Eduardo has three rules for good jiu-jitsu:
- Train hard.
- Eat right.
- Sleep well.
Let’s assume you have quality instruction already. (If you don’t, you’ve got other issues). You can fuss over the details: what and how to study, gi or no-gi, drilling versus sparring, top game or bottom first, basic versus advanced and so on into infinity. But whatever combination of those you choose, you can’t get away from needing to put in serious, focused time on the mat and racking up training hours. That’s a no-brainer, yet people still miss it while searching for the secret easy path to success.
Diet is always important but especially when you’re an athlete (and that’s what you’ve become if you’re training hard). Nutrition is well researched and there’s a wealth of information out there. I’ll leave it to you to find what’s right for your body.
The importance of sleep is easy to overlook (which is why I asked if you’re getting enough). Your body needs time to rest and recover after working out. But there’s also a mental aspect that you may not be aware of but that scientists are learning more about. The superb radio program Radiolab (iTunes) did a show on sleep that you should listen to. It explains the topic better than I can. Scientific American Mind also has good articles and podcasts on sleep and its effects on learning:
- Sleep on It: How Snoozing Makes You Smarter
- Slumber Reruns: As We Sleep, Our Brains Rehash the Day
- Multiple Studies Confirm Importance of Good Sleep
- Rest Assured: The Brain Practices the Day’s Lessons as We Sleep