I was talking to one of our purple belts last night, who admitted to being a little frustrated: he mentioned that up until now there had been some peaks, and admittedly some valleys to his progression, but those lulls were always fairly short and after a couple of months he would progress again. This past lull however seems to be particularly long for him.
So I actually drew a parallel between jiu jitsu and playing video games for him. Sure, in the beginning you progress or “level up” at a relatively quick rate: you’re learning new (basic) skills all the time, and you feel quite accomplished with yourself. Once you start to get the basics down, more skills are built on top of that basic foundation, and may take a little longer to master….Or at least not be terrible at executing.
And this trend continues: you keep building your skills, and inevitably it will take longer and longer to notice progress. But rest assured, as long as you keep attending class, drilling and training, being open to new ideas, progress will eventually happen. Sure it can be frustrating at times, especially when you become accustomed to that initiate rate of success. But, as I mentioned to someone else last night, I highly recommend the Dory approach to jiu jitsu:
“Just keep swimming, just keep swimming….”