Let’s face it, learning Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is not an easy task and to be honest the learning NEVER ends. One thing for sure though is that White belts have the toughest phase of the learning curve because every position and every technique is foreign, challenging and often confusing.
I decided to write this article to give all white belts and beginners a few things that will help them learn faster and hopefully stick through what is likely to be the toughest part of the Jiu-Jitsu journey.
I feel that if you can get past White belt and well into your Blue or Purple Belt that most of you will end up making Jiu-Jitsu a lifestyle and continue training for the rest of your life. The hard part is getting through the White belt phase or the first couple years of training.
So here are five tips to improve faster in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
1) Train on a consistent basis
It is so important to train consistently and not take breaks off of training. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying to train 7 days a week. I am saying to make it a goal to train consistently whether that be 2- 3-4 or more days per week. (2 is the minimum). But make yourself go to class every week no matter what. When you first start Jiu-Jitsu your body will be sore and tired, you will feel fatigued some days. However, you have to tell yourself that this is normal and push through the uncomfortable and unfamiliar soreness that you will surely experience at least once every week.
2) Ask one REAL question every class (don’t be afraid to speak up)
Make it a goal to walk out of every class with at least one new thing that you TRULY understand and can add in to your Jiu Jitsu arsenal. If you just go to class and go through the movements without any thought or without any real focus then you will probably learn a little but your learning will not be as efficient and effective as it could be. Try to truly understand Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and what it is.
3) Compete often and early on
I often hear white belts saying that they want to compete but they want to wait a little longer or wait until they are Blue Belt. I have to disagree with wanting to wait to compete. You should try to get as much experience as early on as possible because at white belt there really is no pressure and it is all about learning. (of course every belt is about learning but at white belt there is no pressure to win anything).
Would you rather be the Blue belt who competed 15 or 20 times at White Belt or The Blue Belt who is entering his or her very first competition because you wanted to wait until you were ready ? Get the experience at white belt and watch your technical skills improve leaps and bounds over your peers.
4) Study outside of class
I know a lot of Jiu-Jitsu coaches discourage their students from studying any other Jiu-Jitsu videos or “YouTube” techniques outside of class but I strongly disagree with that idea. Now I understand there is a lot of crap out there and poor techniques floating all over the internet. However, there is also a ton of gold and valuable resources that will help you learn and expand your Jiu-Jitsu knowledge 10X faster than if you chose not to study in your off time.
Ask your Jiu-Jitsu coach for guidance on what is good material and what to avoid. With that said here are a few resources that have EXCELLENT material for you to study all the way from White to Black Belt.
5) Do Positional Training/Sparring
Anytime you learn a new position such as the Spider Guard or Butterfly Guard or ANYTHING…. Make sure to get a few rounds of rolling just from that position. Even if what you are learning is not your “A-Game” make sure to spar from the new positions to make sure that you retain what you learn and that you become sharp from that position.
I see a lot of white belts afraid to open their guard because they do not want to get passed. By training with your guard open in the spider guard, de la riva guard, butterfly guard etc… you will become more and more comfortable with each new position and you will start to see your entire game improve leaps and bounds!
I hope you enjoyed the article and found a few things that can you along the way in your Jiu-Jitsu journey…. No matter what just never give up. You will find days and weeks where you are tired and maybe even feeling burned out but I promise you that if you stick through it, Jiu-Jitsu will change your life…. Keep Rolling !