Worth it to train once a week?

Is it worth training if I can only train once or twice a week?

I travel for work every week, so that means I am out of town either sun-thurs or mon-thurs.

When I am back in town, I have very limited free time (usually just Friday and Saturday) so most of that time is spent running errands or spending time with the girlfriend (2 days a week is not much)
So training at home is most likely out the window.

While I am traveling, I usually get out of work around 6-7pm.
It seems like a lot of schools start class around 6, thats early.
But since all my coworkers are traveling also, they all want to go out and eat together.
In the interest of "team bonding/unity" I have to go with them, but I figure I can sneak out maybe once or twice a week.

So can I improve/learn BJJ by training only once a week?

I know, one answer is - of course, if you can find time/someone to drill with also.
But nobody I know likes martial arts, so its just me.

One thing that has always held me back from joining a school on the road is that every school wants a contract. And I never know how long I will be in a location for.
They always say - "Just sign the contract and if you go out of state, then you're not held to the contract anymore."

Of course its true, the fine print says if you move more than 50 miles away you're not liable, etc...

every day on the mat is a day that you improve

i work horrible hours and usually only train 1-2 times a week 3 on a good week. promotions come slower but i'm still improving. this may sound stupid but i think about it a lot and watch a lot of footage it doesn't replace or compare to time on the mat but i think it helps. 

One or two days is better than nothing and you will still improve even if it is small improvements. In that case though I would make sure to take notes and review them as often as possible to help with your retention of the techniques that you're learning.

yeap, speaking from doing the same thing for a while....keeps you in the mix (if you stop its harder to go back) until you're able to go more often.

In class really rep the hell out of what you are being taught. Find partners that drill the heck out of the technique, not just do it a couple times then you wait until the instructor shows the next move. Drill it non-stop until the instructor says stop.

And during free time pick one thing and drill the heck out of that one thing, over and over and over. After a few months of drilling the same thing, you're going to get better, than move on to the next thing you want to work on.

My 2 cents.

Also, this will only work if you truly do BJJ because you enjoy it and you're not ego driven by promotion, rank performance vs. piers etc. You'll get better, just a LOT slower.

I was in the same situation for years.... a Bubba dummy and instructionals really helped when I could only get on the mat once a week.

It's worth it if you enjoy training.

checkuroil - every day on the mat is a day that you improve


Limited training time is unfortunate in terms of the restorative effects and well-being that comes from jiu-jitsu, as well as overall performance/progression, no doubt. But fuck man, any time you have on the mat to train and/or reflect on it in daily life is a bonuse that can only help you.

I would covet the 1-2 days you have to train and then just concentrate your off-mat time on fitness/solo drills, watching instructionals, and cultivating your mental jiu-jitsu via visualization exercises(ie: place yourself in positions and flow through them in your mind solving problems and/or finding variations). Unless you're working 18-20hrs a day, there's time to 'train' something. Even in a hotel room at some boring work conferance you can get up early and do 20-30 minutes of yoga/bodyweight exercises every morning before the day starts, right? And with the technology that's available today(I admit to being an obsolete old fucker who knows nothing about it) there are jiu-jitsu iphone apps and shit, right? Nothing but space and opportunity to do a little mental phone jiu-jitsu during lunch or any lulls in the business day! Same thing when you get home at night. Take an hour for jiu-jisu before you call it a night. For example, most of the Gracie combatives lessons are between 20-40 minutes, so watch a lesson and then practice the reflex development drills while visualizing a real roll for 20-30 minutes. Doing that kind of shit will help build and hold onto muscle memory and give you just enough of a sweat to de-stress yourself and, hopefully, carry your mental jiu-jitsu training to the dream state.

Hell, if your budget allows, spend the $$$ on some dollamur mats and a grappling dummy.




^Nothing replaces 'aliveness' in the form of a resisting opponent, but moving 140lbs of dead weight standing and on the ground ain't no joke, son!

Do the places you go vary, or do you consistently go to the same place? Either way, it sounds like a paid BJJ vacation. I know you said sometimes your schedule doesn't mesh w/ training times, but you gotta try, man. Screw your coworkers, that drinks and dinner every night lifestyle will make you fat and lazy. You could be training 2-3 times/ week on the road, and that way you won't feel so pressured to train on weekends.

Just an outsider opinion.

[Not a Troll]

I'll tell you a true story...

Years ago a regular student brought his friend to try-out our BJJ club.

My teacher worked with this new guy on the side. He had zero martial arts or wrestling experience. Then after a while my teacher said to me: "Hey why don't you come here and work with the new guy?"

No problem.

I went over there and said to the new guy, "So, what did the teacher show you?" He tried to describe it. "I said do it on me". It was the Rear Naked choke and it was kind of a mess. This guy was a "hard learner" not much memory and a poor kinesthetic sense; your run of the mill "noobie spaz". Nothing wrong with that. He did the technique and I gave him more corrections. We did a bunch of reps. He got better and smoother. Before I knew it, it was time to roll.

They guy never came back to class.

I asked about him from his friend who trains with us and his friend told me he found class a little "monotonous". And maybe his first day was. He basically spent 40 minutes doing the RNC!

Oh Well.

Two weeks later this "new guy" who never came back and his roommate were at home, watching TV.

They hear some weird sounds in the kitchen and are greeted by a guy with a gun in their living room! He tells them to get on the ground and they do. The guy with the gun starts ransacking the place.

At one point, the new guy's roommate jumps up and tries for a gun grab. The two are actually struggling for control of the gun, when the new guy with ONE BJJ LESSON EVER jumps up and does the ONLY martial arts technique he knows: the Rear Naked Choke. The robber with the gun goes unconscious.

The new guy gets down on the ground to imitate the only position he knows with the robber (back with hooks in) and continues to hold him in the choke position.(Yes they also had the gun at that point). The roommate calls 911.

When the Home Invasion Robber wakes up he starts threatening the guys telling them he is an "18th Street Gang member" and is going to have them both murdered unless they let up. As the gang-banger is threatening them, he falls asleep again --the New Guy had gotten so scared listening to the robber, his muscles tensed so much he choked the guy out again by accident.

The cops came, the gang banger was arrested and the two roommates, very scared, moved-out.

The new guy NEVER came by to say thanks for the free lesson that very possibly saved both their lives.

That is a 100% true story. They roommates definitely had major luck on their side. But in that case even ONE BJJ lesson completely changed lives. *

So yes, if training once ever can be useful, training once a week certainly can be useful.

*Results not typical

shen, best story ever!!!

Obviously this is a shameless plug for private lessons :)