This is a feeling we all have at some time in BJJ. We do our best to tackle this question and give you some advice to keep your growth at a level you are happy with.
We talk about:
Times we have not gotten better
What to do if you are not getting any better
Can you get worse while training BJJ?
Adjusting your game
Why it is difficult to judge your improvements
How to tell if you are getting better
Are you holding yourself back?
Why a plateau happens
How to find direction with your jiu-jitsu
Quote of the week: “If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.” Bruce Lee
This is an adaptation of an old saying “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”. In modern day thought, this means that it is better to have a sure thing than to risk the sure thing for more.
A choke in the hand is worth 2 in a Book
A choke that you know well and can perform at a higher level compared to your other techniques is worth two (well way more than two) in a book. In this day of BJJ and the internet, one of the biggest mistakes is for students to perpetually switch from learning different techniques and never mastering any of them. This style of learning is a mistake, and a common one.
Now for the original meaning of the phrase. This phrase comes from medieval falconry. The bird in your hand is your trained falcon, this falcon hunts other birds for you. The skills and tools you posses are worth way more than the rewards of a days work. Your skills, on the mat, at work, with people… falconry 🙂 are important to your successes. Spend time collecting powerful skills, not an overflow of knowledge you can’t use.
What are your thoughts? Modern meaning or original? BJJ related or off the mat?
“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.” Bruce Lee
“It’s hard to beat a person that never gives up.” Babe Ruth
This is so true for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. If you are on the mat with someone who just keeps coming at you, you know that you are in for a tuff roll.
It is also true for the long term. If you start to get discouraged about your BJJ, don’t quit! Hang in there, you will get better. You will also gain mental toughness.
I went to Panama in August 2013. I was lucky enough to get some mat time and learn from Hector Vasquez. Hector is a great instructor and I recommend his school to anyone in Panama. I also walked around in the old part of panama called Casco Viejo.
I saw this graffiti in Casco Viejo.
Great line for BJJ. Your ego is not your amigo
If you are going to train in Panama City I strongly recommend contacting Hector, he speaks perfect English. Hector is an excellent instructor and a very nice guy. He also has kids classes and has hosted a tournament in Panama. Click here to start training in Panama
Here is my quick guide to visiting Panama.
1) Go see the canal. My wife and I went to the Miraflores locks. You gotta see the canal if you go to panama.
2) Experience the rainforest. We booked a jungle day tour here. www.junglelandpanama.com/
It was an amazing experience, we saw four different kinds of monkeys, countless birds and the hundreds of beautiful plants. Carl is a entertaining and knowledgeable guide.
3) Pearl islands. If you have time take the ferry to the islands. We spent the day on the island snorkeling and watching whales. Here is the ferry we took. www.ferrylasperlas.com. We went to Contadora Island.
4) Check out Panama City. There is lots to see, just get a decent cab and discuss the price before you get in.
5) Do some Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, go see or call Hector. I recommend seeing as much of Panama as you can. And if you have a little time in one of the evenings swing by and get some mat time.
If you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org