Mind maps are an excellent way to plan your BJJ, whether it be for training or competition.
It is a very useful tool regardless of your skill level, giving you clarity on what you are trying to achieve.
Taking this active approach is a great way of speeding up your progress in BJJ.
Why Mind Maps Are Good For BJJ
Mind Maps are great visual tools to set out your ideas which is also needed in BJJ.
If there’s a certain position or submission you like getting into, you can create a mind map of every possible way of getting there, as well as the most common defenses and counters to those techniques as well.
This will help you visualize the likely situations you will end up in, when trying out new techniques.
Mind maps make you more prepared for sparring, and if you’re a competitor, less nervous for the match because you know what to expect and won’t be caught off guard.
Pre Made BJJ Mindmaps
John Danaher’s Instructionals are the most popular instructionals on the web.
People of all BJJ belt levels and experience levels praise them.
A company called BJJ Flowchart has made a flow chart of all his “Enter The System and Go Further Faster BJJ” instructionals.
These flowcharts include time codes for every technique shown in the instructionals and how they relate to one another.
They help you get the most out of those Danaher instructionals and are packed with knowledge.
They cost approximately $40 and have nothing to do with BJJfanatics. If you’re looking to maximize your purchase, I would highly recommend purchasing the corresponding flowchart.
The English BJJ black belt Tom Barlow uses flowcharts and mind maps extensively in his training.
He finds it is great for clarifying what he’s trying to achieve.
If you want to get the most out of your training, having a clear visual plan will certainly help you with that.
Making A Basic Mind Map
Basic mind maps could include a simple sequence of techniques that would end in submission.
You could also map the most common techniques used by a certain guard, such as collar and sleeve.
In all open guard scenarios, you need to keep your four points of contact, regardless of what direction the attack comes from.
You would write out the primary attacks depending on your opponent’s reaction.
For example, for collar and sleeve:
If they turn into you, shoot a triangle, if they turn away, shoot an omoplata, if they pressure into you, evaluate them over your head.
If they sit back heavy on their heels, hook sweeps and wrestle ups.
The aim is to create a clear picture of what you’re wanting to achieve in a certain situation.
Making A Complex Mind Map
The detail you put into a mind map really depends on what you know, and what you can remember. You don’t want to use an ineffective or incomplete technique.
You preferably want to use techniques that work with experienced and inexperience people.
Using an incomplete technique will significantly lower the chances of success.
If you want to create the most detailed mind map, you can note all your knowledge about a certain position, submission, or series of techniques.
For example, if your favorite sweeping position is half guard.
A position that links with many other positions, like closed guard and back mount.
You can go into much detail about how to get to those positions and what to do next.
For example, using arm drags to start attacking your opponents.
Then when you are in back mount you can shoot off into a number of different techniques.
In a mind map, list your highest percentage attacks and your opponent’s most effective defenses for a particular position.
The fact that you consistently find yourself in the strongest position, such as back or mount, and your opponent manages to survive or escape from your grasp is not a desirable situation for you.
Identify your strongest position, the best finishes you can achieve, the resistance you will encounter, and how it is linked to other strong positions.
How To Make A BJJ Mind Map
There are many ways of making mind maps and flowcharts for BJJ.
The simplest is using a pen and paper.
Despite being cheap and effective, if you don’t know where your mind map is headed, it could be a waste of time
Another option is using a photo editing software like photoshop, as it will effectively function the same as pen and paper, except it can be edited.
It allows you to create a large mind map that covers what you’re trying to visualize in great depth.
All the potential counters you might have to deal with, what position and submissions are likely to come from techniques and what positions and submissions are available for the opponent etc.
There are great software programs to aid you in creating your mind maps.
In addition to streamlining the process, it will be far easier for you than creating one from scratch.
Many of these software programs also port to every commonly used device like PC, Mac, and most Apple and Android running devices.
The most popular program is Canva, which is a design software program for people who are new to designing.
With 100,000s templates and far more than just mind maps, Canva is a favorite for many small businesses and entrepreneurs.
This software costs approximately £100 per year, but if you’re going to use it for more than just mind maps, it’s worth the investment.
Coggle.it is another software program that is free and has unlimited usage.
Additionally, there is also a paid version with more design options that costs approximately $5 a month.
It has widely used formats like PDF and JPG so you can store them on whatever device you have.
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I’m a Purple Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and I write about the latest in all things martial arts.