Visualization and Mental Rehearsal training.
I was wondering if anyone is using visualization or mental rehearsal as part of their training? I have doing a little research into to it and it sounds interesting. It not a replacement for drilling, but rather a supplement. The idea behind it is that all moves start in the brain whether you consciously think about it or not. By mentally rehearsing the move you are developing the neural pathways the brain needs to fire off the signals to the muscles to complete the move. Some of the research I read seems to imply that there is electrical activity in the muscles that would be used even if the muscle remains relaxed. It appears from online documentation that this type of training is regularly used by college wrestling teams and Olympic athletes to improve technique.
My background, I am a 54 year old white belt (9 months). I am looking into it as a training process to overcome some mental hiccups I have in multi-step moves, especially on my weak side. Of course this is in addition to working the move while training in class. It is also seems to be a good way to supplement training even when you are someplace where physical training would be inappropriate. (Sitting at your desk at work for example.) If I notice any improvement I will be sure to document it here.
Thanks in advance for any input.
BTW, mods, if this should be posted somewhere else please move it.
I think any time you are spending some additional time running through the moves in your head you are going to get some benefit from this type of training - just don't make the mistake of cutting down actual training time and thinking this will patch the wholes (you did not imply this by the way - just thought I would mention it).
As a white belt in BJJ it's going to be tons of mat time that will start to get rid of the hiccups you mention (it is totally normal at this point to have mental hiccups) - but again, I think adding some visualization would help things.
I used this a method in order to get better with my "bad" left side for kicking and also throwing in Judo.
- First visualize the technique with your "good" side (closing the eyes helps me),
- then visualize it with your bad side (two or three times)
- then do the same but now do some "mini moves" with your arms and legs while still visualizing it, having your eyes cloese. Not the full move only little moves + grips etc. you do full,
- then do the full move for a few times while visualizing and moving completely
- and then try it with an opponent for a couple of times
this way you have "done" the move about 10-15 and practised it...
I read a study a while back that looked at the effects of visualization with basketball players and making shots. Not sure how well the findings carry over to BJJ, but I do remember that they found a significantly higher success rate in the group who visualized and practiced. Can't find the link to it now, but I may post it later.
Even just visualization helped a whole lot. (there were 4 test groups and the gap between no rctice and no practice with visualization was pretty big)
Originally Posted by gsalgado7
I do this before I go to bed at night, instead of counting sheep I roll in my head. I started just doing basic drills, trying to visualize each movement at the same time with as much detail as possible. I ave bee doing this for about 5 years now, and I can now actually roll in my head. I have come up with several novel moves by doing this(though sometimes they work in real life and sometimes they do not) I found that doing this before I go to sleep allowed me to visualize while keeping my heart rate low and in a mellow state of mind.
I used to do something similar the only thing is, I am better in my head then I am in real . Did this with snowboarding, thought I could pull a fucking clean 360 melon but when I tried for real I nailed myself in the slope big time, so how do you avoid being better than you actually are?
The idea is to visualize yourself doing things you can already do. It is to help with improving technique not learning new techniques. It helps develop the neural paths that you use when you do a movement. At least that's the theory.
Originally Posted by f4n4n
I used to do visualization as my warm-up for competitions. My biggest problem was coming out into my first match like I was sleep walking. By doing visualization and visualizing two to three full matches I found it was like I was actually warmed up and ready to go. Made an absolutely huge difference in my performance. Never tried it for training techniques like you described though.
It does help.
My experience in using it in BJJ is limited. But mostly I can attest to its usefulness from video games, of all things. Now don't laugh, playing a fighting game like Tekken requires a great deal of dexterity and co-ordination of the fingers. Since never owned a video game system, hitting the buttons accurately and quickly was always a challenge. But in my off time, since I couldn't actually practice, I just thought about it. Mentally rehearsed where my fingers had to go, in what order, and in what timing. Loe and behold, I was constantly better after this mental training.
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