I have a new student that recently joined our adult Jiu Jitsu program. After a class the other day, he asked me what he should be working on. I gave him some quick pointers trying not to overwhelm him and just keep it simple. I've been thinking a lot lately since our conversation. Trying to remember almost seven years ago when I first started, the things that would have helped me the most. Here are just a few tips if you have just started Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
The first thing that I notice when I grapple with a new student is their breathing. When you begin a grappling session by breathing hard right off the bat. It creates a domino effect. Your blood pressure starts to rise and the lactic acid starts building up in your muscles. This leads to exhaustion I get it! You want to do your best and you're trying real hard but it is very important to focus on your breathing Learning to stay calm under pressure is a huge benefit of jiu jitsu. Once you master your breathing, things will start to get a little easier.
There is no doubt that strength plays a very important role in Jiu-Jitsu. Good technique usually dominates over strength. However, as a new student with only a few classes under your belt, you don't have much to go on. Instead of trying to muscle your way through. Try getting to a neutral position and get dominant grips. Relax! Using all of your energy reserves in the first minute will only leave you lying on your back.
The only way to get better at Jiu-Jitsu is to train jiu-jitsu. Your teammates are relying on you to show up. I know everyone has rough days, but trust me. You'll be glad you came to class. While videos are entertaining and can be helpful when learning new positions. They do not take the place of actual physical training. Do not expect to watch a video and then pull off the technique while in live training. Get to class! Help your teammates, and drill the techniques you are shown by your instructor.
After demonstrating techniques your instructor should be asking the class if they have any questions. That is the perfect time to ask away. Even if you think your question is a little weird. Ask it! Somebody may be wondering the same thing but won't speak up either. Asking questions can tremendously improve your jiu jitsu. Your instructor and your teammates are there to help you improve. Ask the higher-ranking belts for suggestions or tips. They're more than likely going to give you excellent answers.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a marathon not a Sprint. Rome was not built in a day. You will not learn everything in your first month. As a matter of fact, jiu jitsu is ever evolving and there is no end. So relax! Be patient! Enjoy the journey.
About the author;
Wallace Bailey is Owner/Instructor at Gator Family Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Purple Belt under 8X World Champion, 6X Brazilian Champion, and Hall of Fame Inductee Robson Moura.