When I first started grappling, I thought Iâ€™d just show up once or twice a week, get my ass kicked, and then go home happy. But the more I trained, the more I learned that there are things that I have to do off the mat in order to improve my game or even just to make the whole experience pleasant and feasible as part of a busy life:
- Laundry. A gi should never be worn for two practices without being washed in-between (unless you did zero work, but even then). Also it should be thoroughly air-dried.
- I used to think that diet was about losing weight. It is. But itâ€™s also about eating stuff that can keep you energized throughout the day and through training. Also, my digestive system is pretty screwed up, so a big part of a diet for me is figuring out what to eat in order to avoid getting sick or having a stomachache in training. If I fail in this aspect, it definitely makes training less fun.
- Drink water (to counter-balance the pots of coffee I consume)
- Shower. Right away after every practice.
- Medical Tape. Most of the taping I do is to cover cuts and mat burn so as to help avoid infection. This is really a major pain in the ass.
- Learn the public transit system (the subway and rails are hard enough, but the bus system is a chaotic mess of routes and schedules)
- Learn how to stay productive while riding or waiting for the bus/train
- Watch competition footage
- Watch instructional videos
- Read instructional books
- Keep notes
The above, to me, is the â€œjiu-jitsu lifestyleâ€: doing laundry, taking showers, and riding the bus. Itâ€™s not as glorious as sex, drugs, and surfing, but I still love it.