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  • Writer's pictureDainis Nguyen-Huu

The Importance Of Direction In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu And Life

Updated: Nov 3, 2022

The concept of having direction in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu(BJJ) is very important for a variety of different reasons. Setting goals gives us direction by acting like an internal GPS that is letting us know which way we need to go to achieve our desired goals/reach our destination. Without goals or direction, even though we may seemingly be traveling quickly - it could unknowingly be in the wrong direction! There are 5 key points of setting goals, they must be SMART(Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time Bound). Setting a goal is the first step in the right direction but this is where many people stop, sit back and expect their goals to magically achieve themselves. You need to see your goals as literally being your baby - requiring work and nurturing EVERYDAY. In order to achieve your goals, you must be proactive and take actionable steps EVERYDAY that are in alignment with your goals. For example a student sets a goal to do 45 consecutive pushups in thirty days from now(He can currently do 30), this is a great goal as it is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time bound. The daily actionable steps would look something like this: Getting 8 hours of sleep a day, making healthy food choices, and doing a set of push ups to exhaustion everyday. The beauty about goals is that if you don't reach them, you will still end up much further then where you would have been if you hadn't set goals and tried to achieve them. Once you reach your goals, you should always continue to set new ones. It is important to have both short term and long term goals. If you know someone who is unmotivated, chances are they have not set any goals and you should send them this article! I have two talented students whom I saw were struggling with motivation so I pulled them into the office one day along with their mother and had them write our their goals with a daily plan of action that they would take to achieve them. The mother made sure that the kids read their goals first thing in the morning and last thing before going to bed and during the day she held them accountable to their goals. Anytime I saw them slacking off during class, I asked them if what they were doing was in line with their goals and they quickly went back to working hard. These two kids have improved tremendously since our meeting and they both achieved one of their short term goals this weekend by winning gold in their divisions at the Buffalo Classic(Pictured below). With kids and goals, it's super important that the parents/guardians are on board, as without the mother holding them accountable for the majority of the day, I'm sure that the results would not have been nearly as good. Always remember goals won't work unless you do the work! Another important aspect of direction is directly related to learning and teaching the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu especially when it comes to beginners. When you are first starting out in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, it can feel like you are in water but you don't know how to swim or what to do. This is where direction comes in. Having a sense of direction means having an idea of what they should be trying to achieve in a specific position. The following are examples from two very common Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu scenarios: #1 - The sparring beings with both partners standing up, we would explain to both of them the goal is to try to take your partner down and control them by using your body to trap them underneath you. #2 - Passing the guard(One partner standing/kneeling and the other sitting down/laying on their back), we would tell the partner passing that their goal is to find a way to get their body around their partners legs(Guard) and then use their body to close that distance and block the opponents legs from coming back in between them. It's crucial to give beginners this sense of direction because although they may not know many techniques, they now understand the end goal and can work towards achieving that end in their own way. As they continue to train and learn more techniques, they will get better and more creative at achieving these ends. If you are located in Durham Region and are interested in enrolling your child (or yourself) in martial arts, come try a full week of free classes at DNA BJJ to see why we are right gym for your family. Your child's first class will be an intro to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu lesson with one of our instructors (usually Coach Sarah) where they will learn how to fall safely, fundamental movements, and to help them get comfortable in a new environment. Does your child feel too intimidated to try a class? Check out our schedule and come watch one of our classes from our viewing area with your child to see what we are all about. We specialize in teaching Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu but also have a Judo and Wrestling program to complement it. Contact us today to book your child's free intro to BJJ lesson and kickstart their 7 day trial, we are located in Whitby, close to HWY 401 and the Oshawa border.

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