Grappling Logbook, Don’t call it a Diary…

grappling logbook

Don’t call it a Diary…it’s a Grappling Logbook.

Don’t call it a Diary…it’s a grappling logbook. A diary? Really? No not a little pink book with a lock and key on the side, I’m talking about a grappling logbook. How many of you keep a log of your workouts? I do and you should too. I started keeping logs of the classes that I attended when I started training many years ago. I was working in a big corporate office, going to pointless meetings that seemed to last forever. During those long endless meetings I found my mind wandering, not to sugarplum fairies and the like, to my time spent on the mat.

Grappling Logbook: Channel your productive energy

What better way than to channel that unproductive energy into something positive. It seemed like every meeting turned into an opportunity to record everything about a class. I would document the instructor and the specific moves or transitions that was covered in that class. My goal was to fully document the whole class in written form. I would write out the steps for each position or transition from the basic to the minute detail. No detail was too small. The little things that Professor Marco points out in class, usually indicated with a snap of the fingers, are the most important things to remember. When you hear and see the Professor start snapping, better open your mind and pay attention. You are about to discover jiu-jitsu gold. Write it down.

You might be asking yourself, with the internet and youtube, why do I need to waste my time writing notes? Because like it or not, ever since you were a kid, more than likely you trained your mind with writing and reading. It starts when you go to school and learn to read and write.

Grappling Logbook: when to enter your notes

Even my kids, who are growing up with the information superhighway at their fingertips, write and write and write. Essays, reports, homework, all of that writing reinforces subject matter and allows you to internalize the material that you are studying. Jiu-jitsu is no different. You are training your body with repetitive movements. You also need to train your mind with the same tactics. Some people have been known to bring notebooks right into the gym and write down the events of a class as they happen or right after. I usually just wait until a day or so has passed so I can come back and spend some time re-focusing on the time.

Grappling Logbook:  A personal grappling history

I find myself going back to those journals time and again. The writings help me visualize the things that I’m trying to do. If I come across a position or transition in open mat that I need to think about, I can go back to the log and see if I’ve encountered a similar situation. I find that the process itself is helpful. When I have something that applies, the log really helps to focus the mind. Youtube and the internet will always be available to help people learn but I think your own experiences are much more impactful in your own development. Just sit back and reach for a good book. Let the stress melt away and see your jiu-jitsu world open up.

Yeah a keep a diary.

by Eric Henningsen

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