Keenan Cornelius Shares The Key to Rapid Improvement in Jiu-Jitsu

Every jiu-jitsu player, from a hobbyist to a high-level competitor, wants to improve their jiu-jitsu and wants to improve it quickly. Keenan Cornelius — one of the best competitive grapplers of his generation — shared his key to rapid improvement in a recent video.

The secret, says Cornelius, is deliberate practice. In other words, grapplers should go into every training session with specific goals of specific techniques they want to land while rolling. More than just drilling, this gives the grappler a better understanding of how particular techniques work in a live scenario.

Check out the full video below.

In some ways, this puts limits on a grappler’s training. However, Cornelius says that’s actually a benefit.

“Constraints are a good thing,” he said. “When you have to operate within constraints, it forces you to be creative, it forces you to learn more, actually, within those constraints.”

How does one decide which moves to work on during practice?

“We want to find that optimal balance of things that I want to get good at and things that I’m weak in,” Cornelius said.

Again, what makes deliberate practice so effective is that it gives you the chance to see a technique work (or not work) in a live scenario. From there, each grappler can make adjustments to fit his or her body type, athleticism, and overall game to make the technique more effective.

“You can learn a move online and you can see it but when you actually want to do it, it takes an amount of time to get comfortable with all those little movements,” said Cornelius.

Keenan Cornelius is an Andre Galvao black belt and long-time elite competitor. He is the owner and head instructor at Legion American Jiu-Jitsu in San Diego, CA.

Ben Coate

Ben has been involved with grappling, whether through wrestling or Brazilian jiu-jitsu, essentially his entire life. After wrestling throughout his childhood, Ben found Brazilian jiu-jitsu as a young adult and quickly fell in love. He has been training for over ten years and currently holds the rank of brown belt, and remains involved in both the MMA and BJJ scene. Ben has been writing about combat sports since 2017. He has interviewed and profiled some of MMA's biggest stars, including multiple UFC champions.

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