What's the hardest yet most tantalising thing about jiujitsu? It's that fact that demand all of your attention when you are doing it. Not some. Not most, but all.
What's the best and fastest way to improve your jiujitsu? It's to tone down your attributes and focus on the details of the techniques.
We know these statements to be true, but how do we put them in action? Here's my suggestion.
1. Add more steps:
John Will once told me: "every technique in jiujitsu, and in life, is made of steps and the more steps and micro steps you add, the more exact and accurate your jiujitsu, and life, will be"
As an example, John demonstrated the omoplata shoulder lock from the closed guard then he taught it quickly in 2-3 moves / steps. To emphasise his previous point, he re-taught it in 6-7 steps and the whole group understood it and performed it much better. He then gave us 4 minutes to discuss in pairs how we could even more steps to the omoplata with the motivation that the pair of students who had the most steps won*.
The rationale was that jiujitsu work, always. But the opponent can also use jiujitsu to defend your techniques.
To add more steps to every technique means we add more stops along the journey where we can:
-decrease their leverage and discomfort
-increase our leverage and comfort
-see their opportunities to defend and escape and potentially shut them down
-see additional opportunities for us to enhance our attack or even change route
This tip alone is worth a lot so please go ahead and implement it into you jiujitsu, and indeed life.
2. The only step that matters is the one you're doing right now:
This on actually comes from my mom. I remember studying for a history test as a 11-12 year old and she was helping me. She was by no means an expert on the subject but she stood there and watched me study and after 5 minutes she said the following words:
"You seem to be thinking about 5 different things and attempting to do 3 of them at the same time but you're doing NONE of them well!"
Yeah my mom is gentle like that.
But she was right and even 11 year old me knew that. I can honestly say that that was a turning point in my career as a learner.
The only thing that matters is the one thing you're doing right now.
In jiujitsu, this is easy to notice:
Yes you can do an armbar from the closed guard and if they pull the arm out you can transition to a triangle. But when doing the armbar, the only thing that should matter is that armbar.
Now, let's rephrase that by going back to what John was saying about steps:
When breaking the opponent's posture from the closed guard the only thing that matters is breaking their posture. Done? Good
When controlling the shoulder of the arm you're locking the only thing that matters is controlling the shoulder of the arm you're locking.
Do you get the picture?
Add more steps, but only focus on the very one you're doing right now.
*the place of the one step armbar...etc