Tim Bruce is a 2nd Degree Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, He as coached, been a judge, referee, competitor and instructor. He started teaching BJJ in 2004 and has written about sport jiu jitsu for several publications and websites. He currently teaches in Jupiter at the Jupiter Boxing Club. He currently owns NovaGenix, which is an Anti Aging and Hormone Therapy clinic at 609 N Hepburn Ave, Jupiter FL 33458 where they offer PRP and Stem Cell Therapy in Palm Beach.
The next letter in the goal setting acronym is M for MEASURABLE. This can be harder in Jiu Jitsu than in another sport that can have easier statistical data to measure. For example a basketball player can set a goal of 75% free throws and averaging 15 points per game. BJJ has a tougher time measuring results and progress due to the fact that each day and each partner you roll with is different. We have our good days when we roll at a high level and we have days where we just aren’t feeling it. The trick is to find a goal where you can track its progress. Instead of saying “Get better at Armbars”, try finding a way where you can set a measurable goal that will naturally improve your armbars. Practicing 50 extra armbars a day, attempt 5 armbars during live rolls and attempt 1 armbar in a competition are measurable and will lead to the goal of getting better at armbars. It’s hard to keep statistical data on what percentage of armbars attempted you finish, there are too many variables to complicate the data, such as rank and size of opposition, etc. This is a major reason why BJJ is so unique and wonderful, yet potentially frustrating all at the same time! A goal that you can measure will allow you to determine if you are making progress towards the greater prize.
Physical conditioning allows for an easier time in measuring progress. Being able to increase weight lifted, times run for a mile and pull-ups done are all quantitative and thus can be monitored and assessed as far as their progress towards an ultimate goal. Saying I want to get better or good at something is relative and cannot be measured so having targets to show improvement are important to allow a fighter the feedback needed to adjust training methods when a plateau is hit. Speaking with your instructor or coach is a good way to determine your growth. Ultimately a good instructor will be able to provide the best feedback for you concerning your Jiu Jitsu and how it’s progressing and what elements you need to work on. It’s important to remember that if you are using quantitative measurements, then you need to predetermine what numbers represent success. When do you know and how will it show are two questions that you need to be able to answer when setting measurable goals in BJJ.
Setting Goals in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu = The formula for success.
Sports psychology is an underrated and often ignored aspect of martial arts. The fact is that it is often one of the most important areas in determining a person’s potential for advancement and success in their chosen art. Whether you want to compete, train for fun or are serious about personal fitness goals, having a handle on the psychological aspects of learning a martial art can mean the difference between success and failure. The very first step in the process is to sit down and determine what your individual goals are. Goal setting is the process of thinking about what you want to accomplish and establishing realistic expectations of yourself. How well you establish your own personal goals and think about the best way to accomplish these goals will give you the formula for success.
Creating a list of goals is not as simple as one thinks. There is an acronym used to help develop a list of goals that can be used. It is called the S.M.A.R.T. goal acronym. The first part in S.M.A.R.T. goal setting is SPECIFIC. Setting Specific goals is important because it will help narrow down WHAT a person wants and then helps them determine HOW they can accomplish such goals. Often people will set a goal like “I want to get in shape.” Or “I want to be a UFC fighter.” These goals are not nearly specific enough and will not allow any clear path to accomplish anything. Setting a goal that is more specific will allow the person a chance to actually reach goals in a timely an efficient manner. Rather than setting a general goal, break it into realistic and easily attainable accomplishments. A goal of “Getting better in BJJ” can be simplified into specific goals like I. Go to BJJ class 3x a week. II. Compete 3X this year. III. Attend 2 seminars this year. IV. Watch 2 BJJ instructional DVD’s. V. Get my Blue belt within a year and a half. All of these are specific, non generalized goals that can be accomplished and will eventually lead you to the ultimate goal of getting better in BJJ.