of me wishes I would have started this sooner. However, as much as I wish that, I think I had so much mental fog and struggles to sort through that I just didn’t have the right mindset yet to approach my learning in this way. It’s a nice change that makes me really excited about my jiu-jitsu future and growing my jiu-jitsu intelligence.


One thought on “Approach to Learning.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s