Tips on How to Learn Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Here are some quick tips on how to learn Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

  1. Don’t try to learn everything at once. Sometimes it can be overwhelming to take in all the techniques and tactics taught in a BJJ class. If you can, just try and learn a few things, and “master” them in that class.
  2. Make sure to come to BJJ class consistently. The only way to get good at any martial art, especially BJJ is to come on a regular basis. Especially if you want to get the right sensitivity, timing, and accuracy of the technique.
  3. Get a training partner. When class is done, find someone to drill those techniques over, and over…and over. It is ideal to do it right after class, but also do it on your off days.
  4. Record what you learned. Ask your instructor if it is ok to video record the class, for your own personal use; don’t post this stuff on YouTube or Vimeo. Most instructors frown on that kind of stuff. If you are not allowed to record it, then take notes. Make sure to drill this stuff. Having a collection of videos and notes is useless, unless you put the flight time in to drill this stuff.
  5. Ask questions. Class time is learning time. I know everyone wants to jump into rolling, but this is the best time to ask the instructor and higher belts on how to correct your technique.
  6. Slow it down in sparring. When you do roll, try not to kill your partner. Try to slow things down, to get the timing and sensitivity. Sometimes when you are going so hard and fast, relying too much on athletic ability, you lose the essence of the technique. Also try to use techniques that you just learned in class. Or try a different strategy. For example, if you are always playing from the bottom guard, try to play from half and work your sweeps. What if you are an advance student rolling with a beginner? Take on a teacher’s role, and slow down the rolling. Play more of a “roll and teach” role. You can learn a lot by teaching others. Or limit yourself. Only play for position, and have your partner work their attacks. Or limit yourself to only chokes, or say that you can only attack their right arm.

Rickson Gracie said it well in this article at BJJ Eastern Europe

When you train, you should put more emphasis on learning than on competing with your partner

If you are in the Mississauga area, come try out a free week of BJJ classes: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Mississauga