“Applying Kaizen to Jiu-jitsu”

As the year comes to a close and we begin to reflect on what we have achieved in our training and our personal lives, an ideal came to mind that I would like to share with you. That is the philosophy of “Kaizen”. Kaizen is a Japanese word for philosophy or ideal of “Continuing and Never Ending Improvement”. The actual translation of “Kaizen”  is as follows. “Kai (“change”) Zen” (“good”) is “improvement” and it has been made famous by the book “Kaizen: The Key to Japan’s Competitive Success” by Masaaki Imai. Kaizen is reflected in the Japanese “Total Quality Management” approach that helped Japan and their economy become a modern superpower.


Now how “Kaizen” applies to Jiu-jitsu and our lives is simple… Just think every time you step on the mat to train, that you aim to improve your technique, strategy and timing by even just a little bit, say 1%. If you do this your progress over the course of the year will be off the charts and your game will show tremendous improvement! 🙂 Say the average Jiu-jitsu practitioner trains 2 times a week for 48 weeks of the year (allowing four weeks off for holidays, work, sickness etc), in theory that student could improve their Jiu-jitsu by 96% in effect doubling theirs skills and effectiveness on the mat! Now here’s a thought, how about spending more time like 5-6 days a week this time only taking 2 weeks off…. Theoretically you could be 250-300% more skillful in the art! Now I realise progress isn’t so uniform but think about it, how many of you wouldn’t kill to have their game 25% better or their escapes/submissions 200% better? I am sure you get the idea!

Why wouldn’t you want to put this great philosophy into practise and unlock your potential? You’d be crazy not to!!! Sadly most people will probably read this, agree with me yet still not take action! DON’T like most people, take action starting now and apply Kaizen to your training. Hmm, now what else in your life could use a little improvement! 🙂

Good luck with your Training and Happy Rolling!

Felipe Grez

Jiu-jitsu Kingdom



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