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A “New” Way of Charting Progress

January 7, 2010

The power curve of both my legs - badassness in red, non-macho-ness in blue. Could I do the same for my jiu-jitsu?

After four months of visits to the clinic, where they would track my recovery, it finally dawned on me how thorough my checkups were. X-rays, blood work (in the weeks after my surgery), MRIs, weight checks, muscle readings, strict rehab exercises, physical therapy, various other types of tests; all logged down in my own Emoto Knee Clinic medical file.

It got me thinking… what if my progress in Jiu-jitsu met the same type of detailed recording as my file from knee surgery and my rehabilitation? Like my very own Jiu-jitsu Medical Chart! Quick, he needs 50ccs of armbar epinephrine – STAT! Sorry, always wanted to do that…

Not sure if I was already doing something like this with the “My Jiu-jitsu” pages I had last year. I’ve deleted them in case you were wondering. I tracked my progress in various positions, wrote about things I needed to work on, and summarized my sparring sessions with training partners better than me.

But it felt vague, like I was grasping at smoke, saying how it felt like when I sparred with so-and-so and when I was in a certain position. It wasn’t a very concrete method of tracking progress.

The thing I’ve noticed about jiu-jitsu is that while those like Saulo Ribeiro and Roy Dean are doing their best to quantify the learning progress – University Jiu-jitsu, and the Blue & Purple Belt Requirements DVDs – but the process itself is really… um… hard.

Probably because growth in jiu-jitsu is more than just sparring, more than just putting in x-amount of reps, more than just crossfiting or getting fit, and more than just memorizing or building up an arcenal of techniques.

I mean, there are jiu-jitsu blogs out there, with people far more intelligent than me – chess players, engineers, prodigies, athletes – all writing amazing analytical posts on their training. All of them trying to figure out this lovely little thing called jiu-jitsu and hopefully pass on their knowledge on to the rest of us.

I don’t know if it’s an impossible task, but I’m definitely going to track my progress like a medical chart, complete with doctor-like scribbly marks that pass for comments whenever I can.

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 8, 2010 4:01 am

    I think everyone tries to do this. But the only way would be to invent a benchmark. Ideally a never changing BJJ bot you could roll with. The only way I can think of is rolling with a brand new person the same weight, fitness and experience level to when you first started. You can then measure your improvement by how easy you kick there ass by taking a very rough assumption that their ability was the same as yours. But perhaps not a great idea picking on the new guys 😛

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