Learning Jiu jitsu, having fun and getting good quickly!

One of the first things that you will notice when you step onto the mat, is that your body seems to fight every movement that you are trying to learn. And that everything that you want to do and try to do is wrong!!! Don’t worry, this is totally normal, happens to us all and is still common when learning new techniques. Sometimes even at a higher level when learning new techniques the movement required of your body seems counter intuitive and dare I say it goes against common Brazilian Jiu jitsu law! For example, you may be taught to slightly turn your back when recovering your guard or on top, you are taught to give your opponent space to set him up for a submission when ordinarily you are trying to remove all the space and stay tight to your opponent smothering his every move, controlling and stifling his defense. Another thing you’ll notice is it that even though many people who take up the study of Brazilian Jiu jitsu have played other sports and may be in good physical shape  is that:

A.) They still feel really uncoordinated learning even the most basic of movements like the hips escape. This is because in Jiu jitsu training you are generally moving your body in planes of movement that even most athletes and sports people are unaccustomed to and you are working against an opponent who is also seemingly trying to make every movement that you learn more difficult.

B.) They still get really tired really quickly! Regardless of your background, the grappling arts require a level of conditioning that is just different to the way that 95% of people train! I have had good athletes like football players, weight lifters, boxers, kickboxers, Martial Artists, swimmers, sprinters, personal trainers and many other good athletes and sports people come in and take a class, only to find themselves so physically exhausted, drenched in sweat and almost unable to stand up due to such extreme fatigue… And these are the ones who are generally speaking in great physical shape and quite athletic! Jiu jitsu uses muscles that just dont get used in everyday life or sports, and it uses these muscles groups both aerobically and anaerobically. In addition to this you are usually working with a partner who mysteriously seems to get heavier and heavier as you get more and more tired and exhausted! 🙂 

One of the most important lessons that I cant stress enough is to make sure that your training is fun and that you enjoy stepping onto the mat to learn Jiu jitsu, play and have fun. I know it sounds kind of strange to say play Jiu jitsu, when Brazilian Jiu jitsu is considered one of the most devastating and effective martial arts used today in Mixed Martial Arts competition. But it’s true! When you start out learning the movements and trying to make them work against opponents, well this will be hard enough already. The last thing you want is to be worrying about having to train with a monster who’s going to try and destroy you every time you step onto the mats! You should find a school that has a relaxed and positive environment where training is fun, its great to train hard but make sure training is still safe and fun. The most important thing to focus on when rolling (grappling) with your partner is to relax and use your technique! Technique first, technique second, technique third! That’s whats important! Relax, breathe, think about how you can apply your techniques with minimal effort! When training you should be trying to use what I jokingly refer to as lazy man’s Jiu jitsu… Try and find the most efficient technique and movement that you possibly can and always try to take the path of least resistance. Look for ways to go around your opponent’s strength and power, dont fight against it and try to overpower them. Redirect their energy and look for the holes in their game to squeeze through, capitalise on your opponent’s mistakes, protect yourself, set traps and try to out think them! That’s true Jiu jitsu!!!

Have fun, enjoy your training and dont treat every grappling session like you’re training for an MMA fight, the Mundials (World Championship) or ADCC (World Submission Wrestling Championship). You should enjoy the feeling of rolling with your partner, appreciate his technique when you are swept, passed or submitted effortlessly and try to emulate that in your Jiu jitsu. There’s no room for ego when learning Jiu jitsu, leave it at the door. The gym is a place of learning, cooperation, experimentation with your techniques. Realise  when you roll with someone, that you are training partners, not competitors. Help each other learn and get better, improve together. If you train hard and recklessly all the time, the only thing that is going to happen is that you are going to get injured or you are going to injure someone! Dont do it, leave your ego at the door. Help people of lesser skill get better, challenge your skills against more experienced and skilled partners. Jiu jitsu training requires you to look after your training partners and if you dont soon enough you wont have any left or no one will want to train with you. Getting good at Jiu jitsu REQUIRES you to work with a partner, learn technique, drill and roll together. No amount of discipline or motivation will help you if you dont have anyone to work with. And  NO ONE wants to train with someone who they feel just wants to smash them into the ground and submit them as many times as they possibly can each round. Think… Even from a selfish point of view, the only way to get good quickly is to train regularly and practise your technique with good training partners so help them get better and they will in turn help you get better quickly! Your training partners will appreciate the help and not feel so intimidated to train with you if you are bigger, stronger or better than them if they feel you are working and learning together!  Anyway I’ve really got to run… Got  class to teach! 🙂

Good luck with your training and Happy rolling!


Jiu jitsu Kingdom


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6 Responses to “Learning Jiu jitsu, having fun and getting good quickly!”

  1. athletic mats | ATHLETIC Says:

    […] Learning Jiu jitsu, having fun and getting good quickly … […]

  2. jiujitsukingdom Says:

    Dont know how this one works but thanks for sharing!
    Kind Regards

  3. Rob Says:

    great blog Felipe!

    Being a newbie, I’m a little lost on searching for the balance between focusing on technique and using strength while sparring. I was wondering if you have an insights on that topic.


    • jiujitsukingdom Says:

      Hi Rob, how are you mate? I’m glad you like the blog. I’ll see what I can do regarding the topic you just mentioned. It could get pretty interesting as I am sure there are many ways to answer this particular question! Stay tuned mate.
      Kind Regards

  4. Rob Says:

    Will do. You got your self a new reader.

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