As martial artists, it’s only natural that we would want to continuously improve ourselves. After all, we want to get better and eventually level up.
For those of us who practice Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), we know that advice regarding techniques, mindset, and approach – especially from a Black Belt could change our games tremendously. After all, they’re the experts with over 10 years of experience – wouldn’t they know best?
We at Evolve Daily consulted the BJJ Black Belts of the Evolve Fight Team and asked how any student regardless of belt color, could progress in their BJJ journey.
Without further ado, here’s Evolve Daily’s 10 Training Tips From The BJJ Black Belts Of The Evolve Fight Team:
1) “Train with people who are better than you.” 10 x BJJ World Champion and ONE Light Heavyweight World Champion Roger Gracie
Back when Roger was a blue belt and training in Rio with his uncle, Rillion Gracie, he had to learn everything the hard way. He was constantly being passed and even submitted by his training partners who were bigger and stronger. This helped him develop his defense and escapes, which eventually took his game to greater heights.
2) “The three most important positions in BJJ are side-control, mount and back control. Once you’ve established your position, stabilize, go for the submission and learn how to escape.” 2x BJJ World Champion Teco Shinzato
A fourth-degree BJJ Black Belt, Teco Shinzato always emphasizes this philosophy in his classes at Evolve MMA. Teco says that you should always attempt to get into these positions during sparring. These positions ensure that you have optimal control over your opponent, giving you the opportunity to dominate the match.
3) “Use strength and conditioning to supplement your training.” BJJ World Champion and UFC Fighter Leandro “Brodinho” Issa
Any edge you can get over your opponent is a plus, especially if you are at the same level. According to third-degree Black Belt “Brodinho” Issa, one way to do this is through strength and conditioning.
Brodinho says that strength and conditioning would not only make you more physically fit, it also develops the discipline and focus you’d need to excel at BJJ.
4) “Don’t rush for submissions, always establish control first.” BJJ World Champion and ONE Superstar Bruno Pucci
According to 2x BJJ No Gi World Champion Bruno Pucci, one mistake that students often make is going for submissions before they’ve stabilized their positions. This often results in the student losing the submission altogether and sometimes finding him or herself in an even worse position. To fix this, one should stabilize him or herself in a good position before going for a submission.
5) “Be consistent — go to class as often as you can!” BJJ World Champion and ONE Superstar Alex Silva
There’s no doubt that consistency is necessary for success, especially in a martial art like BJJ. Alex says that students should train a minimum of 3 times a week to see results.
The more you train, the more likely you’ll see improvement. Your body also becomes more receptive towards learning techniques, making it easier for you to progress in your BJJ journey.
6) “Drill with a purpose.” BJJ Mundials Silver Medalist Almiro Barros
One of the fastest ways to improve your BJJ skills is through constant drilling. By drilling, techniques become instinctive – your moves become more efficient, giving you time to focus on other aspects of your game.
Although drilling is good, Almiro says that you must drill with purpose. Know why you are drilling and what you need to drill – use your time wisely and plan it out properly!
Check out our article on drilling for BJJ for more information.
7) “Be an open book.” BJJ National Champion Gamal Hassan
For BJJ Nationals Champion Gamal Hassan, limiting yourself to your A-game will only hinder your progress in BJJ. According to Gamal, you should experiment every single position, even if it means getting tapped out every now and then. Doing so will not only widen our arsenal of techniques but test our egos as well.
8) “Practice ONE technique until you do it perfectly.” BJJ National Champion Thiago “Guli” Kozama
According to Guli, mastering one technique before moving onto the next is one of the easiest ways to progress in your BJJ journey. Guli says that you need to learn the following: how to get into a good position, maintain it and how to attack from this position.
When you’ve mastered all of the above, you can work on mastering the next technique and the next. Don’t be overwhelmed if you can’t master it all – it takes 10 years to get your Black Belt, so you have lots of time!
9) “Learn from your mistakes.” BJJ National Champion Eduardo Novaes
One of the most important aspects of BJJ is learning from your mistakes. Go over the spars you’ve lost or even your failed submission or sweep attempts and see what went wrong. Once you’ve figured it out, find a way to keep it from happening again.
No matter what rank you are, you shouldn’t hesitate to approach your instructor for advice. And once you get feedback, Eduardo says to actually apply it to training. Nothing will frustrate your instructor more than seeing you commit the same mistakes over and over again.
10) “Your heart is the most important muscle you need to train.” BJJ World Champion and UFC Lightweight World Champion Rafael Dos Anjos
If there’s one thing that BJJ World Champion and UFC Lightweight World Champion Rafael Dos Anjos is familiar with, it’s the importance of heart. Heart is what kept him going through his career, despite all the setbacks he’s faced. It is what helped him overcome adversity and made him the person he is today.
According to Rafael, anyone, even the meekest BJJ student, has the ability to become a warrior. All they need to do is make the choice to work hard and stick to their goal, especially when times are tough. Doing so will undoubtedly make them strong enough to face anything; be it a difficult opponent, an injury, or any other obstacle that may get in their way.
So tell us, which of these tips will you apply in your BJJ training today?