Are you planning to take up Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) lessons? Do you feel prepared for your first encounter with the mat?
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu’s popularity in the United States continues to rise. It is one of the key players in the martial arts studios industry.
There are many different groups that offer Jiu Jitsu lessons. But even if you receive the best training, you should still prepare yourself first before entering the mat.
Some instructors believe only a tiny percentage of those who start Jiu Jitsu will earn a black belt.
Success in the sport involves a good mix of different factors. And there are some important truths you need to understand before hitting the mat for the first time.
Continue reading below and arm yourself with valuable knowledge.
9 Important Things to Start Jiu Jitsu the Right Way
To enjoy success in your Jiu Jitsu training, you need physical, emotional, and mental preparation. Check out these nine important things that will help take your game to the next level.
1. First Time to Roll
Rolling is a fundamental part of Jiu Jitsu. But before you roll on the mat, you need to tell your partner that it is your first time to do so.
Learning the lessons theoretically is one thing; taking your learnings to the mat is another. Understand that your first ever spar may disorient you.
It is when you will put into practice what you learned on paper. Expect to make lots of mistakes. Expect to forget a lot of techniques.
Thus, you need to tell your sparring partner that you are a first-timer on the mat. This way, he will take it easy on you. Being honest and transparent will give you more room to adjust.
2. Awareness is Crucial
When sparring for the first time, you will likely see yourself scrambling to get your bearings. You will likely move around for most of the time. Hence, you need to keep your awareness high in terms of your movements.
Since you are all over the place, there is a risk of accidentally elbowing or kicking your partner. You may also hit somebody else who is sparring nearby. Sometimes, you may even hit the wall.
The key is to maintain ample distance from other students on the mat.
3. Ask Questions after the Roll
It is normal to have lots of questions on your mind. Even if you are itching to ask your instructor, keep your questions to yourself at the moment.
A roll will only last about 5 minutes. If you spend a minute or two asking questions to your partner, you are wasting precious time. Ask as many questions as you want after rolling.
If you really need to ask something, make it very quick. Every second in the mat counts.
4. Look for the Best Instructor
Part of your success in Jiu Jitsu is the quality of training that you get. If your instructors don’t pay enough attention to you, you better reconsider finding a new gym to train.
Before signing up to any gym, make sure you did your homework. Do some research and check if their instructors receive positive reviews from their students.
You need to find an instructor who is not only knowledgeable but is makes enough effort to connect with you.
5. Try Out New Things
Sparring is the perfect time for you to put into practice your learnings. Hence, grab that opportunity to try that new technique.
Don’t be afraid to pull off a new move for the very first time. This way, you can gauge if they will fit your style or not. Treat the mat as your blank canvass where you can showcase new moves.
6. Spar with Everyone
Before you sign up, prepare yourself to spar with anyone. This means rolling with anybody in the gym, regardless of their belt color.
Since you are still a beginner, people with higher belts will take things easier on you. They will make sure that they impart moves and techniques without intimidating you.
You will learn new things from fellow beginners, as well as advanced BJJ practitioners.
But be mindful of black belts. You can train with them but only if they invite you first.
Let them see that you are available. If they wish to spar with you, they will approach you. Keep in mind that they will know if you want to spar with them simply by looking at your demeanor.
Stay humble and be patient.
7. Set Personal Goals
Before joining a BJJ gym, you need to have goals. Take things one step at a time. With every step, have a particular goal.
Once you learn a new technique, make it a goal to use it the next time you hit the mat. If you have a favorite move, aim to learn how to do it right.
Through these small goals, you will sustain your excitement for learning.
8. Practice Consistency
Like in any other sport, you need to be consistent if you wish to succeed in Jiu Jitsu. Consistency means training at least thrice a week. This will help you develop your game faster.
You need to learn how to commit to training. You need to learn how to make sacrifices.
Keep in mind that if you start to miss training, it will be tough to get back into the groove. You need to refresh yourself on certain techniques and strengthen your cardio anew.
9. Learn How to Tap Out
Lastly, you need to accept the fact that you will not always win. Thus, you need to come to terms with tapping out.
Before you enter the mat, you need to leave your ego outside. Tapping out will protect you from hurting yourself. On the flipside, you should also learn how to loosen your hold whenever your sparring partner taps out.
Learn Brazilian Jiu Jitsu the Right Way
If you seriously want to start Jiu Jitsu, let’s do it the right way. We offer programs that cater to adults as well as kids.
Get in touch with us by sending us a message. We can fit you in a schedule that best suits your availability.