You might be asking yourself why you would want to opt for private Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) lessons when you already attend class regularly. However, private lessons can offer things that the traditional class setting cannot.
For starters, private lessons are personalized specifically for you. You also get uninterrupted, one-on- one attention and a chance to work on topics of your choosing. There’s a reason private lessons are so prized. Read on for 6 tips that can help you get the most out of your private BJJ lesson(s).
1. Consider splitting the cost and lesson(s) with a trusted and well-liked training partner or Jiu Jitsu friend.
This will cut your cost in half and it will also allow your instructor to demonstrate the technique for each of you. That way you can actually see what the instructor is doing. In addition, you and your partner can do the techniques on each other while the instructor corrects or adjusts things. This can also be a good opportunity to video the instructor demonstrating the technique on you or your partner (if your instructor allows video). Always ask the instructor beforehand if taking video is ok.
2. Have a game plan in mind.
In other words, know what you want to work on and/or improve. Ask yourself “Where do I get stuck? What are my weak positions? What are my BJJ goals (competition win by submissions, be better at top side control, be better at putting pressure, be more aggressive, be better at escaping mount/back-mount, etc.)? If you’re going half on a lesson with a friend, make sure you agree on a topic that is beneficial for both of you beforehand.
3. Consider setting up your private lesson as an assessment or “tune up” session.
This is where you roll with the instructor at the start of the lesson, then he/she gives you feedback by picking out a few things that you should work on and suggesting/demonstrating ways to improve those things. This has the potential to greatly elevate your current game, but only if you implement the suggestions.
You may not like hearing about your weaknesses, but your instructor’s advice and tips will be crucial in improving your game, so make sure to listen and accept the constructive criticism. Because of the more individual nature of this type of tune up session, it might be better to do this one solo 🙂 This way you’ll have the instructor’s full attention. Let your instructor know that you want to do this type of session in advance.
4. Make sure to ask questions if you don’t understand something in your lesson or need further help.
This is important. It’s your lesson and your instructor has set aside the time to focus on you, so make sure you get the most out of your lesson. If you don’t understand something or need help executing a technique, ask for help. Now isn’t the time to be shy or feel stupid. You’re not stupid, AND your instructor is here to help
5. Plan to schedule private lessons when you’ve reached a plateau, feel like you’re in a slump, and/or when you want to take your game to the next level.
You don’t have to break the bank with frequent private lessons, but there are times when a private lesson or two can really optimize your Jiu Jitsu. These are 3 such situations. A plateau is a time in which you feel like you’re not improving anymore despite consistent effort and class attendance. This can happen at every belt level, and it’s a normal part of BJJ. Take a plateau as a sign to schedule a few private lessons to help improve your skills and continue your progression.
A slump occurs when you feel like your skills are declining and it is likely to occur after an injury or time away from BJJ. It is true that if you don’t use it you lose it, so take a slump as an opportunity to come back better and stronger. Private lessons can help out a lot in this instance, and your instructor will likely have tips to help you work around an injury.
Private lessons are also excellent for anytime you want to hone in on your weaknesses, get a “BJJ report card”, and/or take your game to the next level. Your instructor can provide great insight, so if you want to make bigger gains you should strongly consider scheduling a few private lessons.
6. Write in your BJJ journal immediately after the lesson.
If you can’t write immediately after, don’t let more than a day pass before you do a “brain dump” of all the things that your instructor advised and went over with you in your private lesson. It may seem like game-changing advice that you will never ever forget, but with all of the information that you learn in BJJ, you’re bound to forget some of it. Also, it may take time to undo bad habits and re-visiting the written information can help with that.
Your short term memory can only hold so many things, and the details will start to get hazy at some point. Pretty soon, you might find yourself making the same old mistakes again or having to work hard to remember what you just learned. Writing it down when it’s fresh allows you to look back over the information from time to time and commit it to long-term memory With that being said, be sure to look over your journal entries every now and then to help freshen your memory and make sure that you’re still on the right track.
Hopefully, these 6 tips help you to make the most out of your BJJ private lessons.
Good luck and see you on the mats!