In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, we often encounter a very interesting phenomenon. Namely, you could be flowing during roll one day, and then completely suck the day after. From moving like a black belt world champion to having nothing work like it’s your second time rolling. What gives? The more surprising thing is that this tends to happen over and over again, at every belt level. And, there’s no real way of knowing when it is going to happen. A bad Jiu-Jitsu day is something we all go through. That, however, doesn’t make it easier. The very next session might turn out to be your best. But only if you do not allow the bad day to impact you.
The truth is you need to really appreciate those bad JIu-Jitsu days. It is the days when everything goes opposite to your plans that are going to turn you into a better grappler. Who knows, they might just end up making you a world champion. You could argue that there’s no easy day in Jiu-Jitsu, and you’d probably be right. However, you’ll know a bad day when you hit one and you won’t get a happy ending out of it. The trick is to accept that they’ll happen over and over again and try and find the lesson somewhere in there. Otherwise, you just got all worked up for nothing
A Bad Day At the Office
The term “A Bad Day At The Office” is actually on that fits today’s subject perfectly. People often have those days when nothing seems to go right. The scariest thing is that you may wake up feeling like a million bucks, ready to conquer the world. Then, the moment you step out, things start to fall apart. Well, when your escape from the world is grappling, and you have a bad JIu-Jitsu day, things just go from bad to worse.
Having an overall bad day is enough to make you want to crawl under a blanket and disappear until the next sunrise. However, a bad Jiu-Jitsu day may actually send you in a rage if you let it. When the task at hand is grappling with people, and you can’t do it, the resulting frustration can be debilitating. Whatever you seem to do, your body and mind just refuse to cooperate. All of your timing, even on your best moves is gone. Moreover, training partner that you usually dominate with ease now escapes every attack you attempt. Furthermore, they gain momentum and try to launch attacks of their own, which often catch you unprepared. Then, it’s time for the next roll and that one is even worse. If you’ve been training for a while, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Every now and again, you’ll have a bad day on the mats. For us grapplers, that’s just like a bad day at the office. However, in the rare times that a bad day at the actual office coincides with a bad day on the mats, you’ll want to go Hulk out on everyone. There’s actually a lot you can learn from a bad Jiu-Jitsu day, you just need to look at ait a bit differently.
Getting Through A Tough Jiu-Jitsu Day
Getting through a bad JIu-Jitsu day is not actually the toughest part. Yeah, it sounds surprising but you can even get through it on your own. Tough it out and, as frustrated as you might be, you’ll still get through a class. However, it is very likely that you’ll like the experience with you, and it’ll reflect on your next class, etc, etc, creating a snowball effect. Instead, we’ll offer you a few ways that’ll help you get through a bad day, and leave it behind you.
The first thing you should know is that you can’t perform 100% every day. IF you could, you’d be a world champion by now. There’s a reason why people use the phrase “peak performance”. And you need to enjoy it while you’re there because there’s also “bottom performance” as well.
The first thing to consider is recovery. Is your body, and more importantly, your mind rested enough to get you through BJJ class? IF not, then skip the next class and give yourself some much-needed rest. You won’t get an easier fix than this one. Along the same lines, you might just be hitting a bit of a plateau because you’re training too often. Give yourself a week off, gain a fresh perspective on things and then come back.
Maybe, you’re just trusting your own moves too much. Try mixing things up a little bit, introducing new moves and positions to freshen up your game. OR maybe, just maybe, your mind is not completely focused on Jiu-Jitsu on a given day, even though you think it is. Whatever it is, you just need to remember to slap a big smile on your face. Why? Cause you can’t be tense while smiling, which mean you won’t risk injuries, at the very least.
The More – The Better
The way a bad Jiu-Jitsu day can manifest is during rolling, during regular class practice or during both. Regardless of what happens, you need to actually appreciate a bad day on the mats. Why? Because it will teach you a lot about yourself. A bad day is an invaluable tool that helps you conquer your ego. And that is the one hardest thing you’ll learn as a grappler.
To make things clear, the first couple of months in BJJ do not really constitute as bad days. That’s just an “adjustment period” of sorts. However, many of the same lessons you learn during those times, apply to bad training days. First and foremost, it doesn’t mean that your game is bad or not effective. On the contrary, a bad jiu-jitsu day shouldn’t have you reconsidering your entire game plan. However, it will teach you a highly valuable lesson – facing adversity. The fact of the matter is, sometimes even you’re a game on your best day is not going to be enough. Sometimes you just need to fight on and find a way to end up on top, literally and figuratively.
Also, you need to remember that being slightly off at BJJ doesn’t necessarily mean the rest of your day is going to be bad. It may just be a combination of circumstances that have your grappling abilities diminished of the day. If so, you can call it a day and head home early, or stay and try to get a lesson out of it. However, make sure your mind is in the right place if you do. It is better to tap a few times and figure out what might just happen even on a great day than try and muscle through and injure yourself, or your training partners.
Getting through a bad day at the office might be as simple as minimizing contact and riding it out. A bad JIu-Jitsu day, on the other hand, might actually have consequences. That said, you need to consider what spurred it, and make sure it doesn’t repeat itself the next time you’re on the mats. Moreover, you need to appreciate the lessons a day like this can teach you. They can be just as valuable as an entire month of training!