BJJ for Beginners: Top Tips

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Brazilian Jiu JItsu BJJ professor teaching technique from the guard position to his students in training class at the martial arts academy

Believe it or not, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu actually has Japanese origins. It comes from a long history of varied martial arts, and it’s stood the test of time and become a popular sport again in the 2020s. Are you considering trying it out for yourself?

BJJ isn’t easy. It takes effort, discipline, and a good amount of strength (though, as we’ll mention later, strength isn’t the most important part).

We’re here with a few tips for BJJ for beginners to help out newcomers. Read on to learn more.

Don’t Forget to Stretch

This is a tip for anyone who involves themselves in any type of sport, and BJJ is no exception. You should never forget to stretch. 

Stretching keeps your muscles flexible and safe. Without stretching, it’s easy to injure yourself. Stretching will also make you better at Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu!

When you stretch consistently, you’ll be able to move more easily without any discomfort. You can get into better positions (and get out of bad positions more easily). 

Dynamic stretching before you start training paired with longer and deeper stretches after training will be beneficial. You should also consider doing regular stretches on your non-training days.

Pairing BJJ training with yoga can keep you feeling limber and strong between and during your sessions.

Be Consistent

Consistency is key when you’re trying to improve at BJJ. At first, there are going to be a lot of failures. You’re probably going to get discouraged.

You’re also going to experience a lot of soreness during your first few weeks. This is completely normal. Your body is adjusting to something new, and as long as it’s just soreness and you haven’t experienced any serious injuries, you can (and should) keep going. 

Try to practice at least once per week, preferably more often if you have the time and ability to do so. Don’t let yourself become discouraged by the people who have been training longer than you have. Remember, everyone starts somewhere.

It’s easy to lose progress if you take a long break. Stick with it as much as possible.

Consider Cross-Training

Cross-training is a great idea for anyone who wants to excel at BJJ. While other types of training won’t teach you how to learn BJJ, you’ll gain strength and abilities that will help you during your BJJ training sessions. 

Cross-training just means that you’re incorporating other sports or exercises into your training schedule. Even if they seem unrelated, those different training styles can help you on your BJJ journey. 

So what pairs well with BJJ?

As we mentioned before, yoga is fantastic for boosting your BJJ skills. You’ll get more flexible, you’ll develop the ability to control your breathing, and you may even gain some core strength.

Weightlifting is also good for BJJ. While strength is less important than skill, it’s helpful to have a baseline of strength that you can rely on.

Keeping up with cardio will be beneficial for you as well. Having several weekly cardio sessions (even if it’s just jogging or riding a bike) will improve your stamina and endurance. 

At the end of the day, you should cross-train in a way that you enjoy. Find another activity to pair with your BJJ efforts.

Master Your Escapes

Too many newcomers try to rely on offensive moves when they first get started, but when they end up stuck in a hold, they don’t know what to do. When you’re still learning, try to master your escapes. 

Mastering escapes will put you ahead of your competition. Your competitor will expect you to focus on submissions first. Even if they’re stronger than you, you can go a long way just by knowing the basic escapes.

Focus on Skill, Not Strength

Strength is important if you want to be good at BJJ, but skill is even more important. If you’re up against someone who is noticeably stronger than you, try not to panic or resign yourself to a loss.

Continue learning techniques during your BJJ classes, even if you think you’re too weak for them. You’d be surprised at how far they can take you. 

Trust Your Instructor

Your BJJ instructor wants you to succeed. They likely love the sport and want to share it with others. If they’re doing something that doesn’t make sense to you, try to give them the benefit of the doubt. 

BJJ training can be unconventional. If you’re not sure why you’re doing something or what the end goal is supposed to be, it’s okay to ask questions. The instructor should be able to break things down further for you if you need them to. 

Keep Moving

If you’re feeling stuck or overwhelmed while sparring, keep moving. Staying still gives your opponent the opportunity to win. Take a deep breath, calm down, and get yourself into a position that’s more advantageous for you. 

Leave Your Ego at the Door

The worst thing to bring with you to your BJJ class is your ego. During training, you’re all on a level playing field. You’re a beginner amongst other beginners, and that’s okay. 

You always have more to learn. Even experienced instructors are always learning.

When you get too confident, you’re sacrificing your ability to learn new techniques and improve your skills. 

BJJ for Beginners: You’ve Got This

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a lot of fun, but you won’t get good at it overnight. Everyone starts off as a beginner. These BJJ for beginners tips will help you when you’re first getting started on your BJJ journey. 

Have fun while you learn!

For more helpful articles about sports and more, visit the rest of the site. 

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