'Why write it down, though?' you might be wondering, because, yes, it is a lot of effort and can be time consuming. Besides the fact the writing things down helps you remember them better, when you apply that to Jiu Jitsu, you're forced to recall every step of every move/technique down to the most subtle movement for the technique to work. How many times has your instructor reminded you to "Put your head on the mat" when you're applying a triangle or an arm bar--a lot I bet. When you write down your techniques you're replaying everything you learned in your head and forcing yourself to recall every detail; and when you do that, you remember things better.
Once you learn something new in class, I highly suggest writing it down as soon as you get home (after you shower, of course) while it's still fresh in your memory. If you're not 'a writer', or don't know how to write something like a technique down, don't get discouraged. There's a couple of things you need to remember:
- Write it clearly, both in penmanship and thought-expression. Don't muddy the waters or skip over words thinking you'll know what you mean later, because you won't. Trust me.
- You're probably the only one that's going to be reading it, so don't be afraid to do it how you want to do it, or how you think will work best for you.
The old school method is great. The new school method is cool. Recently I was made aware of a new website that comes with an app for smartphones called http://www.bjjtrainingjournal.com/ . This website is basically your online notebook where instead of writing out your techniques longhand, you can type them in and then tag them with what position they apply to, whether the move is a submission, sweep, transition, and every other possible Jiu Jitsu term--really neat stuff. You can even embed YouTube videos to be recalled later (Huge bonus). The website also has some other cool features like logging your training time so that you have an average of how many hours you're spending on the at 30/60/90+ days. Additionally it has a "Tap Tracker" where you can keep track of your submissions (both giving and receiving)--though, it's got some bugs, but nothing heartbreaking. You can find friends online (I'm on there), share techniques, and break them down to them being in your "Complete Game", "Practice Game", or your "A-Game"; it's a really neat website that, like I said, comes with an app so that you can recall those techniques at the gym or on the go. By the way: It's all For Free. Beautiful, right?
In closing: I like to use both of the methods I mentioned because they both work for me in their own respective ways. I need to be able to write techniques down longhand to help me remember, but I really love having that online access via the app to techniques in the gym. Play around with both of them, see what works best for you, and in doing so you'll be taking that extra step to getting better.
Now, go get your learn on.