The hardest days of the week for me are Tuesday and Thursday. These are the days my mind wanders around, looking for a way to improve my game without an outlet to try things out. I thought that going to jiu jitsu 5 days a week would be enough, but honestly, sometimes it’s just not.
The time between rolling makes me think of the holes in my game (as gaping as they are), or to sit back and read, preparing my mind either through Saulo Ribiero’s “Jiu-Jitsu University” or just a good old book (currently “A Feast for Crows” – George RR Martin). Without stimulating my mind, I find that I get anxious, palms get sweaty and I end up scouring the ‘nets for techniques I probably can’t pull off anyway.
The hardest thing to do during these times is finding a way to relax. I get tense internally thinking about the next day’s rolls, or even the previous day. Why didn’t I pull my arm back to prevent him from regaining guard? Where did that arm triangle come from? I thought I blocked him out; how did he get my arm over my head? Why isn’t this bait technique working anymore?
The list goes on and on.
The truth of the matter is that I need to take time away from jiu jitsu and that’s what Tuesday and Thursday provide. If I live on the mat I might get better, but I probably won’t be able to internalize the things I’m working on; I might hit that armbar once – or even 5 times – but I won’t be able to figure out WHY I hit it; going through the motions physically only leads me to be part of the jiu jitsu light infantry; I want to be a general. I have to keep my mind in it by giving little breaks to my body. I should watch videos, listen to other instructors, ponder my own game. Granted, I shouldn’t FREAK OUT about it, but this ensures that I’m spending time thinking about jiu jitsu in a cognitive, healthy way as much as possible.