A tip for people new to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

For students new to BJJ, I recommend learning two moves from each position.  This will accelerate your learning curve.  Focus on two submissions from each dominant position, and two escapes from bad positions.  This will guarantee that you will have something to work on no matter what position you are in.  Don’t fall into the trap of learning too many moves from one position and being weak in others.  It is better to just have a couple moves that you are really good at.

What moves should you focus on?  You should be focusing on basic moves. You’ve got to learn to walk before you can run, if you try to run before you are ready you might find it hard to breathe.  If you get your basics down solid from the beginning you will always be working from a strong foundation.  It will be helpful if you pick two moves that work well together.  Ask the more experienced grapplers what two moves would work best for you (If you are having difficulty picking two moves email me and I will be happy to help BjjBrick@gmail.com put “two moves from each position” in the subject line).

Why does this help me learn?  Once you pick your techniques you will have something to work on with focus in each position.  You will do much better if you have specific moves to try, rather than just doing what ever pops into your head.  Focusing your training will give you clear results.

An example- You start from standing and you are looking for an opportunity for either your double leg or your arm drag. After getting the double leg, you start working your two passes.  You switch back and forth a few times from the two passes but eventually you pass to side control.  From side control, you start to work on his shoulder but your opponent is defending it so you try the armbar.  He escapes and ends up in your guard.  You try to do a hip bump sweep but he defends it and you lockup a tight guillotine.

BJJ has a ton of positions!  That is true, BJJ has a lot of positions.  You are not going to learn two positions from each of the many different guards, or each different type of side control quite yet.  Just focus on the basic positions.

This is what I recommend what you focus on- Feel free to print this PDF and write down what you are working on.  Focus on learning two moves from each-  Takedowns, Guard passes, Techniques from guard, Subs from side control, Subs from mount, Subs from back, Escapes from side control, Escapes from mount, Escapes from back.

Once you end up in one of the positions take a moment to remember what you need to be working on and then get to work.  You will be effectively drilling while rolling.

Other articles you might like:

One Handed Drill to Improve Your Open Guard

Starting from your knees- The good, the bad, and the worn out gi pants

19 general rules to go by for training Brazilian Jiu-jitsu

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Drill BJJ meme

This is what happens when you do not drill the basics.  This guy could have watched hundreds of hours of video about hurdling, but you know he was not on the track drilling.  The same goes for BJJ, watching videos online is great but you also need to spend time on the mat working and drilling.

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Basic guard drill you should try

One Handed Drill to Improve Your Open Guard

One handed drill, will improve your open guard.

In any sport, drills are a great way to train your body to move the way you want it to.  Here is an awesome drill to help develop your open guard.  When using the open guard it is difficult yet important to learn to use your feet like another set of hands.  This drill quickly forces you to really focus on using your feet effectively, and using proper hip movement.

The drill- Take one hand and put it under your belt, then grab the ends of your belt with that same hand.  Start with your partner in your guard, and have them focus on passing.  When they pass your guard stop, and restart from guard.  Go for 2 or 3 min, and then switch hands.  By holding the ends of your belt you will be less likely to accidently use your hand.

Do not- Your goal is to improve your open guard.  Do not lock them in the closed guard and hold them tight with your free hand.  The point of this drill is to improve your movement; it is not to prevent them from passing at all cost.

Tips for the guard guy- Concentrate on having 3 points of contact with your partner.  This means that both feet and your free hand need to be on your partner.  Have your partner try to pass standing and on his knees.  If an opportunity to get a sweep or submission is there, go for it.

Tips for the passer- experiment with different passes.  Your partner is obviously not at his top game, so this is a great time to try a new guard pass.  If you always pass to the left try passing to the right or down the middle.

One of my favorite things about this drill is that is feels more like rolling than drilling.

Other articles you might like

Setting goals in BJJ

19 rules to go by for BJJ

Slow down to  improve your Jiu-Jitsu

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