BJJ Journal: How to use a Training Journal + FREE Template

BJJ Journal

How to make consistent progress in Jiu Jitsu and never plateau? Should you plan your BJJ training sessions and focus on specific techniques? Can a BJJ Journal help track training efforts and make you progress faster? Let’s find out.

This article will show you exactly how to plan your training progression and keep track of your progress by working with a Jiu Jitsu Training Journal in form of a BJJ training dairy or training log. Therefore, we will provide an optimized BJJ Journal Template for FREE.

Problems with Progressing in Jiu Jitsu

In the beginning of your BJJ journey you will progress fast anyway and most of the time there’s no need for a BJJ Journal or diary. You will keep getting better each training sessions until you reach a certain level. At this point you might feel stuck, and your motivation might take a hit. This is perfectly normal with all skills one can acquire.

You will learn how to tackle BJJ progression issues through planning, structuring, and keeping a BJJ Training Journal. But first, let’s analyze the problems every BJJ athlete faces:

  • Feeling Overwhelmed: BJJ can be overwhelming as there is a lot to learn. You might feel like forgetting about the last technique you learned as soon as you learn something new.
  • Plateaus and Feeling Stuck: You don’t progress, or you are even getting worse despite training hard.
  • Missing Structure: Maybe your BJJ school doesn’t have a structured approach to teaching techniques, or you find yourself having trouble connecting techniques and developing your game.
  • Missing Repetition: Following your schools schedule might show you many techniques but sometimes you are missing repetition.
  • Missing Motivation: Motivation is tied closely to progression since we all strive to get better.
  • Injuries: Unfortunately, injuries are part of every sport including Jiu Jitsu and can get in the way of your progression. Check out our articles on BJJ injury statistics and the most common BJJ injuries like finger injuries. If you are currently affected, check out our finger taping guide and turf toe taping guide.

Planning and Goal Setting for BJJ Training and Journaling

As with everything in life, you should set goals for yourself and plan accordingly. You are responsible for your own success, nobody else.

Planning your BJJ training is crucial. Follow these four steps to succeed:

  1. Analyze your strengths and weaknesses.
  2. Determine what to work on by analyzing which improvement will increase your odds of winning a match the most.
  3. Set goals and plan
  4. Specific and focused training.
  5. Review and capture your training sessions through a BJJ Journal.

Let’s talk about points three and four:

Setting BJJ Training Goals

How can you expect to arrive at the destination if you don’t know which way to run? Setting goals is crucial.

Set goals with a top-down approach. Decide where you want to go and aim accordingly. As a result, you will have a plan where your daily task and goals aid achieving your weekly goals which aid achieving your monthly goals and so on…

BJJ Goal Setting and Planning
BJJ Planning and Goal Setting Schema

Lifetime Goals

What are your goals with Jiu Jitsu? Becoming a world champion? Winning a competition? Learning about self-defense? Earning a black belt? Getting in shape?

You must know what you are aiming for so you can train accordingly.

Yearly Goals

Where do you want to be at the end of the year? What achievements do you want to unlock until then? Align your yearly goals with your lifetime goals.

Monthly Goals

What is the goal of each upcoming month? Which aspects of Jiu Jitsu will you focus on in each month? All twelve months of the year should contribute to fulfilling the yearly goal.

Weekly Goals

What are the goals for the next weeks? How many training sessions will each week have? How to split time between drilling, rolling and strength training?

Daily Goals

Think about what your ideal training session would look like. Plan your warm up, drilling, rolling and strength training for the day. You should already have an outline on how to train based on your weekly planning.

You can use our BJJ Journal Template below to documents your day-to-day training sessions.

How to train with a Jiu Jitsu Journal

There are two main problems that get in the way of progressing in Jiu Jitsu:

Problem #1:

Everyone has their favorite techniques, the ones they use the most and they have most success with. Usually, athletes spend too much time doing what they are comfortable with and neglect what is hard for them but needs improvement.

Problem #2:

Most of the time techniques are not repeated sufficiently. As a BJJ athlete you will needs hundreds of repetitions of a specific technique to make it work flawlessly and under high pressure in competition. There is a big difference between knowing a technique and mastering it.

The Solution: Specific Training

The idea of specific training is to set a specific focus for a week of training sessions or even a month of training sessions. Within this timeframe you will follow a structured approach of mastering one specific technique or set of connected techniques and get plenty of repetition.


Let’s say you want to focus on the Triangle Choke for the next month. You will spend some extra time drilling the technique including different entries, variations and finishing mechanics and you will try to hit the technique throughout your rolls.

Within this month you will build muscle memory and intuition. At the end of the interval, you will have a solid understanding of the technique including transitions and connections to different positions and situations.

You will need to plan your specific BJJ training and keep track of your training sessions and progression. A Training Journal as well as planning sheets can help a lot with incorporating structure into your training efforts. See the Template below.

Should you use a BJJ Training Journal?

You should at least give it a try. Try keeping a BJJ Training Journal to plan, organize and track your Jiu Jitsu training progress. The boost in training progression can be enormous as it is quite challenging to progress in the long run.

Only a structured approach can help you in becoming the best version of yourself. You can always give BJJ training notebook like the following a try:

Jiu Jitsu Training Journal

Benefits of keeping a BJJ Training Journal

There are several benefits of keeping a BJJ Journal:

  • Spaced Repetition: Writing down a BJJ training log will make you think about your training session once again and aid your progress in form of spaced repetition. It all comes down to repetition.
  • Structuring your knowledge: To write a BJJ Journal you need to structure the training session in your head. This will help you develop a system of techniques and helps you to incorporate your newfound knowledge into what you already knew.
  • Writing helps with long-term memory: Numerous studies have shown that writing is very helpful for enabling long-term memory.
  • Mindfulness: By journaling your BJJ trainings as well as planning towards your goals you will stop rolling mindlessly.
  • Reference Book: If you do a good job with structuring and writing down your training sessions you will develop your personal technique reference book over time. The knowledge inside this book will be tailored to you and can be very helpful.

How to use a BJJ Journal: Best Practices

Here’s how you can keep a BJJ Journal to utilize spaced repetition which is a proven way to learn. Repeating a technique could look like this:

  • Repetition #1: Training a (set of) techniques in class.
  • Repetition #2: Pick a BJJ Journal Template (see below) and fill it out in the evening after every session.
  • Repetition #3: In your next training session pick a partner and work through the techniques again.
  • Repetition #4: Try to actively utilize the techniques when rolling.

Free BJJ Journal Template

You can use our free BJJ Journal Template to track you training sessions and reap all the benefits explained above. Have fun!

BJJ Journal Template by BJJDivision
BJJ Journal Template by BJJDivision

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Only you can decide if keeping a Jiu Jitu Training Journal is worth the time for you. Nevertheless, we strongly encourage you to give it a try. Journaling our BJJ goals, techniques, plans and strategies as well as keeping a Jiu Jitsu training log yielded great results for us.

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