Zenyo Jiu Jitsu Baltimore BJJ Martial Arts

Jiu Jitsu: Get The Best Out of Training With These Four Simple Ideas

Be bad. Have fun. Go slow. Stay patient. These are the four keys to successful learning that we focus on in our Baltimore Jiu Jitsu classes at Zenyo Jiu Jitsu. Understanding the four keys will help you build a solid foundation critical for future success in everything you do.

Zenyo means the “best use of physical and mental energy.” Achieving the elusive goal of Zenyo – efficiency with minimal effort – starts with your mental approach. 
The way of Zenyo is very different than the normal approach of striving, straining and struggling. Our goal is not to fight with strength or power, but to find the right balance of work and relaxation. Zenyo seeks the path of ease.

Thus the principle, from the very beginning, is not one of aggression, but of flowing with things.

– Jigoro Kano


Bad Is Good

Learning is a skill. Learning to practice correctly is a skill. The way we practice at Zenyo Jiu Jitsu Baltimore is based on four key concepts.

The first step to being good at something is being bad at it. This might seem silly but many students want to be good before they even try. This mental pressure interferes not just with the learning process, but also the wonder of learning something totally new. 

Don’t try to be perfect as you start learning Jiu Jitsu. Practice without pressure. You will learn best this way.


“If you are afraid to fail, you will never do the things you are capable of doing.”

– John Wooden


Fun Is Good

Have fun. Relax. Laugh. Enjoy your mistakes. Play around. 

Our brains learn not just through repetition, not just through trial and error, they learn through fun. When you have fun, you are more open; when you are more open, you help spur the learning process. 

If you have fun, you will progress faster.


“The creation of something new is not created by the intellect, but by the play instinct.”

– Carl Jung


Slow Is Good

Go slow in practice. Not just slow, but in slow motion. This kind of training is crucial for learning new skills. In Jiu Jitsu, you never stop learning new skills. 

Slow-motion movement allows the nervous system to process new information.

Muscle memory is really neural memory. You are helping the nervous system create new connections that are the key to learning. 

Incredible video of neurons working to make new connections. This is the process of learning inside the nervous system. 


“I like to train each technique very slowly, paying attention to each detail. You need to start in slow motion.”

– Rubens “Cobrinha” Charles, 4x Jiu Jitsu World Champion


Patience Is Good

Jiu Jitsu is so much at first. You learn all kinds of incredible techniques. You feel a new kind of power as you learn control and submissions. You can feel incredible enthusiasm. Don’t let yourself get tricked. Jiu Jitsu takes a long time to learn. 

As the head instructor at Zenyo Jiu Jitsu Baltimore, I’ve seen dozens of students come and go. Each one comes in with different ideas and goals. However, almost all leave for the same reason. They tried to go too fast. 

Take your time. There is no rush. You can not go too slow learning Jiu Jitsu. You can only go too fast. Patience is good. 


“Don’t try so hard to make things work. What is meant to be will come naturally.”




If you follow the four steps of skill development, you will start to create an effective method of learning for everything you do, not just Jiu Jitsu. This is the goal we use for instruction in our Baltimore Jiu Jitsu classes at Zenyo Jiu Jitsu. 

Don’t put pressure on yourself to learn a new technique by thinking you should be good at it. Be bad. Make learning fun as you progress. 

Practice in slow motion. Learning takes place after the work, behind the scenes.You can’t rush it, so stay patient. The results will come.


“You can maintain comfort in any environment as long as you have a solid foundation within.”



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