BJJ Poll: Do You Keep a Jiu-Jitsu Notebook or Journal?

Jon, a member of the Mighty 600,000 from North Carolina is sidelined with an injury and cannot train at the moment. So what did he do? He still attends jiu-jitsu class, but since he cannot train, he takes notes on all the moves and details that were taught during class.

Jon called our toll free number 877-247-4662 and is curious if the rest of the Family does the same thing, and I’m pretty interested too. I have seen plenty of guys who take notes at BJJ class. I think a lot of the BJJ blogs out there are often people’s online repository of what happened in class that day for them. (Slideyfoot’s Training Log is just one example.)

So what about you? Do you maintain a notebook or diary of what you learn in jiu-jitsu class? Let us know in the poll above, and be sure to leave a comment below!

3 Replies to “BJJ Poll: Do You Keep a Jiu-Jitsu Notebook or Journal?”

  1. I do 3 things after each class:

    1. Write a detailed move by move account of every technique covered, even stuff we’ve done before. I write in a diary form so any other interesting anecdotes, comments or events during the class are noted too. But this is all kept in my own private folder.

    2. Certain techniques or events in class that make an emotional impact on me I write about in my blog.

    3. Make a mental note of techniques that I want to practice and drill during Saturday open mat, where I pick a partner and just do what I like for an hour or two.

  2. Heh – thanks for the mention!

    As I’m a huge geek, I go into as much detail as possible, to the point where I’ve got two accompanying spreadsheets (one on training, one on BJJ history).

    For each training log post (I also shove in throwdowns, product reviews, history, even some travel writing), I start off with something brief about what I’ve been doing (in case anyone cares: I assume they don’t, so its normally very short). E.g,. been off training because of job interviews, found something interesting on the net (e.g., like all those Gracie Combatives threads from a while ago), I’m about to go off on a trip so will miss a few weeks etc. Alternately, might be something more relevant to training, like the instructor was on holiday so we got to learn from one of the brown belts.

    Then I cover off techniques, attempting to break it down into component parts. I’ll stick the technique in bold so that if anyone bumped into the page because they were searching for something specific (like “loop choke” or something), they can easily find it.

    I’ll finish off by talking about how sparring went. This is entirely for my benefit: I’ll list what I was working on (e.g., trying to go for more triangles), what I did wrong (e.g., not staying tight enough), and how I think I could do better next time (e.g., concentrate on getting better head control). It acts as an action plan for my sparring next lesson, which I’ve found really useful over the past couple of years.

    Long list of BJJ blogs I try to update regularly here.

  3. I frequently take notes either during class or as soon as possible after. Without notes the details of the move are quickly lost down the memory hole… My guess is that just about everyone has had the experience of coming back to class and saying, “Now how did that move last time go…?”
    I mostly take notes on the moves that I think I can use, not everything that comes along.
    I consider notes good in several different ways;
    1- Taking notes forces me to really think about the move and break it down into component parts. I have to write out, “My right hand grabs his left lapel…” in enough detail that I can reconstruct the move the next day or week.
    2 – Taking notes has forced me to develope a vocabulary to use, helping to connect my brain with my body. and helping to see the similarities between moves.
    3 – Taking notes forces me to concentrate on what is being taught as it is being taught so that I can put it on paper. I can’t be lazy-minded if I am taking notes.
    4 – I organize my notes around certain basic positions such as passing the guard or side mount attacks, etc.
    5 – Using such organized notes is a great way to structure drill sessions. My son, Ian, and I regularly get together before class to drill our basic moves over and over again. It is a great way , maybe the only way, to get moves into muscle memory. Armed with a list of moves for various basic positions we can pretty quickly go through stuff each of us uses and things we would like to use.

    Best Wishes,

    Jim McPherson

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