There is just so much information to learn in martial arts. Angles, posture, footwork, strikes, positions, you name it. And especially in the grappling arts!
Developing some literacy in your art will give you a massive boost in your learning speed. However, literacy isn’t just some emergent ability that comes with time. You have to work at it!
But once you understand the language being spoken — e.g., the specific concepts and movements that, together, create the machinery of the technique — it becomes easy to parse new skills.
Punching, for example, is very simple. You either rotate to the left, or you rotate to the right. The specific angle of the punch will have some effect on the angle of your hip rotation, but beyond that a punch is a punch is a punch.
If you can understand the basics of rotation and weight transfer, you can throw any punch and begin to solve problems in real-time with intuitive behavior, rather than pulling from a rolodex of very clearly defined techniques. You can read the situation and react properly.
So take some time to reflect on the skills you have learned. What makes them similar? What makes them different? Are there any universal concepts that thread these seemingly different skills together?
And how can we use this understanding of what we know to help us learn and retain new information?
Take some time at home to do the mental practice and you will see some tangible results in time!