MMA Meme - Renzo Gracie Quote

BJJ Training: 8 Tips to Keep You Improving

Feb 18, 2015

For all Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners, there are times when we feel our skill is a solid reflection of our effort and time spent on the proving grounds with our coaches and peers. Other times we may feel as though we are the lowest man or woman on the totem pole. Here are my BJJ Training: 8 Tips to Keep You Improving which will help keep you mentally focused, avoid feeling overwhelmed and keep you learning!

Being the Hammer

1) Train your poor or weak positions

Don’t get so caught up in being the hammer that you forget about improving all aspects of your game. Utilize your escapes and defense.

2) Seek out bigger fish

Keep the challenges coming from more experienced teammates. Push yourself and see how long you can keep implementing your game plan. Roll and train with those who have typically given your trouble with your passing, escapes, or submissions in the past.

Photo of James Clingerman winning a BJJ Match

3) Tunnel Vision

Be aware of your options and don’t become over-dependent on your ‘go to’ series. Try to expand upon or add to the things you are doing well. Add something extra into your game plan.

Being the Nail

4) Ask Questions

Talk to your training partners. Your teammates and BJJ partners will see things to which you are blind.

  • “What is something you noticed about our roll?”
  • “Why didn’t my sweep / escape / submission work?”

5) Private Lessons

Class time is great for training and learning new concepts, but the smaller details you and your training partners don’t see can be easily be fixed with advice from your coach.

6) BJJ Baby Steps

Usually when something isn’t working properly, is can be rectified by making smaller adjustments to your sweeps, passes, or submissions. The devil is in the detail.

Coach Mat Stratta and Justin Curtis talking on BJJ Mats

7) Don’t drink from the community well

If your teammates are all working the same series, passes, or subs, try to work something completely different. Your partners have a plan; so don’t react in a predictable manner. Be different.

8) Do NOT compare

Comparing yourself to another is a huge mental mistake. Use your teammates as goals and standards, not a measuring tool. Everybody has a specific skill set they have developed over time, just as you have. The struggles your teammates provide are their to challenge you and expose your weakness. Welcome the education.

BJJ Meme - Comparison is the thief of Joy

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