Starting any new martial art is tough, and BJJ is no exception to this rule. When you’re down in close quarters, every mistake is amplified and every movement is crucial. One wrong move and you’ll find yourself locked down and helpless in a matter of seconds. You’ll be wondering what you’ve possibly done wrong, and in most cases the answer is straight forward.
BJJ is designed to allow a smaller opponent to take down a bigger guy and come out on top. Think about it, everyone is the same height when they are lying down. The reason from bringing the fight downtown to ground level is to mitigate what could be glaring differences in size, strength and overall athleticism. Careful technique is required for this to happen, moves need to be precise, and managing your opponents strength is important. The important thing to remember is to stick to what has been taught to you, there are no shortcuts when you’re learning. Learn something wrong and it will be wrong forever, work infrequently and more than likely result in you getting embarrassed at crunch time on the mats.
The most common mistake a BJJ instructor will see a student make again and again is trying to use raw strength to overpower their opponent. Don’t be a douche, logical technique will always over come trying to force it. By trying to force a technique on, be it a choke or an arm bar, you are projecting you weight and force in one singular direction. All your opponent needs to do to get the better of you is then counter your movement in another direction that your full on assault has left you weaker in. If you regularly find your attacks being countered, bring it back to basics, practise the movements at a slower pace in a non-competitive environment to get each step down, then reapply on the mats, you’ll be amazed at how many fewer times you find yourself getting owned.
Think of your start in BJJ as a new beginning, leave everything that you think is a physical attribute at the door. If you’re quick, so what this isn’t a race, if you’re strong, well that’s not really a compliment in BJJ… The only attributes that are going to make a difference are willingness to learn, dedication and patience. Fights are not won on ferocity alone, BJJ is not a brawl, it’s an art. The only way to improve art is to practice each and every aspect until they are engrained in your brain.
As a beginner, you’re going to get beat time and time again, it’s all part of the learning process. The important thing to remember is that everyone was a noob like you once. The only thing that sets them apart now is the level of practice they have given their technique. You’ll never find a higher grade relying on strength, their technique will be smooth, soft until you’re pummelled into the ground by momentum, but smooth nonetheless. Master the basics and you’ll have a BJJ career littered with victories!
Come down to Arashi Do Edmonton and try out one of our great Brazilian programs like Fundamental BJJ, Women’s Only BJJ or Children’s BJJ for ages 4-7 and 8-14.
All those and you get a 30 DAY FREE TRIAL! As well as our 30 minute Fast Fitness program for FREE!