Recently my game has taken off. My guard passing has gotten a lot better, my escapes are more reliable, and I’ve been having success with some new submissions (and rediscovering some old ones). I’m pretty sure I know exactly why this has happened – increased training volume!
Up until a couple of months ago I was at a very busy time in my life, trying to find the balance between work and play, family and business, training and resting. There were times when all I could do to train once a week; a good week was getting on the mat twice. The only saving grace was that my conditioning didn’t suffer too much, because I was still running, lifting weights, and doing circuit training.
Then a couple of months ago I managed to streamline my life a little bit, and started hitting the mats 3 times, and sometimes even 4 times, a week, while still doing most of my conditioning. It was a rough go at first – all that happened initially was that I was getting my ass kicked more times a week. Eventually, though, persistence paid off, something ‘clicked’ and my game jumped a notch or two.
Now the takehome message is NOT that you should all train 4 times a week – that would be great, but not everybody is at a life stage where that is possible. My point is that sometimes life demands that you put your art on the back burner for a while, where you will try to keep it simmering away. Of course some extra conditioning during your hiatus from the mats will only help. Then, when circumstances change (or you change the circumstances), you can ramp up the training again and not be too far behind where you left off. Who knows, you might even be able to have some exciting breakthroughs!