I’ve been trying to take more intermediate classes than fundamentals classes as sometimes the fundamental classes cover stuff I have been taught before. While it is a great idea to go back to basics over and over again reinforcing your knowledge, it’s quite refreshing to have something completely new sprung upon you. When this happens, I like to write it down. Either the same day or the following morning I write it in my journal.
Sometimes I use stickman figures, sometimes with shorthand, for example, Left hand (LH), Right Foot (RF) but I try to capture my interpretation of the move and all the details before they slip from my memory.
If the move is covered again in a later class, I find the page in my journal when I initially jotted down my ideas and I add anything new or those small details that I missed out on the first time around. It’s all about fine-tuning.
But it’s not just a record of skills. It’s nice to keep a record of sparring too. If something went well, jot that down. If you were caught more than twice with the same submission, then write it down and with the help of your buddies on the mat, your coach and youtube, try to figure out what you should have done so you can counter it next time.
A journal can be extended in so many ways. Any injuries. When they occurred and how you treated it. How long were you off the mat? I also like to include general notes about my fitness. Workouts off the mat, running or long walks with the dog are adding to my Jiu Jitsu journey and have a place in my journal.