For new Jiu-Jitsu practitioners, the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu may be vast and near incomprehensible. There are so many movements, techniques, counters, and holds, all of which meld together into a fluid arsenal that a practitioner uses to best their opponents. Furthermore, those who are advanced enough engage in a contest of wits as much as they compete physically. The possible actions of whoever they face play out in their minds and they move accordingly. You may wonder how you can get from the position of a novice who can barely guard at all to the heights of a master. The simplified answer is that it takes a lot of effort, with no easy shortcuts. However, there are ways to ensure that you are steadily advancing toward your goals. Improve your Jiu-Jitsu skills using these tips, and you will avoid tapering off your growth as you begin and continue your training.
This might seem obvious, but in practice, it can be hard to pull off without being mindful of life’s tendency to get in the way. Do your best to go to class consistently as the weeks roll on. Especially in the beginning, you may have difficulty adjusting your schedule around the addition of a new activity which takes time and a physical toll. Consistency is important at this stage more than at any other though, as you build up the habit of training regularly from the beginning and get your body more accustomed to the movements of Jiu-Jitsu. The more you are around Jiu-Jitsu practitioners and actively practicing your moves, the more you will be able to advance towards your objectives.
Whenever you come to a point where you are not sure what to do next, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your instructors and more seasoned fellow students can help you to better understand how to perform techniques and react to the movements of your opponents. Although you will receive general guidance just by attending a class, asking questions can keep you from feeling halted by uncertainty. You should also try to absorb everything you witness and think about questions you might have about new aspects of Jiu-Jitsu. By keeping your mind proactive, you will significantly speed up the rate at which you take in new information and improve your skills. Soon, you can perform in your own way rather than having to go over the same moves over and over because you were not paying close attention.
Participate in Competitions
It is understandable that you wouldn’t want to join competitions right from the get-go when you begin Jiu-Jitsu training, but the earlier you start, the better. As a novice, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by exposing yourself to the technique of other practitioners who are around a similar level as yourself. As you advance up in belt rank, you will have an advantage over other people of similar knowledge who have not been subject to the competition environment. Instead of having the match cushioned by the context of practice, you and your opponent will attempt to overcome each other and come out the victor. Even if you do not win, you will gain valuable experience within the setting and perhaps even witness moves you would not have seen otherwise. Your Jiu-Jitsu will also become more instinctive in the application when you only have a moment to respond to an opponent who may move in an unexpected way.
Improve Your Overall Fitness
Even if you study Jiu-Jitsu techniques extensively, you may feel hindered by your level of fitness. Since most people sit down during the whole day at work or school, our bodies are not in peak shape for intense physical activity. When you get onto the mat and put yourself under sudden strain, you may not perform like you want to. You are susceptible to injury because you are moving in ways that you typically don’t, and you might be too weak to properly pull off moves or maintain your strength over longer periods of exertion. Try doing some weight training, running, and stretching on your own so that your physical state is not holding you back. It doesn’t have to be ultra-intense either since Jiu-Jitsu can be intense itself. Even taking time to walk on a regular day can get you out of the rut of immobility and help your posture and joint stiffness.
Learn from Videos
Another way to supplement your time training in Jiu-Jitsu classes is to observe and study videos from instructors online and from competitions. You can search up specific techniques that you want to learn on sites such as YouTube. Here, you can find teachers who break them down for you in steps that you can rewind as much as you want. Look through multiple videos so that you can see what different instructors have to say on the technique. It may further help to ask your instructor if they can recommend any videos so you can avoid misguidance.
In addition to direct instructional videos, you can also observe how skilled Jiu-Jitsu practitioners move in competitions. Find someone whose style resonates with you and who has many videos covering their matches. Read up on techniques of observation so that your viewings are productive, then look for the interactions between how an individual executes moves and counters between opponents. You should also try to pick up on how the same move can vary in different situations as you watch multiple matches with your chosen competitor facing different people in each. Once you gain awareness of some new aspect of Jiu-Jitsu through the instructional or competition videos, try to successfully put them to the test in your class as you spar with others.
Ultimately, the foundation of all these principles is participation in classes with an adept teacher and supportive community that pushes you onward. If you are considering joining Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes in Portland, call Northwest Fighting Arts and begin your training today.