Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a wonderful martial art that has a journey that never ends. For a BJJ white belt it can be intimidating trying to understand everything involved in jiu jitsu. Here are some essential BJJ white belt tips and tricks to help out when starting in Jiu Jitsu.
9 Tips for the BJJ White Belt Beginner
1. Learn to RELAX!
The first on the list is probably the most counter-intuitive but also the most important one to remember: relax! You've got to realize that it isn't a fight to the death every time you step on the mat.
It's easier said than done as a BJJ white belt that’s never been choked. Once you get into the mats and roll for the first time, you'll naturally want to tense up.
Once you learn to relax, you can start to understand the techniques better and develop a game. Remember this essential BJJ white belt tip to relax and you’ll have a lot more fun learning on the mats!
2. Listen to Your Instructors
As a BJJ white belt, you have to learn to listen to the instructors and the higher belts. You have got to remember that you are still starting out and you have no idea how anything works - no matter how many Kung Fu movies and YouTube instructionals you've watched!
Once you learn to listen to the more experienced people in class, you’ll start to understand everything better. As a BJJ White Belt, you have to learn to be an "empty cup" and going to class everyday, absorbing the lessons will start to fill that cup of knowledge.
3. Stick with the Basics
When you start out as a BJJ white belt, one of the most important tips is to stick to the basics. You have to build a foundation with the basics to fully understand how to do Jiu Jitsu.
Also avoid the temptation of going down the Youtube rabbit hole of flashy advanced movements. If you don’t know how to do a basic armbar, then you have no business trying a flying armbar. That's just a recipe for disaster.
The basics are the most high percentage moves, so make sure to train them frequently.
4. Drill to Kill
This BJJ white belt tip and sticking to the basics play off each other. The saying that drillers make killers is no joke.
Drilling is especially important as a white belt. You need to put in the reps of the movements to make your technique on point. You will need to drill to the point that the moves become second nature to you.
As a BJJ white belt, you need to spend most of your time on the mat drilling basics. Closed guard sweeps, submissions, guard passes, and some simple takedowns are some examples of techniques you ought to drill on the daily as a beginner in the sport.
5. Wash Your Gi
This may be one of the most important tips to know as a BJJ white belt. Nobody wants to train with the person, you can smell walking into the academy.
After every training session, you must clean your gi in a washing machine. And just in case you missed it, here it is again: WASH YOUR GI AFTER EVERY TRAINING SESSION!
Not only your gi, but clean your rash guards, spanks, and your BJJ belt as well. No one wants to drill with someone that smells like rotten armpits. All that sweat is a magnet for bacteria, which is why hygiene and cleanliness is an absolute must!
6. Try Not to Spaz Out!
Spazzing is something BJJ white belts are known for doing and it takes time to break the habit. It’s something nearly all white belts with no grappling experience do at first.
If you spaz during rolling, you can end up hurting yourself and your training partner. Kneeing the heavyweight purple belt during a spaz could also lead to intense pressure from side-mount for a whole round.
Learn this BJJ white belt tip to train/roll in a calm manner and you’ll avoid getting injured from spazzing.
6. Be Okay With Losing a Match
This is something you need to understand as a BJJ white belt. You’re going to lose and you’re going to lose often, and you have got to be okay with it. This is all part of the white belt struggles.
Losing is how you learn in Jiu Jitsu. When you make mistakes and get submitted, you will learn and get better.
An important Jiu Jitsu tip to know is that no matter how experienced you are, you will get submitted. It also doesn’t matter. No one will care that you got submitted ten times in training today.
There's a famous saying that goes, it's either you win or you learn in BJJ. Losing a match simply makes you learn and will make you that much better next time you step into the mats.
7. Just Keep Showing Up
As you continue to lose day in and day out, you may sometimes have the desire to call it quits. But that's the worse thing you could possibly do. If you continue to show up, you'll find yourself just a little better than your previous self.
The only way to get better at anything is to put your time in. BJJ is no different and you got to be on the mat to get better. Even if you can’t make it to class everyday, you need to be consistent with your training. Get on the mat when you can and put your time in.
All the top best grapplers make time to get on the mat every week and train. There’s no other way to get better at Jiu Jitsu than putting in your time on the mat. Especially as BJJ white belt starting out.
8. Learn to Breathe!
You always need to be breathing while rolling. BJJ white belts have a tendency to be really tense and hold their breath when in an uncomfortable position. It’s a common BJJ beginner mistake.
Always remind yourself to breathe while rolling and you’ll be able to build up some good stamina in no time!
9. Ask Questions
One mistakes most beginners make when first starting out is not asking questions!
When your instructor shows a technique and asks if you got it don’t just smile and nod if you don’t. You need to ask questions when you don’t understand something.
Asking questions and learning why techniques work the way they do makes your jiu jitsu better. In Jiu Jitsu, you should never stop asking questions.
Remember, your instructors have been exactly where you were at one point in time. They are there to help you succeed and get better. If you don't understand something, just ask away!
These are a few important essential tips and tricks a BJJ white belt needs to know. If you follow these white belt tips, you will catch on quicker.
BJJ is a wonderful martial art and can be highly addicting! If you stick with it, you might even get immersed in it and get a passion for it. Remember, the most important BJJ Belt promotion you can have is from having no belt to having that white one tied around your waist!
Train Hard! Roll Safe!
For more tips and tricks for BJJ Beginners, be sure to check out our friends at Middle Easy.