Tag Archives: commitment in bjj

Top 5 Tips for your “First BJJ Tournament”

BJJ Tournament
Team Conquest at US Grappling
First Tournament Tips

1.Just do it!!! The biggest thing holding people back from competing is the feeling of not being “ready”. The truth is the sooner you start competing the better competing is. With your first tournament, there is less of an expectation to win and less pressure to perform. Pick a tournament, register, and hold yourself accountable to show up and compete on that day. The skill difference between you and the other competitors can become vastly different the longer you wait. For example,the novice white belt division is typically 6 months (or less in some cases) of training where the blue belt can be anyone training from 1 year up to 4 years. I have also found that the students who compete sooner progress faster. I believe this in part due to those students gaining confidence more quickly and being in situations that allow them to develop their game. When you decide to compete you typically start developing a game or style. Which brings us to tip number two….

2. “If you don’t know where you are going you might not get there”. What does this mean to the person getting ready for their first tournament? It means develop a game plan and set a goal. Obviously, the main goal of competing is to test yourself and win; however, that is too broad of a goal for this scenario. You need to develop a game plan that will guide you to win. For example, if Steve is very good at from closed guard, his game plan should be centered around that and not takedowns. You should be able to pinpoint your strongest position and have an avenue to always be able to get back to that position. This is best done in training; decide on your strategy and how you would like each of your tournament matches to go and force that game plan in every roll during class. This builds precision in your techniques, confidence in your ability to execute the techniques, and provides opportunities to learn how to adapt when the technique fails.

3.Learn to listen. There is a great saying… “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we talk.” The ability to listen to your coach during a match is essential and can be the difference between winning and losing. Your coach has an outside view of the match and can help remind you of techniques you may have forgotten in the heat of the moment. The best way to train your listening skills is to have mock tournament matches during class or open mat during the weeks leading up to the tournament.
Doing this will help you recognize your instructors voice under pressure, while your adrenaline is pumping.

4.Learn the rules. Many competitors, both novice and experienced, now a days get to a tournament and do not understand or even take the time to read the rules for that particular tournament. By taking the time to read and understand the rules you can prevent any chance of getting disqualified and even plan a strategy around the rules (to your advantage). For example, if the tournament you are entering has a time limit you can use a strategy that secures points quickly while you go for submissions or wait until time runs out. If it is a submission only-no time limit match, your game plan will be based on being able to submit quickly or build your endurance to last a long match.

5.Train Train Train! If you have picked a tournament and made the commitment to compete, the best thing you can do is train. Show up to as many classes as your schedule allows. The time spent on the mats leading up to a competition is invaluable when it comes to preparing for any tournament. Listen, learn, drill, and roll as much as you can to prepare for the competition. Train with a goal in mind, do not just train and roll like you normal would in class. Have your game plan in mind and roll every time looking to execute your game.

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“Thanks, But Too Much Information”

OK, I want to learn BJJ.  I made that decision but where do I even begin?

Signing up at an accredited school is the first step.  Accredited is a subjective term here since anyone with a business license to rent property can start up a school.  Do your research through word of mouth and the Internet.  But if you want even more of a supplemental learning or just can’t fit in classes as a regular routine, there are too many other sources to explore.



The world is currently at your fingertips and you can try YouTube.  You can try Googling.  Anyone can upload a YouTube video from your average Joe’s to World Champion black belts.  If you choose to watch free videos, do your research on who is actually a credible source.   If you do get information through a credible source, the moves may look cool, but they could be too advanced for someone who is new.  Even if you’re able to grasp the concepts while your helpful partner plays a dead fish, attempting to try it on a resisting person may create some issues and overall it would be better to learn more realistic moves that you can actually execute.  Bloggers can offer advice and useful tutorials but just like YouTube, it’s free and pretty easy for anyone to get involved.  Like everything else on the Internet, the techniques may be actually legit or not really.


Other Media:

BJJ magazines aren’t fully mainstream at the moment so many people can order them online if unable to find them in a physical store.   Many of these magazines highlight the BJJ celebrities and talk about current events, gear, and culture.  There are articles that do showcase specific techniques and drills with pictures and detailed descriptions.

DVDs usually are not free, unlike YouTube.  Similar to YouTube, anyone can produce one, but because they take more time to produce, generally DVDs are sold by people with relatively higher level experience.

Books. You can buy colored picture books that go through step by step directions by going to a bookstore or purchasing an item online.

You could get with a buddy and practice what you see in the pictures, but this can be difficult if there is no more experienced third person to make sure sure you are actually doing it correctly.  Jiujitsu certainly relies on the small details.  Placing your base as your hand instead of an elbow, at a 30 degree or 90 degree angle, a few inches close to someone’s head or farther way can make a pretty significant difference.


More Classes:

Seminars are often offered by higher level belts who have had some kind of BJJ competition qualification.  Rarely will these events be free unless you have the hook up, but they focus more on a specific technique that the instructor has generally refined.  These are a little different from the normal class because it is more about learning, watching, and drilling rather than hard sparring.

BJJ is huge in Brazil, which is pretty expected since that is where it originated so you could always take a trip down there to fully get engulfed in training and culture straight from the source.  This would be an expensive route but memorable experience.


Tired of reading? If so, it makes perfect sense.  That was a lot of information all at one time, the exact point of this post.  With all that being said, stay tuned for the next articles on pinpointing the right type of supplemental training best for you.

