– An essential part in learning any skill is repetition. The more reps we do, the more our skill develops. The same concept goes for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. We repeat a technique over and over getting used to the movements. Teaching our bodies. Muscle memory. Conscious brain into subconscious mind/body. Repetition is essential.
As we do our reps we must also hone the technique to its ultimate efficiency. Absorbing feedback from our coach, our partners, and ourselves. Making adjustments to the mechanics (moving parts) so it works better. With each rep there is an opportunity to improve the technique. Be mindful of what you are doing. A simple technique that we already know should be drilled with the same attention as a newer flashy technique or submission.
I’m not talking about reps that we would do in the gym lifting weights. That’s for a different purpose. That’s to break down the muscle so it can be built up stronger. In Jiu Jitsu, reps have an opposite purpose. We do reps, refining the technique with each one, so we don’t break our muscles down. So we don’t get tired. That’s the goal. To do 1,000 reps in a row with the thousandth one being equally efficient as the first. With ZERO drain of our energy.
That’s why being overly fixated with getting “the tap” is a flawed mindset. It encourages us force improper technique. Because when we force, we get exhausted. When we get exhausted, we die.
As beginners it is natural to get exhausted. So white belts, don’t worry about it too much. Your still figuring out the mechanics of the fundamentals. Your technique is young yet. But keep in mind the goal: FLOW not FORCE. Good rule of thumb: if you encounter moderate resistance, change course. Find an easier path.
Blue Belts, you have to balance sharpening your teeth (to bite with effective submissions & sweeps) and resisting the urge to force technique. The rule for you: if you hit mild resistance, change course…but when you find a submission, take it. However, a forced submission isn’t worth much. It may boost your ego but not your Jiu Jitsu. If you are exhausted after a roll it better be from constant movement and not from muscling. Strive for efficiency and not “the tap.” If the submission happens, so be it. But efficiency is the goal. Maximum results, minimum effort.
With each rep of a technique ask yourself, “can I do 999 more of these and not be tired?”
1,000 reps with the last as good as the first. Now go train!