I am currently experiencing a BJJ funk. We all have them, and if you don’t think you do then either you’re a BJJ miracle student, or you’re not looking at your training hard enough. I tend to find that my training goes through peaks and plateaus, and it’s not entirely dependent on how many hours I’ve spent on the mat that week, although that does sometimes have an effect.
In the weeks leading up to the Newcastle competition I felt like I was on fire. Something had just clicked and everything seemed to be going in and working. I was learning new moves and nuances, and BJJ was so exciting because x, y and z. Don’t get me wrong, BJJ is still really exciting, it just feels like my training has fallen flat a bit in the last week or so. I even feel like some of the things that were coming easily three weeks ago are now making me struggle. I don’t know why this should be, I was fired up after the Manchester Open, with thoughts of exactly what I wanted to work on and how I was going to do it. I still have those; I still know what I need to improve and how I want my performance to change, it’s just making it happen that seems to be a problem. I guess you could liken it to writer’s block for authors. No matter how much you stare at a problem, it doesn’t seem to get any closer to being solved. Is BJJ block a thing? Well if it wasn’t I have just made it a thing. BJJ block is something that happens, and something that I guess strikes all practitioners from time to time.
I don’t really know why it happens; you don’t really see it coming, in the same way when you’re having an amazing month at training, you didn’t anticipate that either. I guess you can’t be getting better at something all the time, and there has to be moments where you’re not quite on the ball, or moving forward in the way you’d like. It can be really frustrating. This is where the challenges are, and I guess the dedication to the sport comes from getting back on the mats and working through the funk, until you hit another upward trajectory and the fire inside is re-kindled. I will be getting back on the mats tomorrow, tonight I’m having a wee bit of rest because my elbow is super sore after a very well-placed arm bar last night, and I want to make sure that it’s okay for the inter-club friendly competition at the weekend.
How do you combat your funks and plateaus?