Focus on One Area of Your Game
With the new year approaching, it serves as a great time to step back for a moment and reassess your BJJ game. Like most of us, your gym will be closed for a few days over the holidays and you will be too busy making the cross-town travels visiting family and attending the usual parties with friends. Realistically, you may not step back on the mats until 2011. Now would be a good time to take a moment and pick one area of your game that you would like to focus on and improve. The trick to this exercise is picking an area you are NOT good at already.
Think of your typical sparring session in the gym. If you are a great guard player, how often do you find yourself pulling your sparring partner in your guard and working your vast array of chokes and sweeps until you are able to finish them from that position. Only to start again and end up in the same position? What happens if you are now matched against someone who may have an even better guard game, or is especially great at passing the guard? You find yourself in an uncomfortable position and unable to work your usual game. Again, pick an area of your game you may not particularly like to drill from and make it a point to work on it. That is truly the only way to get better.
I may have mentioned this quote before, but I often think of it when people talk about how great someone is from the guard, or they can guillotine anyone from any position. Rickson Gracie said something along the following: "You have guys that are great at an armbar from the guard. They can catch anyone in this position, and they are a 'black belt' at the armbar from the guard. But once you pass their guard and mount them, they are defenseless."
Allow yourself to learn to become a black belt in every position and situation.
Back in 2011
The Mental Dojo will be back in 2011 and my first entry for the new year will be a ground breaking one... I will teach you the one secret to getting your black belt. That's right, you heard it correctly... ONE thing you need to know to get your black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I could charge thousands of dollars for this secret, but I will be giving it away free for a short time in the new year.