My tips for beginners of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Thought I would share some tips that have helped me in starting out.

  • Leave your ego at the door.

This is a must, you are the littlest fish in a very large pond. If you want people to help you out, don’t be a douche bag and think you don’t need help. I assure you, you need all the help you can get. And plus, why do you want to be known as the dick new guy? So, if this is a hard thing for you to do, you might find it hard finding good training partners who will gladly answer your questions.

  • Ask questions, lots of questions.

Now you have left your ego at the door, you can feel as stupid as you please. Ask, ask and ask some more. There are always little things that you may have missed, or small tips that can be passed down to you from the more experienced students. Also in asking questions, you don’t look like a dick-know-it-all, so effectively in a roundabout way you reduce the effect of your ego.

  • Be a sponge.

Even if ask all those questions, you must still absorb the information that you will be receiving, I find it easier when the technique is performed on me, but everyone will have different ways of learning and absorbing information. So, for example you might like your partner to mirror the move and you follow along with them, or maybe you can get enough from just watching and drilling.

Adding to that, really pay attention to your coach/instructor. They have the most knowledge in the room, so pay attention to what they say and do, ask them a question if you don’t understand how they did something. If you are having trouble while drilling the move ask them for some extra help.

  • Go at your pace.

Just because you see someone else nailing the takedown or the armbar, doesn’t mean you need to match them. Most of the time you will miss key steps and little things like foot and hand placement, and you will have the chance to learn bad habits to make the technique work. If, however you get a move down quickly that’s fine to. But do not try to match someone else’s learning ability.

  • Have fun.

You don’t want training to become a chore, so have fun, crack jokes, laugh and don’t take it too seriously. Learn and prosper and help others do the same.

  • Interact with the other students.

Well you have to do this one, since you can’t train by yourself! Ask them questions, what they do, how they got into jiu-jitsu, etc. because most of the time you might find out that you share a few interests. Boom! New friend.

  • Bring a mate along!

Since sharing is caring, why not bring a friend or someone from your family. I believe Jiu-jitsu is for everyone. There is no shape or size you have to be, you don’t have to be a super athlete or a freak who is into hurting people. You can be past your prime or shy, everyone can gain something from it. Share the love of the BJJ family, because it’s too good not to share.

Please follow, like and leave a comment.

See you on the mats.

My first 7 classes

My first 7 classes have been life changing and amazing, with great people helping make each class enjoyable and allowing me to go at my own pace. I try to ask as many questions as I can, and am not afraid of looking like an idiot, as everyone that teaches you was once were you are. I have made a few good connections with some there, however I will say that when looking for a partner I have been the one to initiate the contact on some occasions. I am not sure if they would rather just drill the move compared to teaching it to me as a new student, where I will stop and ask questions. Of course, once we get into the swing of class everything is fine.

Like everywhere in life some are slightly better teachers than others, of course I do not hold any bad feelings to anyone as we are all in this journey together, learning and teaching one another. I like this system as most of the time I can see when they themselves don’t quite have the technique down and make their own adjustments. This of course comes to the point that you can grasp a better understanding of the move when you are teaching it to someone else, as you must explain the technique to someone with no prior knowledge, in turn allowing you to think about how you perform the technique.

Maddie and myself have bought 15 1m x 1m mats and have been cleaning and trying to figure out where to put them. I am looking forward to practicing with her and will post any tips I find with rolling with your partner/significant other.

Please follow, like and leave a comment for any questions and feedback.

Starting New things

Recently I started Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and I have absolutely loved it, classes are fun and challenging and they have inspired me to start a blog (along with some other factors).

Why start a blog?

To get my thoughts out onto paper (screen). But also, to share my experiences and thoughts about subjects that I enjoy doing and ones that interest me. Topics may include, Jiu-Jitsu, books I am reading, gym, study habits, diet etc.

What got me into BJJ?

Well let’s start with my first look at BJJ, my first contact with the world of BJJ was during one of the first UFC’s I ever watched. I couldn’t tell you the date or the fighters, or anything about the fight. I was just puzzled by how someone could get taken down so easily, then give up an arm to be taken home with the winner. Luckily Joe Rogan was commentating and mentioned how the other fighter had superior Jiu-jitsu, so this stuck in my head.

Coming from the traditional martial arts background of Tae kwon do, where I learnt how to defend against such attacks, this made the loser look like he had never trained. Which of course I knew that he had trained for several years longer than I have. Which made me think about if my martial art was ineffective, I then moved to Muy-Thai and realized that I had much to learn. Due to many reasons, I stopped training all together and have not gone back since.

It has taken me this long to act on starting training due to many things I thought were ‘good reasons excuses’ but ultimately it was up to me to steer my ship to the course I wanted (thanks Jocko for the kick in the arse). I will say the few factors that convinced me to start, one was listening to Joe Rogan, who then had two on, Jocko Willink, as a guest, and third was my current partner. The latter of whom I have convinced to start with me.

What do I aspire to do with BJJ?

My first goal as always is to just learn about the sport, I will not place any other goals or give any maybe I want/will do that/this at this point in time. So, I will aim to be a sponge for as long as I can.

Where do I train?

I train at Gracie Jiu-jitsu Burwood. Website: https://graciejiujitsuburwood.com.au/

My first lesson.

My first lesson was on the 30th of January 2018, once Robbie had given me a little demo, I was partnered with a blue belt who was good at teaching a new student. I noticed that the class is very informal, almost a complete opposite of other disciplines I have learnt. Lots of students were conversing but complete undivided attention was given to Robbie when he would show us a variation of the technique. Shrimp escape and body fold take-down were the techniques of the day.

I also found the curriculum is not a daunting task when it is broken up into the 23 classes, that can be done in any order, in any time. Which as a beginner made it more welcoming, overall most of the students are polite and kind and are happy that they can share something like jiu-jitsu with someone else.

Getting your significant other to join you.

Well to be honest I almost convinced her not to go. I got home after my first lesson and I didn’t shut up about how much fun I had and how much fun she is going to have. She got a little discouraged when I said that she should go in and try to learn as much as she can and that she would have to check her ego at the door, I forgot to check mine, this caused her to doubt herself. I noticed my lack of judgement and promptly apologized. Luckily, she proved me wrong and has been awesome.

Before that however, giving her the reason why she should start is the most important piece of information you can give her. Letting her know how she could benefit from it. Try either of these:

  1. Indirect approach:

You: “Have you ever thought about what you would do if someone grabbed you from behind?”

Her: “No, I have not.”

You: “Would you ever consider learning a martial art to prepare you for a situation like that?”

Her: “Well now that you mention it, I could learn something that would help me.”

  1. Direct approach:

You: “Hey these are some benefits of doing a martial art: good for fitness, self-confidence, knowing how to defend yourself, new friends, (anything else you can add). Would you come to one lesson with me and if you don’t like it I won’t mention you doing a martial art again.”

Her: “Okay, I will come.”

In the direct approach, be sure to not be overly aggressive, that’s why I would suggest the indirect approach. No need to give her the spark for the BJJ flame with a flamethrower. Of course, I would suggest you make your own version that would suit your need. Could be to get your child or friend into it.

Boom! You got her in for one lesson. So now what, first let your coach/instructor know and they will put her with a good training partner and now stop worrying about it because it is out of your hands. The worst thing you could do now is constantly check in on her during the class. Hopefully she has fun, learns something new and the BJJ flame within her is set a light.

On the Path

I know I do not have much experience yet, but I will post as much as I can. And if I am able to help one person out with any subject I post about then that’s a bonus. Please follow and leave a comment for any questions and feedback.