How to Retain More BJJ? Take Notes. - alldaybjj

How to Retain More BJJ? Take Notes.

In my 8 years of training, I only recently began utilizing my own Jiu-Jitsu notebook. I have tried just about everything from white belt including online apps, online instructionals, and purchasing DVDs. While all of these things were good (and also expensive), it didn’t really help me retain as much information as I wanted. Perhaps part of this could have been because it was at the beginning of my training and I wasn’t as focused like I am now. It really wasn’t until late in my purple belt (last year) that I started to keep a dedicated notebook to write down techniques I learned that I didn’t want to forget… and boy, did it help A TON. Let me tell you why:

Not only was this extremely helpful in retaining information (after having to remember and write down each move step by step), but it also helped me relay the same information back to others while instructing my own classes – which further helps with retention of information.

Having a notebook makes the money you spend on seminars or privates worth it because you have something to refer back to. If you learn a bunch of techniques at a seminar, drill it for 30 minutes, and don’t write it down – chances are, you will forget… especially if there are other instructors teaching other, very different techniques. We can’t always rely on being able to take videos during seminars or privates, so in the case that its not allowed, having a notebook is a good back up plan to ensure that what you just learned doesn’t go out the window the next day.

In addition to writing down techniques, I also turned my notebook into a Jiu-Jitsu journal. Meaning, I also noted who I trained with that day/night, what happened and what worked/what didn’t work. This helped me reflect on my training and it forced me to ask myself the hard questions of what I specifically needed to work on in the immediate future to correct common mistakes. If you are really introspective, you can use this as an opportunity to reflect on a daily basis what you’re struggling with, what you are doing/not doing to change, etc. Sometimes reflections like this bring you the most clarity, which often translate into your performance on the mat.

My only regret is that I didn’t start doing this sooner. I have a friend who literally doesn’t go anywhere without his notebook. He can been seen during seminars, front and center, with his notebook and pen in hand while someone is demonstrating the technique. I can only imagine the amount of information he has accumulated since he began doing this – which is definitely more than I can reflect back on since it’s only documented in my now, slowly aging brain.

Oh, and one last thing: it’s cool to take notes in your phone especially if you don’t have your notebook handy. However, there is something about actually writing it down that will help you remember it better. Additionally, sometimes phones crap out and unfortunately you could lose all the information on it. Keep your important BJJ knowledge somewhere safe!

Lea Young

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