Just because you can’t make it to your favourite mats for a class does not mean your training has to end altogether. A large part of Jiu Jitsu is creativity (this is why there are new moves every year!) so be creative when not on the mats to keep yourself engaged and progressing.
Here are just a few suggestions we have to help those inevitable times in the course of life and a long BJJ practice when you won’t be able to train actively; because doing something is 100 times better than doing nothing at all!
Seeing your team can keep you involved and lift your spirits even if you’re unable to roll. Hone your abilities as a visual and verbal learner by watching and listening to class.
Watch videos and read articles,
The last worlds or ADCC, an instructional series, the Choke documentary, Leticia Ribero’s X-guard app for phones. These are just a few good sources to look at and again, work on your visual learning skills. There are articles to be read online and in magazines like Blitz, or GracieMag. Doing these things will keep your mind engaged as well as broaden your exposure to the art. As any high level practitioner will tell you ultimately Brazilian Jiu Jitsu comes down to mental abilities and capacity so keep yours strong by training!
Practice your movements and excercise,
No mats around? If you’re on your own you can practice your movements, just as we do at the beginning of class. Think about their fluidity and timing. What sequences of movements can you come up with and go through? If you are travelling and short on space there are many calishtenic routines out there that require no more than enough space to spread your arms wide and go.
Drill with a partner,
If you’re not on your own, DON’T have the flu, and and have a willing participant at hand go for repetiction number and sequences opf moves chained together. If you are injured, drill from a position you are comfortable being in with at most 20% resistance.
Just think about the possibilities,
What are all the submission you know from guard? What about that one thing you saw that one time? What was it? Try to figure it out or hunt down the answer.
Work on recovery training,
If you’re out because of an injury, do your PT! If you are healthy but can’t get to training try any number of recovery activities you may put off during the time you are able to train- Foam rolling, yoga, stretching, sauna, massage, exercises for range of movement, flexibility, or de-loading muscles.
Whatever the reason you’re not in class remember that Gracie Jiu Jitsu will always be there for you to return to- the sooner the better. Your training partners are looking forward to it!