An article I recently read by Stephan Kesting looks at something that almost every grappler has trouble finding at some point or another, that’s time. Whether it’s someone on the mat or on the treadmill, I feel like “finding the time” is a topic that comes up very often among my fellow Jiu Jitsu practitioners. Just this week one of my girlfriends was telling me how she struggles to make it to our club as often as she would like. Between three kids, a husband and working as a freelance translator I can completely see why! Stephan Kesting is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt who has been through the downtime from training that life will inevitably throw at you. Here are some of his Jiu Jitsu techniques to stay on your game as much as possible when life throws you those curve balls. To see the original article check it out at www.bjj.org.
Strategy 1: Make Time for Grappling
Personally, when my workload at the office starts to pile up I feel like saying forget it to training once a week and just waiting it out until things slow down at work. The feeling is that if you can’t give it 100% then why bother? You may know the feeling too. You may feel like you’re not making any progress by only training once or twice a week, but if that’s all you can afford to do then stick to it! Don’t go cold-turkey. Even that one hour you put in each week will still keep you way ahead than if you were to just call it quits until you “have the time”.
Another thing you should ask yourself is how much of my time am I really using productively? I don’t mean to patronize but as Kesting puts it “if you’re still managing to watch all new episodes of Entourage, Glee, and Dancing with the Stars, plus posting on Facebook five times a day. If you can do this then you DO have the time to train, and I’m a little less sympathetic!” Take a moment to think about where your time is going and if it’s really worth using it like that.
Strategy 2: Make Time to Exercise
Now that you’ve reassessed your schedule and squeezed an extra hour or two out of each day, why not take that time and go for a run? Swimming, biking or even power walking are great ways to keep your cardiovascular health up. By doing this you will save your breath when you do start rolling on the mat more often. Endurance is crucial. Also consider doing some weight training. Keeping your muscles and joints strong will also be very beneficial and shorten your recovery time when you do manage to make it to the club more often. Whatever activity you choose what’s important is that you stay active!
Strategy 3: Keep Your Mind Active
This is an interesting point I hadn’t thought of. The idea behind this is that by keeping your mind focused on Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, the sport will be less foreign to you when you do end up hitting the mat again. Think about it, if you’re routinely watching grappling videos, listening and reading up on training methods you will keep your mind tuned to the activity that has become so elusive to you. There are many studies that support the notion that visualization can be a powerful tool towards achieving an ends and the same goes for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Check out some of Stephen Kesting’s grappling videos. You can find them at the link above.