In the phrase “Practice Makes _________,” most people fill in the blank with “Perfect.” However, at Stoic BJJ, and in just about every other area of life, the more accurate word is “Patterns.” Just because you practice something 100 times does not automatically mean you have that skill mastered. If you practiced 100 times the wrong way, you have now engrained that skill in your mind incorrectly. Practicing creates a pattern in your head that eventually comes naturally to you. That repetition must be performed correctly and purposefully in order to ensure the most success.
In Brazilian jiu-jitsu, if you slack off and are lazy with your drilling, you will be lazy during a live round. If you skip steps or do the move wrong, the same will happen during a live round – or a competition, or a self-defense scenario.
Want to avoid this? Pay close attention to your coach during instruction, taking note of key details such as where hands/feet are placed or where the pressure is supposed to be applied. Also, if your coach repeats a step multiple times, it is probably a good idea to pay close attention. Once you’ve broken off into drilling with your partner, go slow at first to ensure you don’t miss any steps. If you can’t remember exactly what to do, don’t worry. Don’t be afraid to ask your partner or coach to assist you. Even if you think you know the drill or technique all the way through, it may be in your best interest to also have the coach watch you do it as well, in case they notice something that needs to be adjusted. From there, continue drilling to make it more fluid, but don’t sacrifice accuracy for speed. Additionally, ask your partner to give you a little pressure so you can understand how it will feel while rolling.
By practicing the correct way each time, you are not only making patterns but perfect patterns. In the long run, this will greatly help your jiu-jitsu and you should see better results in all areas.