Jiu-Jitsu Letter

Goals for Class

There’s advice that one should have a specific goal every class. That one should think about working on mount escapes only or whatever. Some coaches/personalities/influencers on YouTube and Instagram are adamant that “just showing up” is bad advice. They say your class isn’t productive if all you did was drill a technique and spar.

I know this hobbyist blue belt. He’d been around four or five schools, sometimes quitting and sometimes kicked out. He’d arrive early to warm up by himself before class, wearing elbow sleeves, knee sleeves, finger tape, fancy rash guard, and Beats headphones. He had a full routine and announced that he couldn’t be bothered during his warmup. When class would start, he’d do a little drilling, then usually sit out sparring, claiming injury. It was funny to see the guy spend so much time preparing to do so little.

He obviously didn’t come up with the performance on his own, and definitely not from any of his instructors or partners. Where would he think of doing all that?

And if you’re fairly new to the hobby1, don’t spend too much time on BJJ IG/YT, and definitely stay away from reddit. You’ll quit jiu-jitsu sooner than later if you reject this advice.

I suggest making your goals to avoid injury and leave with a smile.2

  1. For most people, it’s just a hobby. And so many of them approach it in the least sustaining way. Think of your friends who’ve kept a hobby like basketball or golf or fishing for a long time. They don’t think or talk about it like people do about jiu-jitsu. ↩︎

  2. Those are the top priorities. Of course, it’s helpful to sometimes have stuff like Alex Stuart’s “submission-free diet”, or yes, focusing on one technique for a class or even a few months. These methods keep things interesting. But if you want to play forever, then don’t overthink it. ↩︎

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