I got my blue belt tonight
How long have you been training BJJ for?
Any tips for a white belt on how to get to the next level?
Total training time is a little over a year but I had to take 8 months off for an internship so I started BJJ around 2 years ago. The best advice I could give to a white belt is to never try to force techniques, learn to transition positions really well before you worry about subbing people, try to learn your techniques in chains, learn to completely let go of your ego and learn YOUR game.
I’ll elaborate a bit on these:
- I struggled with not using my size and strength with people at first. I didn’t have much technique but I was really big and powerful then because I had just retired from powerlifting. So, when I was rolling with someone who was beating me with superior technique, I would fight back (and a lot of times I would “win”) with my superior physicality. As time went on I realized that this was holding me back from getting better at the techniques which is obviously the goal of training. Slowly, my strength has gone away and I have replaced it with technique which is sooo much more effective and not nearly as tiring!
- I didn’t really have an issue with this but I noticed that a lot of white belts want to learn the coolest, flashiest, most complex submissions. This is pretty ridiculous if you still can’t sweep someone in your guard, escape side control, etc… You cant submit anyone if your positions suck so get those squared away first. Then learn how to transition between those positions and maintain them, then add submission techniques. Just try to learn things in an order that makes sense. Get comfy moving from bottom side control to half guard, to closed guard, sweep from closed guard, pass the guard, establish side control, mount, knee on belly, kesa gatame, north-south, back to side control… after you can do that well, setting up submissions is tremendously easier and more effective.
- A lot of people know a bunch of techniques but they can’t tie them together so they might as well know nothing at all. Imagine you know an armbar from mount, a rear naked choke and a guard sweep but you are in top position half-guard. What the hell would you do? Now imagine that you are in half guard and you know a half guard pass, a transition to kesa gatame and a basic sub flow from kesa gatame like leg americana, straight armbar, head and arm choke. Well, your training partner would be in for a rough 5 minutes!
- Most importantly, understand that “winning” in bjj doesn’t mean kicking everyone’s ass; it means getting better at grappling and sometimes you have to take ass kickings in order to do that. Sometimes you need to drill a technique 500 times before it clicks. Sometimes you have to try a new technique and fail over and over and over.
- Lastly, you will find a certain game that really works for you and just feels natural. For me, that game is getting to and subbing from kesa gatame. I knew it the first time I got someone in scarf hold. Some guys have killer bottom guard games, though, or are great at attacking from deep halfguard and x guard. Those same guys couldn’t play my kesa gatame game like I do just like my guard game is weak sauce compared to their’s. Make YOUR own bjj.
Congratulations!!! Keep up the great work!
Thank you, sir! I intend to.
The company I work for is probably going out of business So I can’t pay for BJJ right now. There is a judo club nearby that is only 30 bucks a month so I will train there until I get a new job.
5, 4, 3, 2, 1
Clean and press
AM: Last BJJ class of the month. We srilled smash passes and I worked on moving from the smash pass to kesa gatame and then to an anaconda choke.
6, 5, 4, 3, 2
Well, my BJJ coach kicks ass. I told him I would have to take a month off and he said “that’s bullshit. I’ll see you in class tomorrow night” What a great guy, I definitely owe him one. He needs an elbow surgery and doesn’t have insurance so I’ll probably get that set up for him or at least get him a good deal. Anyway, I’m happy despite having been drowning my sorrows in this bottle of kentucky straight bourbon for the past few hours.
Barbell Forearm Curl
DB Tri Extension
Band Tri Pushdown
DB Delt Raise
DB Rear Delt Raise
PM: BJJ Class
Whats the occasion for the bourbon?
It was my cheat night + just feeling shitty and depressed about my wife and I losing our jobs.
Hang in there buddy.
And remember alcohol is not going to make you feel any better or change anything for the good. If anything it will make you feel worse.
Oh, I generally get drunk on my cheat night, anyway lol. I was just a littlr down in the dumps instead of being my usual, jolly self.
I already have multiple interviews scheduled over the next 2 weeks so I should be fine.
AM: BJJ class. We worked on smash passing when you get knee shielded from standing and on knees.
I was going to lift at night but had to write a contract for a client that I am bringing on (yay! working for myself now!)
Pullups: 6, 5, 4, 3, 2
BW Squat: 5x10
Glute Bridges: 5x10
Ab Wheel: 5x10
Clean and press
Clean, press, squat, btn press
PM: BJJ Class
BJJ open mat: I had some good flow rolls
Movement class: This was a weird class that they just added at my BJJ school. It was like a blend of PT, yoga and mobility/movement drills. With my history of powerlifting and all of the tightness and strength specificity that it imparts I think that this class will help me with my bjj and with dealing with my chronic injuries.
Just saw this - great job brotha. Truly. Congrats.
Thanks man! I appreciate it.
BJJ Am: Drilled X-pass and a standing butterfly guard where you step in with your right foot, push their heqd towards the outside of your hip, pivot to your left, swing your left leg over their head and drop down grabbing a seatbelt and taking their back. Sometimes I would land in a crucifix as well. It was a really cool move.
BW Squat: 5x11
Hip raise: 5x11
Behind the Neck Thrusters:
BW Squat: 5x11
Hip Thrust: 5x11
Ab Wheel: 5x6
Sumo Deadlift Highpull
I have been really sick for the past week so I didn’t train much.
Now I am feeling a little better but I have my board exams in a week so I’ll be studying 12+ hours a day for the next 5 days or so. I’ll still try and make the 6am BJJ classes.
Hopefully, I can celebrate passing my boards by training my ass off during all of my newly found freetime :).