What Are Your Jiu Jitsu Resolutions?

By Joshua Rozenboom

The New Year is coming! 2018 is almost over, and perhaps you didn’t meet your training expectations this year. Did your school’s end-of-year promotions leave you feeling left out? Did you tournament season not go as planned? Did you start off the year with a bang, only to finish with a fizzle? Well, 2019 is right around the corner, and you can start over with a new set of Jiu Jitsu goals.

So, what can you do to actually stick to your “Jiu Jitsu resolutions? The most common goals are things like training more, going to more open mats, taking more private lessons, competing more, etc. All good ideas, but notice the thread of vagueness that ties them together. It’s easy to throw out a broad conceptual goal like “training more”, but what does that look like for you? How much do you train now, and what constitutes “more”?

There’s a difference between a goal and resolution.  A resolution is, by definition, a decision to do or not do something; generally speaking, a resolution is more thought than action, and largely symbolic. A goal, however, is a decision followed by action. In order to meet a goal, you need a plan with parameters and milestones. Using these tools will not only help you meet your goals, but improve your Jiu Jitsu, as well.

Yes, that is a bold claim. Let’s break down some goals and parameters that you might find helpful in the New Year:

Mat Time

If in the New Year you resolve to “train more”, let’s set a goal and define that goal. For example, of you currently train two days a week plus open mat on the weekend, set a goal of training three or four times a week, and schedule that one consistent open mat day. Have a schedule that you can reasonably follow, and stick to it. After a month or so, it will become habitual and a part of your daily life. You’ll feel accountable to your teammates and yourself. The extra mat time is nice, but the consistency is what will make a noticeable difference in you ability.

If you have a dynamic schedule, try using a different parameter such as mat hours. Calculate how many mat hours you would like to achieve, and how many per day or week that will require, and make sure you “get your hours in”. For example, if you want to hit 300 hours of training time this year, you will need four 90-minute classes, or six total hours a week.

Competition Goals

If your resolution is to “compete more”, what exactly does that mean? Are you going to sign up for every tournament this year? Is simply showing up for the tournament meeting your goal, win or lose? Or do you want to place higher this year? Deciding to go on a competition tear will quickly prove frustrating without setting some expectations and milestones.  It will help to decide if you want to improve as a competitor or crank up your competition record and become a force to be reckoned with.

The Next Belt

Now, this is a goal that some people will say shouldn’t matter, but it’s perfectly valid. Getting to the next belt means working harder, learning more, tightening up your game, and being a good example for your fellow students. All of these things go into a professor’s decision to promote you, so if a desire to get promoted forces you to evaluate your commitment to Jiu Jitsu and make improvements, it’s a valid goal.

Whatever your resolutions are for 2019, set up a plan and create some markers so that you can turn you decision into action, and hopefully you’ll have more success meeting your goals and more fun on the mats! What are your Jiu Jitsu goals for 2019 and how do you plan to meet them? Let us know in the comments!