Starting Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training can feel daunting and overwhelming at the beginning. There is so much to learn, so many levels to the game, and seemingly such little time to learn it all.
If you are looking to progress quickly as a BJJ beginner, there are some beginner BJJ tips that can help guide your training and avoid many of the pitfalls people find themselves in on the road to blue belt.
In this post, we share 5 of the most important BJJ tips for beginners and white belts that will help you progress in BJJ by leaps and bounds!
5 BJJ Tips for Beginners
#1 – Train Consistently as a BJJ beginner
Consistent training is undoubtedly the #1 BJJ tip for beginners for progressing in BJJ.
Although most BJJ beginners intuitively understand that showing up to practice is the only way to improve your BJJ, inconsistent training is by far the biggest reason for slow BJJ progression.
Realistically, you need to be committed to at least three and ideally four BJJ practices per week for optimal progression.
If you are only training once or twice per week, it becomes very difficult to get enough repetitions in with the move of the week to add it to your arsenal.
Furthermore, a well thought out Beginner’s BJJ curriculum will generally be geared towards three or four practices per week.
If you aren’t at every practice to tie the the movements or sequence together with the previous lesson, you will never develop a solid game plan with multiple movements chained together.
The only solution to this is to show up at least three days per week.
#2 – Drill more BJJ Fundamentals
Even among people who train three days per week, progress can still become slow or even stall out.
The greatest BJJ beginner tip to progress faster if you are already training consistently is to spend more time drilling the BJJ fundamentals.
White belt is the time to master survival in bad positions, begin developing an escape sequence, and learn where the important movements take place in the various positions.
Now, it’s obviously crucial to train live at partial and full intensity. However at the beginner level, you just don’t have a good enough library of techniques to make live rolling that productive.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t do some live as a beginner even every time you train, but most of your actual mat time should be spent drilling the basics.
If most of your time is spent on battling for unproductive grips and trying to maul your way out of positions, your BJJ progress will inevitably slow down.
#3 – Be More Focused
Even if you are drilling consistently, you can still stall if you are not focused on the proper moves and positions.
Most good coaches are going to direct beginners towards drilling the right moves.
Nevertheless, with the rise of BJJ social media accounts and the huge number of flashy technique videos, many BJJ beginners get too enamored with moves that are already difficult to perform at the black belt level.
They end up spending too much time going for niche Hail Mary submissions while having no grasp of basics such as recovering guard or escaping back control.
The problem with BJJ beginners doing niche submission chasing is that without the ability to escape bad positions, sweep, pass, and maintain top position, you will never be able to impose a submission of your opponent.
You may catch newer people with a crotch-ripper or sloppy ankle lock, however you are unlikely to consistently submit someone more advanced than you without developing your fundamentals.
On the other hand, if you drill one or two options to recover and advance a given position, you will soon find cleaner openings for higher-percentage submissions.
If you focus on a firm understanding of a few basic BJJ positions, you will begin pressuring upper belts and controlling your peers far more effectively than diving for the last foot-lock you saw on Instagram.
#4 – Slow it Down
One of the biggest hurdles you must overcome as a white belt is learning to slow down. This certainly applies to rolling live to avoid injury and focus on technique.
However the bigger issue is white belts spazzing during drilling. Its surprisingly common to see a white belt try a BJJ move on a fully-cooperating training partner during drilling as if they are going live in competition right then.
There’s an old adage in athletics that says: ‘if you can’t do it slow, you can’t do it fast.’
This is especially true in BJJ.
Many white belts with over a year of mat time under their belts, drill as if performing a move quickly will allow them to pull it off without spending hours fine-tuning the details.
It never works, and these white belts often end up injuring themselves, or pissing-off the upper belts when they try to pull off a move they’ve rushed through a few times during drilling.
The fact is, the difference between a movement attempt working on your opponent and losing the match, is often something as small as one hand or foot position. These details are neglected during spastic drilling and will end up costing you every single pass, sweep, or submission you go for.
If you are a BJJ Beginner looking for consistent progress, slow it down. Not just rolling, but drilling as well.
#5 – Don’t be obsessed on getting your blue belt
The final tip for BJJ beginners and white belts, is to try to forget about how fast you earn the belt promotions. Getting obsessed on a quick belt progression is an all around recipe for disaster.
In the best case scenario, you plough through your white belt in less than a year. Now you’re a blue belt, no one is as impressed as you thought they would be, and you’re still getting smashed by all the same guys.
Furthermore, you now have probably triple the time it took you at white belt before you are even in the ball park of purple belt.
In the worst case scenario, you set unreasonable expectations on when you’ll get promoted, injuries, job, and life slows it down, and before you know it you are demotivated, disheartened, and potentially quitting BJJ.
Look, getting your blue belt is a big deal and it will be very exciting. However, the belt represents the process you went through while grinding it out at white belt. On its own it is just a piece of fabric that ultimately you care more about than anyone else on the planet, so make it count.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t have the goal of progressing fast in BJJ. However, I will say that the people who get promoted fastest are far more concerned with getting better at BJJ, than they are about the color of the piece of fabric that holds their gi together.
So go get yourself one of the best BJJ gi for beginners, start training with these 5 of the most important BJJ tips in mind, and you will soon find yourself progressing in BJJ at a much more consistent pace!
Most importantly… have fun while you’re doing BJJ!