My first experience studying the Art of Jiu Jitsu was in the lead up to my first ever tournament. I was stressed out about the idea of competing and I carried that in and out of my training sessions (to my own detriment). I got my hands on a copy of Musashi’s famous ‘Book of Five Rings’ and it changed my life. Even though the book itself was not directly related to jiu jitsu, everything Musashi meditated upon applies broadly to martial arts. As a casual book reader, I didn’t realize the power this aspect had when it came to my jiu Jitsu. Studying the Art improved not only the physical aspects of my practice, but the mental side too.
I believe that this concept if study is often neglected but is immensley useful for the begginer and advanced grappler alike. In a way, studying (whether it’s reading or reviewing video etc) is like doing mental repetitions.
If you enjoy watching videos online, have an objective. Don’t just watch any clips because someone is showing some cool new guard or a crazy elaborate pass; reflect on what you need in your practice and then research videos regarding that specific thing.
If you’re a reader, find a style of writing that you enjoy. There’s not much to be gained reading the Hagakure or Go Rin No Sho if the style of writing is not something you’re familiar with or enjoy reading. I’ve been recommended many books on BJJ or martial arts that I’ve put down and never picked up again because the writing was not to my liking.
At the end of the day, you are learning something. You’re learning how to become better at jiu jitsu and studying off the mats is just as important as your practice on the mats. Your learning is your responsibility, so go train & go learn.