20 Experiences All BJJ Practitioners Know Too Well

Training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is an activity that everyone should experience. There’s something magical about learning, testing, and competing against grapplers of all backgrounds: you’d be surprised at how many lessons you’ll learn along the way. 

Like the great Renzo Gracie said, “There’s more philosophy in Jiu-Jitsu mats than in any Ivy League school in America”. Today we’ll talk about some of the most memorable experiences BJJ practitioners know too well.  


1) Training BJJ Can Be Intimidating at First

back mount

Learning Jiu-Jitsu, or any combat sport, for that matter, can be intimidating at first. The dojo is a place where you allow yourself to become vulnerable and acquire new skills. Don’t fret because you’ll be surrounded by like-minded people, and your coach will be more than happy to help you with your technique. Ask questions, and don’t be afvraid to make mistakes. You’ll surely make a lot of them in the first few months of training. 


2) Your Body Will Adjust to Your Training

2Understand that you might experience soreness in the beginning stages of your martial arts journey. BJJ is a highly dynamic combat sport where you position your body to dominate your training partners. Make sure that you get enough rest before and after your training session. 


3) Jiu-Jitsu Addiction

bjj students in class happy

BJJ is one of the most addictive hobbies you can participate in. It is a sport where tactics and strategy come into play every time you roll on the mats. This is why it attracts not only good athletes but also intellectuals. Some people become so addicted that they insert BJJ whenever they speak to their friends, workmates, and family. It is okay to get excited, but don’t let Jiu-Jitsu consume your whole week. 


4) Your Coach And Training Partners Will Push You

Your coach and training partners will slowly remove the “training wheels” as you improve your Jiu-Jitsu. Be excited when this happens because it means that they can now push you to even greater heights. Accept this challenge with a smile and see where it can take you!


5) Tapping is Okay

bjj bow and arrow choke

Understand that training in BJJ means that you’ll get tapped countless times in sparring. Tapping is an integral part of the sport because it basically means that you have accepted the opponent’s technique. Learn from your mistakes, make the necessary adjustments, and continue with your training.


6) You’ll Experience Growing Pains

There will be times when you’ll feel like you are in a rut – this is normal. Progression in BJJ is not linear. Remember that as you improve your game, so do your training partners. Don’t compare yourself with your training partners because your only competition should be yourself. 


7) Getting Your First Submission

Kimura from the BJJ full guard

You will never forget their first submission. Nothing else needs to be said!


8) Food And Water As Fuel

You’ll notice that the food you eat directly affects your performance in training. You may not feel like it, but adjusting to an athlete’s diet (consisting of protein, carbohydrates, greens, and healthy fats) will drastically improve your mood, concentration, and strength on the mats. Make sure that you stay hydrated as well. 


9) Egos Will Be Tested And Bruised

bjj open guard

It is natural for us humans to want to “win” the roll, even in training. While there are no winners and losers in the dojo, no one wants to be on the receiving end of submissions. The reality of BJJ is that you’ll be exposed to getting dominated every day. Manage your ego and remember that this is a necessary step towards improvement.


10) The Sweet Feeling Of Getting Promoted

Getting that next stripe or belt feels absolutely incredible. It’s amazing how a little piece of tape or a new belt can motivate you to strive harder. Be proud of your efforts and wear your new rank with grace.


11) Seniors And Juniors

bjj students training kneebar

The sense of community in BJJ is what makes it unique from other martial arts. It is not uncommon for senior students to take newbies under their wing and share their secrets with them. The higher the quality of training partners, the better the training environment for everyone involved.


12) Competing In Tournaments

It is always a smart idea to compete at least once. Competing in tournaments gives you an objective view of your development in relation to your peers. It is also the perfect avenue to apply your knowledge in a very stressful environment. Regardless of the result, joining competitions will make you a better grappler.


13) Your Game Will Change Over Time

bjj students in gi rolling

You’ll see that your game will change, for better or worse. This is especially the case in the developing stages of your journey, namely in the white and blue belt levels. Like a child learning how to construct sentences, this is a good thing because you will eventually find the necessary pieces to build your personal game.


14) Life Will Get In The Way

Life is unpredictable. Sometimes our training schedule will take a backseat to more important matters. Things like work, family, finances, and others will come into play more often than you think. Learn to balance your time and adjust as you go.


15) Nagging Injuries


Your body will accumulate injuries the longer you stay in the sport. It is essential to constantly adjust your training based on how your body feels. Don’t hesitate to see a specialist to get an expert’s opinion on any injuries you have.


16) Burnout

Becoming an expert in BJJ takes years and years of grinding on the mats. Compared to other martial arts, BJJ takes the most years to get to a black belt. Having goals (such as getting a black belt) in BJJ is okay, but don’t forget to focus on the present every time you train. 


17) Going Through The Motions

Two BJJ students practicing a takedown

A student practices his takedowns during a BJJ class at Evolve MMA (Far East Square) in Singapore.

As with other hobbies, Jiu-Jitsu can become boring if you do the same stuff every day. Try to concentrate on only a few aspects of your game every time you train. This will give you time to work on your weak areas. It also breaks the monotony of training. 


18) Hammer And Nail

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been training BJJ. You will always meet practitioners who are better and worse than you. Being the hammer and the nail are crucial lessons everyone should experience. 

Being the hammer teaches self-control because you must adjust your game to accommodate inexperienced training partners. Being the nail teaches determination and grit to stay in the fight, especially when you face much better training partners and opponents.


19) A Way Of Life

bjj students rolling

Many have included Jiu-Jitsu as part of their daily routine as it is a great exercise, you’ll learn to defend yourself, and is an excellent way to connect with different people. You don’t have to train BJJ every day, though. A few days per week is more than enough.


20) Potential Unleashed

BJJ will teach you more about yourself than most hobbies ever will. The important life lessons taught will carry over to all areas of your life such as your family and work.


Start Learning Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

If you are interested in picking up this amazing sport of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, consider a complimentary introductory class with Evolve MMA today!

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If you have any other questions regarding Evolve MMA and the programs we offer, you can get in touch with our membership executives at the following locations:

Evolve MMA (Far East Square)
26 China Street
Far East Square #01-01
Singapore 049568
Phone: (65) 6536 4525

Evolve MMA (Orchard Central)
181 Orchard Road
#06-01 Orchard Central
Singapore 238896
Phone: (65) 6536 4556

Evolve MMA (KINEX)
11 Tanjong Katong Road
#02-52 KINEX
Singapore 437157
Phone: (65) 6288 2293

Evolve MMA (Clarke Quay Central)
6 Eu Tong Sen Street
#04-18 Clarke Quay Central
Singapore 059817
Phone: (65) 6226 2150

Evolve MMA (Star Vista)
1 Vista Exchange Green
#02-26A The Star Vista
Singapore 138617
Phone: (65) 6539 9590

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