Have you heard of the 10,000 hour rule?

Malcom Gladwell discussed the 10,000 hour rule in his book Outliers.  If you haven’t read it you can grab a copy on Amazon pretty cheap.


Throughout the publication, Gladwell discusses the “10,000-Hour Rule”, claiming that the key to achieving world class expertise in any skill, is, to a large extent, a matter of practicing the correct way, for a total of around 10,000 hours.

If you trained 40 hours a week like the best grapplers in the World for 50 weeks a year it would take you 5 years to reach this level.  Drop down to 20 hours a week and your at 10 years.

If you put this in BJJ Terms that is A LOT of mat time.

Can you hack this using the Pareto principle?

The Pareto principle (also known as the 80–20 rule, the law of the vital few,  states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes

This would mean you need to put in 2,000 hours to get in the top 80th percentile.

Now that is a much more attainable number.  Especially if you have a family and life responsibilities that keep you from putting in 40 hours a week on the mats.

If you just put in 10 hours a week working on your Jiu-Jitsu you could be in the top 80th percentile in just 4 years and be pretty damn good!

Just 10 hours to be better than 80%!

Of course the quality of your training and drilling is a huge factor in your improvement on the mats.  Here are a few tips:

– Listen To Your Coach

– Drill Your Teams Curriculum of Techniques

– Squeeze in extra reps before or after class.  Every little bit will help

– Work on your recovery and stretching to avoid injuries

– Listen To Your Coach, did I already mention that??

Another way to put in extra hours is to review your training notes for the week and plan out your upcoming week of training.

Make the most of your mat time.

Paul Halme