Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai training are a lot like a plot diagram of a story. There’s the beginning, the rising action, the climax, the falling action and the resolution. The diagram itself is shaped like a triangle, with the climax at its peak. We all wish our journey was as straightforward as this diagram, but unfortunately, for most it isn’t. Some people feel as if they are plateauing, as if their training has leveled out and stopped progressing. After speaking with some instructors and advanced students on the topic, we developed this list of tips for students who want to break out of the plateau.
If you haven’t taken a private lesson, we highly recommend it. Simply working one-on-one with a coach will benefit your game more than you know. The coach can pinpoint what you need to work on so you can steer your focus in that direction. Pay attention to the small details of each move, and do them step by step. Even if this is a move you’ve done hundreds of times, your coach will be able to show you the importance of what you might have been missing. Additionally, you can chose a new advanced move that you want to learn and spend an hour drilling it, ultimately, expanding your game. Also, private lessons will teach you the concepts behind martial arts and not just the movements.
Just Show Up
The number one thing you can do for yourself is to keep showing up. You will get better even when you feel like you aren’t. Consistency is key. Create a training schedule and stick with it! Hold yourself accountable. Come train even when you aren’t feeling motivated, you’ll feel much better afterward.
Find internal and external motivation. Internal motivation is what leads you to achieve a goal for your own personal growth. While external motivation is an outside driving force that pushes you to achieve that goal. For example, a person can be internally motivated to compete because they want to prove to themselves that they are brave. Conversely, a person can be externally motivated to compete because they want to win medals or money.
As a tight-knit community, we are fortunate to be able to become friends with our fellow students and positively peer pressure each other to go to class. Find accountability buddies, and keep each other on track. If you don’t show up, you won’t get better.
Motivation vs. Dedication
There’s a distinct difference between motivation and dedication. Motivation is temporary and can be quickly lost. However, dedication is deeply rooted within ourselves. Dedication is the black belt around someone’s waist, the proof that they stayed not only motivated but dedicated. Sticking with something that maybe at times they didn’t want to do. That’s dedication. Knowing that you don’t want to do something in the moment, but doing it anyway because you know it will better yourself.
Breaking out of a plateau takes patience and dedication. We’ve all been there, and sometimes it’s tough. Be kind to yourself, set little goals, and reward yourself for sticking to them.