We have already told you a brief history of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and its analogies with surfing. Today, we bring you these 10 tips to keep in mind if you are thinking of getting started in this sport. Enjoy them!
1. Leave your ego at home
If you’re training to prove something to someone, forget it! A beginner in BJJ can only evolve when he trains with an open mind and leaves his ego at home. These are the points you need to keep in mind:
- You can never know enough.
- “Pat” as many times as necessary so you don’t hurt yourself.
- If your partner doesn’t want to palm, don’t force the position! You will gain nothing by doing so, and you may hurt your training partner.
- The more you allow yourself to make mistakes, the more chances you have to learn!
- All advice should be received with an open mind.
- Leave your ego in the same place where you left your shoes: off the tatami!
2. Make sure the gym you chose has a similar profile to yours.
It is common for people to get discouraged by a bad start in Jiu-Jitsu. Ideally, do some research before starting classes and make sure that the teacher you choose is experienced, attentive to all students, and likes what he/she does. If you do not receive attention where you are training, do not think that this is normal, because it is not. Rather than stop training, change to an academy where you feel welcome.
3. Your team: your colleagues. Take advantage of each other’s experience.
In the gym, you will be with other BJJ students, many of them with much more experience than you. And after the teacher, there is no one better than the most experienced athletes to share knowledge, tips, and information that will help you evolve technically and psychologically.
Absorbing as much as you can is essential for you to evolve quickly in that sport.
After all, effective training is not the one where you tire yourself out or make someone else clap, but the one that provides you with learning and growth.
4. Technique comes before strength.
Whoever says that Jiu-Jitsu does not need strength does not understand the gentle art very well. Be it strength, speed, or flexibility; every physical attribute can be used to your advantage in Jiu-Jitsu.
However, one of the most common mistakes of the beginner in Jiu-Jitsu is to abuse those attributes. In the long run, people who focus on technique stand out much more than those who relied only on strength.
Therefore, during the technique’s execution and mainly during the fight, it is always best to focus on efficiency. Use your strength only in key moments and always supported by a technique. You will tireless, injure less, and evolve much more.
5. Your kimono, your partner, take care of it!
As in other oriental martial arts, jiu-jitsu is practiced with a kimono, the fighter’s uniform. So, when wearing neoprene, always wash it after training. If you practice every day, consider having more than one kimono.
Even with all the care, it is possible that, even after washing, it will darken and continue to smell. If that happens, an important tip is to use baking soda in the wash water. This will preserve the color of your uniform and remove bad odors.
Also read: How to properly wash and dry your BJJ Gi
6. The good beginner repeats the positions carefully.
Practicing the technique can be a bit tiring, especially when you feel like rolling (struggling). However, if you are really committed to evolve, you must use your energy right now.
Repeating positions with attention is a way for your body to understand how to use that movement in a situation of need, be it self-defense or when it is time to roll. Here are some tips to optimize the timing of the technique:
- Be present and attentive during the explanation.
- Ask questions, be curious, and don’t let a doubt pass you by.
- Repeat as many times as you can without losing the quality of the performance.
- When you are not practicing, help your colleagues – teaching is also learning!
7. Execute the positions step by step and then incorporate speed into the movement, little by little.
When we are beginners, controlling this isn’t easy. We always try to do it fast before we learn the movement well. With that, the movement comes out imperfect, and many white belts give up trying again.
8. In the beginning, look to train with training partners of about the same weight.
In the beginning in BJJ, your movements will not have many styles, and training with heavier partners can attract injuries. Always look for someone around your weight.
Also read: Top 7 Best Lightweight BJJ Gis
9. Never call on an athlete more graduated than you to roll.
This is a bit old school, but many graduates still take offense to it. Actually, the graduate feels a bit challenged when that happens. The higher grad knows who is available just by the way the person looks at him or her. Watch with humility and make yourself available to train; if he/she wants to train, he/she will invite you.
A workout where you are invited rather than invited is much more enjoyable.
10. Trust and above all: have fun.
Never hold a completion after the “3 taps”. If you have doubts if your partner tapped, let go; better caution than discomfort. By trusting your partners and coaches, the environment becomes safer and more enjoyable. If you’re not having fun, nothing else makes sense.
Jiu-Jitsu is something for the rest of your life, and each step forward is an addictive sensation, the best addiction you can acquire. Good luck, and may your future be bright with BJJ!