Brazillian Jui Jitsu, or BJJ has surged in popularity over recent years, thanks to the growth of MMA.
Born out of the martial art of Judo, it was mastered by Helio and Carlson Gracie, and then popularized by Royce Gracie, who displayed to the world that BJJ is an unmatched grappling style.
What differentiates BJJ from other martial arts is that you won’t get very far if you’re just acting on instinct.
You either know and understand BJJ or you don’t. If you don’t have the expertise of BJJ in your arsenal, it’s essentially impossible to defend yourself against an opponent who knows BJJ.
The beauty of the art of BJJ lies in the fact that it’s something that takes a lot of time, practice, and effort to become good at it.
Understanding the physical language of BJJ will give you a tremendous advantage over someone who isn’t well versed in BJJ.
The fact is that the skills involved in BJJ have to be taught and learned slowly in order to fully understand.
It is similar to a game of chess. You have to understand what your opponent is going for, and how to counteract accordingly.
Unlike boxing, the process is not instinctual but very methodical. Even an untrained boxer knows how to protect themselves from strikes, but in grappling there is no way to instinctively know how to defend yourself against a choke or arm bar.
Let’s look at 6 helpful tips that will help you on your journey to mastering Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
6 Tips for Learning BJJ
Getting to an intermediate to advanced level in BJJ is a very long process. It takes many hours of vigorous training to not only build your strength but your skills and understanding of the art of jui jitsu.
BJJ can give you a wide range of physical skills that are practical in a competitive sense and in terms of self defense.
Not only that, but it’s an incredibly thorough workout. The BJJ is also a very close knit community of like minded people who all want to help each other become better at the sport.
Follow the following tips and advice to maximize your progression when you start training in BJJ.
- Train Often
The single most important thing for getting better at BJJ is training frequently. The more regularly you train, the quicker you will make progress in terms of strength and skillset.
If you’re only going to train once a week, you shouldn’t be surprised if your progress is slow.
Most people who train BJJ are extremely committed, or even obsessed with the martial art.
If you want to keep up with the others in your training classes, then you will have to put in the hours.
Turning up to BJJ training sessions regularly will show your coach that you are, in fact, committed to improving, and they will be able to help you more in your progression by showing you everything you need to work on.
- Make use of Many Training Partners
It’s not surprising that when you roll with a training partner, you will prefer training with some people more than others.
That is natural, of course. In time, you will find the people that you enjoy training with the most and stick with them.
It is, however, a good idea to switch up your training partner and roll with new people.
Grappling with a variety of different people of different styles, builds, weights, and skill levels will be a huge benefit to your own skills.
By training with a wide variety of people, you will become a more well rounded grappler.
- Don’t Forget Cardio
BJJ is incredibly physically demanding. You will find this out in your first session pretty quickly once you are sweating and panting.
You may not have realised that having good cardio is extremely important to being good at BJJ.
Doing extra cardio training such as running, swimming, rowing, or interval training will greatly improve your BJJ game, as it will help you to build stamina and not get fatigued so quickly when you’re training.
- Work on Your Flexibility
Good flexibility is essential at the higher levels of BJJ. If you look at some of the greats of the sport, you will notice their exceptional flexibility.
Hip mobility and flexibility is a vital factor, as you can see from some of the elite level athletes in the sport such as Eddie Bravo or BJ Penn.
Advanced techniques such as triangle chokes require good leg and hip flexibility to pull of effectively.
Being very flexible is also an advantage when trying to escape from submissions.
You are less likely to be tapped out if you have a high level of flexibility in your joints.
- Do BJJ Drills
BJJ specific drills such as crocodile crawls, triangle drills, and bear crawls will help you to build and strengthen the muscles that you use most when rolling.
- Focus on the Fundementals
Don’’t get caught up in the more showy or elite level techniques when you’re just starting out.
You must first get the basics down first as a foundation of skill.
Things like keeping your elbows close, never being laid flat on your back, and being able to reverse positions are the most important but basic parts of BJJ, and you need to master these first.
BJJ can be quite an intimidating sport to get into, since it involves grappling and being in extremely close contact with others and being put into vulnerable positions.
Yet, in turn, BJJ is a deeply humbling sport, as everyone gets tapped out when they’re first starting.
It’s important to not be disheartened or discouraged when you’re a beginner to BJJ, as it’s all about simply learning the right techniques.
Getting started is always the hardest part, but with our 6 helpful tips you should be on your way to making fast progress, and significantly improving your skills and strength.
If you enjoyed this post, you might enjoy our article on ‘How Many Belts Are There In Jiu Jitsu?‘.