It’s All Mathematics

Numbers is hardly real and they never have feelings
But you push too hard, even numbers got limits
Why did one straw break the camels back? heres the secret:
The million other straws underneath it – it’s all mathematics
-Mos Def
Saturday morning we have an open mat at our Cranberry PA location at 9AM. It runs until 10AM when I teach the Fundamentals BJJ class. I try to get there early, warm up a little, and try not to take any rounds off. It’s just one hour. 5 minute rounds with 1 minute rests if can get the first round started on time I should be able to get at least 10 rounds in.
After the 10AM Fundamentals class I teach the 11AM Self Defense class. Last week following that I taught a private lesson. In discussion after that lesson we discussed how to train at open mats, setting training goals, and general training philosophy. It’s always a goal of mine to distill solid framework of how to train in new students. I’m a big believer that a little planning, some forethought, and smart purposeful execution pays off huge dividends in skill development.
One of the items that came up has come up several times recently. I don’t take any rounds off at that open mat. Now, for me, where I am now that’s no big deal. I have plenty of much much longer training sessions in the week. Doing 2, 3, or even 4 hours is not uncommon as well as days where I train in more than one session throughout the day or lift in the morning and train a few hours at night.
I just want to go over the math real quick with you.
Lets say we have 2 students. Student A, and student B. Now A&B both train a respectable 5 times a week for 1 hour sessions. To keep this simple lets say each of those hour sessions is 10 x 5 min rounds. Student A takes no rounds off all week. Student B takes 1 round off each session.
Here’s what that week looks like
A: 5 sessions of 10 x 5 min rounds = 250 min (50 rounds)
B: 5 sessions of   9 x 5 min rounds = 225 min (45 rounds)
52 weeks in a year , lets say they each took a week off every 6 months just to keep it easy
A: 50 x 250 min = 12,500 min (2,500 rounds)
B: 50 x 225 min = 12,250 min (2,250 rounds)
That’s 250 more rounds a year. Equal to 25 more training sessions
25 more training sessions a year is an extra 5 WEEKS a year.
That’s more than a extra month of training per year Student A gets over Student B just by not taking that one round off each session.
So at the end of several years when Student B looks at A and says man, we both started at the same time why is that A-hole getting better than me! Well, in 10 years he may have nearly a full more year of mat time!
That’s a simple scenario using some easy numbers and very small amount of training. These dudes are only training 5 hours a week! I normally train 10-12 hours a week. My gains might be double or more if we do the math on it.
Let me challenge you. Find the wasted spaces, and fill them in. When class splits up be the first group to start working. If you are already repping out the technique while another group is still chit chatting it up you may get an extra few minutes than them during that session. Maybe physically your not able to do an open mat and not take a round off, but maybe you can take a round to drill instead with a partner as a rest round. Maybe after class breaks you can get one more round in with your partner if there’s time and space for it, so you get just one more round than everyone else that day. I don’t know about anyone else but I’d much rather have my years be 14 months instead of 10. Over the long haul its going to add up, it has to, its all mathematics.
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