5 Alternative Ways To Improve Your BJJ

No matter if you are a veteran of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) or you are just some months or years into your journey, you should always consider ways to improve your training routine. These improvements can adjust the rate that you are acquiring new knowledge and applying it, or it could be as simple as increasing your levels of motivation. Today, Evolve Daily brings you five ways to improve your BJJ training routine.

Solo Drills

The entire sport of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu revolves around being with a partner. Whether it is during training, sparring, or when it comes to competition, BJJ isn’t BJJ without another body.

In fact, it’s one of the rare sports that without access to a similarly skilled training partner, you can never fully reach your potential.

That’s why choosing a brilliant gym that provides tremendous knowledge and lasting friendships is one of the most critical elements of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Because of this, we sometimes forget that many essential skills can be improved even without a partner.

In the video above, Jason Scully demonstrates 33 different solo drills that can be used to improve your ability as a grappler.

These moves range from the simple techniques that we have all practiced during class, to agility-focused movements such as side-to-side crawls, and even inversion-focused techniques that can help us improve our ability to operate upside down.

Now, by knowing and understanding the techniques shown in the video, you can shake up your training routine by focusing drilling these specific movements before or after class, or even in the comfort of your own home.

Hint: If you generally arrive to class 10-15 minutes early, spend some of that time drilling these techniques before class begins!


Deliberate Practice

If you are unsure about the concept of deliberate practice, you are about to learn something that can dramatically change your perspective of training at work, teaching children, and your BJJ class (of course)!

James Clear describes deliberate practice as “a special type of practice that is purposeful and systematic,” and explains that “while regular practice might include mindless repetitions, deliberate practice requires focused attention and is conducted with the specific goal of improving performance.”

So, rather than merely turning up to class and mindlessly going through the repetitions, we should always remain wholly focused on our objectives. It’s a natural occurrence that we all believe we are progressing just by being in class and gaining experience when instead massive improvements only come about as a result of focused practice on our specific opportunities for development.

Let’s apply this concept to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu:

Who would benefit more from a one-hour session of training?

Student A – mindlessly rolls for 60 minutes.

Student B – rolls for 40 minutes and takes notes in between rounds; uses these notes to practice particular areas of their game in their next roll.

Yes, both of these students are gaining valuable experience, and they would both believe they are improving, but Student B is gaining more insight and knowledge as to how to develop their skills.

Practice the techniques that you need to practice the most and focus on them.


EBI Overtime Rounds

Following on from the topic of deliberate practice, EBI (Eddie Bravo Invitational) Overtime Rounds can be a brilliant way to introduce beneficial positional sparring into your training.

If you are unfamiliar with Eddie Bravo’s rules for overtime in his no-gi submission only competition, you can review the rules in the video above.

Essentially, a competitor is allowed an opportunity to start from a relatively advantageous position (either the back or spider web) and must attempt to submit their opponent without losing the position. The opponent is trying to escape the submission attempt and clear themselves from any danger.

Not only are EBI Overtime Rounds becoming an increasingly used format in competition BJJ, but they are also a fantastic way to practice submitting and escaping from the back or spider web position.

Next time you have a spare moment at the end of class, ask one of your partners to join you and practice attacking and defending from each of these positions. You’ll quickly learn advanced techniques and improve your timing and anticipation.



One of the most obvious ways to develop your ability as a martial artist is sometimes one of the most overlooked. We all know the benefits of stretching, yet we rarely take the time out of our day to intensely focus on stretching different areas of our body.

The video above demonstrates five of post-workout stretches.

However, while it is essential to focus on stretching pre-workout and post-workout, many benefits can be realized by stretching at home.

In particular, the stretching sequence in Ryan Hall’s video (included below) will provide you with remarkable improvements in your flexibility.


Strength and Conditioning

Explosive Sled Exercises!

WATCH: Explosive Sled Exercises!


Posted by Evolve MMA on Tuesday, July 18, 2017

If you want to skip ahead and improve your BJJ ability at a rapid rate, you should always be looking for external training methods that can have an overall positive impact. One of these methods is training strength and conditioning.

At a simple level, the majority of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu students go to class and don’t look for alternate ways to improve their physical ability. That’s fine because the vast majority of your improvement will be a result of your efforts in that particular sport. Strength and conditioning alone aren’t going to result in you obtaining a higher belt, but it should be used to supplement your skills and knowledge of the sport.

Ideally, the objective of strength and conditioning training should be to improve your strength-to-weight ratio, considering that competitors compete in weight classes. The goal isn’t to obtain mass, but rather to become stronger, more mobile, and fitter.

There are many ways to train strength and conditioning, whether it’s at home or at another class that your gym provides. The benefits are endless, and you will notice faster recovery, improved physical attributes, and you will learn more as a result of being on the mats more often.

Remember, at the end of the day, the best way to get better at Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is to do Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.


If you found this article interesting, here are some others that you may enjoy:

An Introduction To BJJ’s Basic Leg Lock Positions

Here’s How A BJJ Class Helps Develop Critical Thinking

5 Things To Look Out For When Joining A BJJ Gym

More in Evolve MMA

Also On Evolve