Today we thought we’d share 8 mistakes that are commonly made by beginners to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. If you find yourself reading this blog and think ‘hmm, this is me’ then take heed! These examples will help you as you begin your journey.
#1: Focusing on Attacks rather than Defense.
It’s cool to learn sweeps, it’s cool to learn submissions. That’s the fun part of Jiu-Jitsu. But as you start training, the first thing you’ll need to learn is HOW TO DEFEND. There’s a common expression in Jiu-Jitsu “you’re either the Hammer or the nail.” Unfortunately, as a beginner, because you don’t know enough yet, you’re the nail. So to protect yourself you need to learn how to defend. Learn how to escape the mount and how to defend the armbar. So as a beginner your focus should be on your defense, not attacks.
#2: Not Relaxing.
One thing that is very common amongst beginners is they can be a bit spastic. They may use a lot of strength when it’s not necessary. Relaxing will help you be more defensive. You won’t last as long and you’re not going to be able to work on your defense. So when you’re out on the mat rolling, remember to RELAX.
#3: Not Focusing on concepts and principles.
As a beginner you are going to learn new techniques, and that’s great! But the overall idea is to understand the concepts of why those techniques work. For example Position before Submission: In your mind, if you’re going for an armbar, and your opponent is defending, there’s a point in which you need to let it go. Appreciate your position (the good position) over the submission. The concept: When on top stay on top. If you have the opportunity of being on your back versus being on top, you always want to be on top. These are good principles for beginners to learn and adhere to as they go through their Jiu-Jitsu journey.
#4: Being Humble – No Big Egos Allowed.
When it comes to training Jiu-Jitsu and you’re new to it, chances are you’re going to feel like an amateur. You’re going to get handled pretty easily. If you have a big ego, your ego is going to get bruised and you’re not going to last long. You may want to quit because you don’t like being beat. In this particular Martial Art, it’s very important to be humble. Keep your head down, train hard and leave your ego at the door.
#5: Holding onto a Position or a Submission too long.
As you come to learn more about the techniques in Jiu-Jitsu and you are in a position that may not be working for you, you’ll start to realize that there’s a point at which you need to let it go. So this one relates back to #3. As a beginner, it’s important to learn that when you go for the cross choke from the mount and your opponent starts to defend and escape you should let go of the cross choke and maintain the mount position. The sooner you learn that and adhere to it the quicker your Jiu-Jitsu is going to improve.
#6: Attacking from an Inferior Position.
The whole point of Jiu-Jitsu is to go from an inferior position to a superior position. What we mean by that is if you’re stuck on the bottom, your only job is to get out. You need to get to a better position. When you get to a better position that’s when you’ll look for a submission. You should not be on bottom mount trying to choke someone who’s on top of you. You wouldn’t be spending your time wisely. So focus your time on escaping inferior positions and attacking from superior positions.
#7: Know your Physical Limits.
We often get new students who’ll want to train 6 days a week, twice a day. This is not wise. This will only burn you out. You’re more likely to take a long break from BJJ. Training 2-3 times a week is a good average. As many of our students who’ve done Jiu-Jitsu for a while know that Jiu-Jitsu is a marathon, not a sprint.
#8: Not Focusing on the Foundations or Basic Techniques.
During your Jiu-Jitsu journey, the focus should be on your foundation, your basic, core techniques. If those aren’t sharp then there’s no reason to learn a berimbolo and fancy guards. Learn the foundations and once those are strong then you can start to venture off and try out more complicated techniques. A good example of this would be if you’re building a house and you don’t have a strong foundation then everything will crumble.
So here’s a quick recap:
•Remember to learn how to defend first before you learn to attack.
•Make sure you RELAX when you’re out on the mat.
•Focus on the Concepts and Principles of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
•Remember to check yourself: Leave your ego at the door.
•Know when to let go of an attack when it’s not working in your favor.
•Always work toward a superior position and attack from that position.
If you adhere to these tips then your Jiu-Jitsu journey will be long and smooth.
Tai Kai Martial Arts
911 Old Liverpool Road