For whatever reason I never did a consistent job of taking notes from class or even a seminar. I have been training for 3+ years now. For me, I'm a visual learner and I've very good at understanding things spatially once I've seen it once or twice. That's not to say that I have everything I've ever seen memorized like a robot but it doesn't take long before I get the hang of it.
About two weeks ago I took it upon myself to start writing things down. I first started with a list of questions that I plan on asking after class or questions that would come up after training but didn't get a chance to bring it up with my coach. This list is ever growing and I don't imagine it'll every run dry. From there, I began to document specific techniques that I have found work for me. Techniques that make up my 'A' game. Written in detail with as many contingencies that I can think of but not going too far from the agenda. Thirdly, and perhaps the most time consuming, is the class notes. I now write a BJJ class journal that have notes from each class I attend, including the technique of the day, new questions + what I can remember when rolling with my teammates. What I did wrong, how I could improve and what I did well.
I've been doing this now for about two weeks and what it has made me realize is that there is so much that I miss. I do this not with the aim of memorizing 1000 techniques but more to hilight what I can do to improve, hilight the mistakes I am making while rolling and to map my own progress in how I've come to understand the concepts of jiu-jitsu.
I will admit it takes a bit of discipline to write these things down and in a way that you can understand reading them months later. I've put it all in a word document cause there's no way I'm going to transcribe hand written notes to another document, ughh. It takes about 20 minutes of my day, depending on the details I include. The other thing is that I make time. I don't have ample time to kill as I have several jobs & responsibilities as I'm sure we all do. (besides this blog) But if you're aim is to improve at a consistent level, I would highly recommend taking notes for yourself. If you're paying for classes, wouldn't it make sense to get the most you can from the experience?
Less than a week to go before the gi-poll ends. My hope is that we reach at least 100 votes so tell your friends!