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Commitment In BJJ


There is a saying in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) “A Black Belt, is only a white belt that never quit”. Now that you have decided on a school and you have started on your road to Black Belt nothing will help you more then commitment. If you have gone though the steps laid out in step 1 of finding a BJJ school. You have found a great school with some great coaches or professors. Their goal will be to get you to Black Belt. This will take a lot of time and hard work from you and from them. Not only will you need to commit a set amount of time you will need to commit to learn.

First take an honest assessment of your life and your time. If your married with kids and have a full time job you will not be able to commit 5 days a week to Jiu Jitsu and thats okay. What you need to do is Commit to, 1 or 2 days a week and don’t miss class. If you commit to 2 classes per week MAKE THEM. No excuses I’m tired (we are all tired) I’m hungry (eat quick and get to class) , I’m not feeling well (go to class and i bet you feel better after) I will make it up next week (NO you won’t). I have heard every excuse in the book. The only thing that is, is your mind trying to quite. It’s trying to tell your body we don’t need this, lets eat some ice cream and watch a movie. There is another saying you will hear in BJJ and i’m not sure who said it. Your mind will quit way before your body ever will. This is a quote to live by.

Five Functions of a team
Commit to your BJJ Team. They are your family!

Now that we have committed going to class and we are keeping our commitment. we need to commit to learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Going to class a couple times a week is great, but to be able to progress fast you will need to commit to learning the concepts of BJJ. This will be a skill you need to work on to see the key parts yourself. We will help you start finding the key movements and positions that are in many if not all the bjj techniques. We here at bestBJJdrills.com we can show you hundreds of drills that we use to teach the movements and the techniques. Drilling will be the fast way to progress in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu but again that will take commitment. Any time you can get some free mat time, drill, don’t waist your time rolling when you don’t have the basics down.

I will promise you if you have gone over our steps to find the right school. When you show your new team that you are committed to them by showing up and training hard. Your new team and your new instructors will be committed to you.

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Starting BJJ? How to find a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu School.

Top five Steps for starting Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

BJJ Class drills
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Classes

Step 1. Research

Do research on nearby Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) academies.  Start with the three closest BJJ schools. Look at their websites to ensure they have a beginner or fundamentals program.  Some Jiu Jitsu schools may not have a fundamentals class and they’re going to lump you in with the advance students. This can be good or bad. I make all my new students take the fundamental classes, it will teach you the basics and get you up to speed before jumping into the advanced classes.  I also encourage all of my upper belts from white to black belt to take the fundamentals classes. NO ONE can ever drill a position to much.

The International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) is the governing body for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu worldwide.  While conducting your research see which schools are a member of the IBJJF or if their instructors are ranked under the IBJJF. If you have any interest in competing in Jiu Jitsu you will need a certified IBJJF Black Belt to sign for you when entering their tournaments. Don’t get me wrong, the IBJJF is not the only tournament game in town. There plenty of other great tournaments like NAGA, Grapplers Quest, US Grappling and The Good Fight you can just sign up for and compete without any one vouching for you.  However, the IBJJF tournaments are the most prestigious, and recognized internationally.

Now that you have located a few schools and done some basic online homework you will want to call or email your choices.  The owner or employee should return your message within 24 hours.  Remember this is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu school and not a Fortune 500 company, although a quick response and stellar customer service should happen.  Just keep in mind, a lot of these schools are run by one or two people, so some things can slip through the cracks. This could serve as a warning sign the school has some issues with leadership and professionalism.  You may get lucky and find both fantastic Jiu Jitsu and great professionalism on your first try, but don’t count on it. I recommend you make your decision based on the skill of the instructors and the professionalism of the staff, not one or the other.

This is the part you’ve all been waiting for. Taking the tour! At this point you should have been asked by the staff to come in and check out the school.  If the staff was hesitant to tell you the prices over the phone, don’t worry, this is just a normal sales tactic used by most businesses. Still go and find out for yourself if this is the BJJ school for you. Once the appointment has been made make sure to be on time, bring a change of clothes and some water with you. I tell people to wear shorts and a tee shirt. Upon arrival look at the facility during your tour and ask yourself the following questions:
* Is it clean?
* Do they have separate men’s and women’s changing rooms?
* Are the mats and equipment clean, safe, and up to date?
* Are there holes in the walls or mats?
   If they have a cage:
* Does it have rubberized fencing?
* Are all the post, joints, and handles covered with protective padding?
* Are the mats thick and made for takedowns?
Once you’ve completed the tour, ask yourself again: Is there a professional attitude? If not, is it unsafe, or just a lack of business skills. Both can be a red flag, but you can look over a lack of business skills.  If you feel the school is unsafe LEAVE AT ONCE! Safety can never be over looked or under emphasize.
After your initial tour is over, a professional school will teach you a private lesson.  I like this because you will learn without the pressure of others watching. You may also be asked to join the regular class. This can mean one of two things… If they have you try a “fundamental” class and allow you to do some drills, basic technique, while you interact with other students, that’s great and nothing to worry about. If on the other hand they throw you to the wolves and make you spar or as many BJJ schools call it “roll” with other students, this may not be the place for you. I would decline to roll until you have more familiarity with the basic Jiu Jitsu positions.

Lastly, talk to the other students.  Ask them what their feelings are about how the classes go?
What’s the environment of the school, is it a competition school or a family-friendly school, or both?
Some other questions to ask include… Are they happy? Is the place safe?  Is there anything they don’t like?

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can change your life; it changed mine and almost everyone I know that trains.  It is a lifestyle and journey.  Make sure to sign up for the news updates and receive your free “top three BJJ drills”. Keep an eye out for part two of the top five steps for starting Brazilian Jiu Jitsu next week; we’ll get into some exciting and important stuff

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