Getting introduced and acclimated to the world of Jiu Jitsu is a challenge for many new students. There are so many questions, curiosities, and fears around exploring and learning the incredible art of Jiu Jitsu.
Here are our top 5 tips to help you either get started learning Jiu Jitsu or make your experience learning even better.
- Focus on the basics. One of our favorite things to listen to is excited new white belts talking about all the techniques that they saw on YouTube last night and can’t wait to try in class.
Yes, YouTube and other instructional videos are a great resource for Jiu Jitsu martial artists; but in the beginning, it’s best to ignore the fancy stuff and focus on the fundamentals of jiu jitsu. For example, look at ways to escape side control, guard retention, or etc.
- Ignore the submissions – for now. Most of you have heard, “positions for submission”. This is a vital lesson in BJJ. Many new students are obsessed with trying to get submissions right off the bat. In the beginning, just focus on the position. Learn to stabilize, control, escape, etc. Submissions will come, but don’t force them.
- TRY to Breathe and Relax – So many new students are just wild. It’s hard for them to decipher the difference between a “real fight” and just rolling on the mat. I know it’s hard to remain relaxed when you’ve got an opponent in front of you trying to hurt you – but you have a secret weapon – “tap”. No one is going to hurt you or actually try to break you. You have to look at your training partner as a buddy who is going to help you not make mistakes.
- Tap Often – If you’re not tapping, you’re not learning. There’s no ego in tapping. It gives you a chance to reset and go again. Don’t look at tapping as losing. Look at tapping as a “correction”. Every tap makes a connection in your brain saying “let’s not do that again”. Eventually you will stop making simple mistakes that get you tapped, and you’ll be able to experience more Jiu-Jitsu.
- MOVE – I see so many new white belts just try to hold a position forever like what they are doing is actually going to submit someone. My favorite is when I see someone trying to squeeze someone in closed guard, and thinking that this is going to cause a submission…
Just moving more and going in and out of different positions will allow you to experience more jiu jitsu during your rolls. Don’t be the guy or girl who ignore “learning Jiu Jitsu” because they’re too afraid to give up position. This is especially important for big guys who think that just because they are bigger, which makes it hard for their opponent to do anything, that they are actually doing Jiu Jitsu. This is not BJJ, this is just being big.
There are probably many more tips we could provide on how to better improve your experience as a white belt in Jiu Jitsu.
But, I’m going to leave you with one more tip.
This is the most important secret to actually learning Jiu Jitsu quickly. Walk in the door, put on your gi, step onto the mats, focus on learning what your instructor has planned, and train.
PS – when you’re ready to give Jiu Jitsu a shot, we offer a 1-week trial that is a perfect opportunity for beginners to experience and start learning Jiu Jitsu safely and effectively.