Everyone has different goals in BJJ or any martial art. From the fierce competitor to the casual student, everyone wants to get better. Knowing when and why to be a student, warrior, or martial artist will help you meet your goals. Being in the correct mindset during class will help you develop at an increased rate.
Student mode– If you are more than a couple of months away from competing you might consider thinking of yourself as more of a student. When you are a student you are trying new things. You will not be focusing on your battle tested techniques. For example: if you are normally a top player, you might decide to pull guard. This will put you out of your comfort zone. You will not be as effective during rolling if you are in student mode, but your learning will be at an accelerated rate. You may not end up completely changing your style, but it will at least help you understand techniques and positions that you don’t normally try. This is a great time for growth and development.
Warrior mode– When you are a month or two away from competing you should be in warrior mode. You need to tighten up your game; you are doing and drilling the moves you do best. You are working on a game plan and sticking to it; this is not the time to be playing around with some new trick you found online. When you are in warrior mode and you are rolling, your partners will know what you are trying to do, and you will still be hard to stop. For example: If your game plan is to get top position, pass and then choke – that is what you should be doing. Don’t pull guard just because you are too tired to fight for position. If you end up on the bottom work your “back up plan” or work to get back to your primary game plan. Don’t get caught playing around with moves you are not good at. Even if you do not compete you should occasionally put yourself in warrior mode, this will help you develop core techniques.
Martial Artist mode– Find balance in both student and warrior modes. If you are in student mode all the time you may fail to develop solid moves that you can rely on when you need them. If you only work from warrior mode you will slow your ability to learn and understand other parts of Jiu-jitsu. Decide what mode you should be in and put yourself to work. By doing both, you will accelerate your ability and knowledge.
Other articles you might like:
Take the Staff- A short story with a life lesson
One Handed Drill to Improve Your Open Guard
Starting from your knees- The good, the bad, and the worn out gi pants
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