Feeling like your progress in BJJ has stalled completely isn’t an uncommon feeling, and that’s true no matter what your belt rank. Hitting a plateau can happen anywhere, any time – it’s really just part of the experience. Still, there are a few pitfalls that can trip you up and make breaking past that plateau a truly torturous experience. Here are four reasons you aren’t getting better at BJJ, and what you can do to change that.
You aren’t Training Enough
Let’s start with the most obvious scenario – you’re hitting the mats once or twice a week at best, and that’s definitely going to impact your progress. When you’re learning something new in class, waiting five or seven days to try it out is just too much of a gap. Without a chance to put it into practice, the odds are good you’re just going to forget it.
Here’s a good rule of thumb – attend three classes a week to maintain your current skill level and four per week to begin seeing steady progression. Personal schedules and lifestyles will have an impact on this, obviously, but be clear about what you’re really getting if two classes a week is an absolute max for you.
On the flip side of that spectrum is where overtraining can actually start to hold you back and impede your progress. We live in a “more is always better” world, but frequency and intensity can start to impact your ability to recover. It can be hard to build in rest days, but they’re important.
you don’t have specific goals
Having specific goals and some kind of plan to reach them is goal setting 101. It’s one thing to commit to attending class three or four days a week, and it’s another thing entirely to attend those same classes as a means to an end. The end, of course, is entirely personal. But just understanding what you’re working toward can be a game changer. Analyzing what you’re doing so that you can shore up the weak parts of your game is a good way to see specific improvement, and that’s called progress, baby.
you aren’t trying anything new
Having a thorough understanding of the fundamentals is critical, clearly, but pushing yourself to learn something new keeps thing interesting. When you use the same techniques over and over again, things can start becoming routine and, well, a little boring. A good instructor will actually keep this scenario at bay by introducing new concepts and techniques at the right time, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do your best to keep your own energy and interest firing by trying something new.
You aren’t looking at the big picture
If you evaluate your BJJ skill from one class to the next, you’re doing it wrong. The best way to really assess your progress is with a long view. How have you improved over the last six months or a year? If you honestly believe that there is no change to your game over the last twelve months, something needs to change. But if you’ve been attending classes regularly and working hard, comparing yourself to the guy/girl on the mat twelve months ago should be pretty eye-opening.
If you’re still worried about your progress and none of the issues outlined above apply, try something new at Guerrilla BJJ. First class is free, and we’d love to roll with you and offer some constructive criticism.