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View Full Version : I start BJJ classes this week, any advice?



Dan
02-19-2012, 04:01 PM
I'm going to be attending my first BJJ class this week, and knowing that a number of guys on this board train in martial arts of difference kinds, I thought it would be a good idea to get some advice or tips (whatever they may be).

I've training kickboxing and karate on and off since I was little, but I lost interest in training in striking about 3 years ago, as I became passionate about grappling of all kinds.

I've been advised by the teacher to come along for a month or so to see if it captures my interest before buying a gi, but I was wondering if anyone has any tips on what to wear/take with me, or what to expect.

It's a beginners class, so I won't be rolling with any black belts or anything, and I'm really looking forward to it, as I've been looking for a local BJJ class for about 6 months, and couldn't find one, until I recently found out that this one is only about 15mins walk from my house!

Cheers in advance for any help :)

end it with a left
02-19-2012, 05:57 PM
As marcellus wallus says in pulp fiction pride is a mother fucker. Dont be afraid to tap. Guys thay dont tap until they have are the ones who go home injured. Dont be the asshole who treats it like a fight every time you roll so if a guy says he wants to roll light with you dont be a dick and try to take a limb home cause if you get addicted to bjj you are going to show up to classes sore one day and you are going to want to roll light one day and than it can come back to haunt you. If you like bjj than spend the hundred bucks and get a gi because 1 it will open up more classes to attend and 2 it helps build up your technique and control.

MIZjitsZOU
02-20-2012, 03:14 PM
Hey Dan, great to hear that you will be starting this class brother!

I started taking bjj at the beginning of this year, so I have been at it for two months (been doing Judo for 2 plus years). Wow is is it different then Judo. I like it though b/c we work more on ground technique, which is less high impact then Judo (mainly throws).

I agree with enditwithaleft: don't be afraid to tap. If you are uncomfortable then tap. When I first started I was not used to leg locks (they are illegal in Judo), so I tapped quick the first time I was in one (even though it probably wasn't in). I will always take a choke longer then a joint lock (getting choked out won't leave you with lasting problems).

Remember that your training partner is there to learn as well. Don't try to break them. Go hard, but when you get that first arm bar, or whatever, don't try to crank their arm off. That said give them hell with your first triangle or any choke.

You said you won't be rolling with black belts, which I think will not be the case if it is like hear in the states. You should want to roll with the black belts. They will teach you a lot and know to show you the proper technique. You would have more of a chance getting hurt by me (a newb) then someone who has lots of experience.

Worry about position for the first little bit. I cam in from Judo thinking I would do ok (which I kinda did), but quickly learned I needed to work on my posture both in guard, half-guard, mount, and everywhere in between. You will get controlled, swept, and put in bad positions, but just learn from each time and you will see how much better you get. My first week (I went hard b/c I have been grappling for two plus years so they threw me to the wolves) I got tapped a bunch by the blue belts, everytime we rolled for 5 minute sessions. I am now down to mostly only getting tapped once or twice in a 5 minute roll with a blue belt (the instructor will always tap you at will, probably).

Watch all the vids and competitions that you can. I like the Marcello Garcia vids. Listen closely to the instructors. Don't get frustrated. You probably won't be good after two classes, but you will get better. Remember that your club is your team, it is not you versus Joe or Dave. You guys are a team, so make each other better. Don't forget to have fun, and get a good workout.

Hope you have a great time!

Frasedog
02-20-2012, 03:31 PM
Just go have fun, be respectful and soak it all in. You'll enjoy it.

CRisCO
02-22-2012, 08:36 PM
Don't spaz out.

Control your breathing.

Dan
02-22-2012, 08:56 PM
Don't spaz out.

Control your breathing.

Thanks a lot man. I do a lot of running and cycling and I've had to work quite a lot on my breathing for those, so hopefully that'll help! Thanks for making me aware of it though, I probably wouldn't have thought about it if you hadn't flagged it up.


Just go have fun, be respectful and soak it all in. You'll enjoy it.

Cheers brother, I'm so excited for it!


Hey Dan, great to hear that you will be starting this class brother!

I started taking bjj at the beginning of this year, so I have been at it for two months (been doing Judo for 2 plus years). Wow is is it different then Judo. I like it though b/c we work more on ground technique, which is less high impact then Judo (mainly throws)....

Cheers for the reply Miz, real awesome advice. Good ground battles have been my favourite aspect about combat sports for a good couple of years and I've been looking for a class to join for a while, so I'm really excited for it now.

The reason I won't be rolling with black belts just yet is because the class I'm attending is a novice class, and the instructor has said I should attend these for about 2 months before joining the standard/advanced classes, where experienced rollers will be.

I'm quite flexible, I can get both feet behind my head, so I'm hoping this will come in handy when it comes to having a high guard etc! haha


As marcellus wallus says in pulp fiction pride is a mother fucker...

Brilliantly put, my man. I try to avoid having an ego, so I don't think I'll be afraid to tap. The way I see it, if I tap to something then it's because I did something wrong, and the best thing to do is to try and work out why and how I got into or was put into that position, and try to make sure it doesn't happen again. As you said, it's a class, so I'm there to learn, not prove anything to anyone.

I can't wait for this class guys, I'll let you know how it goes, thanks a load for your help/advice/tips/encouragement!

CRisCO
02-22-2012, 09:23 PM
Hehe running cardio is a whole new animal. It's always enlightening.you'll enjoy it.

Dan
02-23-2012, 09:37 AM
Hehe running cardio is a whole new animal. It's always enlightening.you'll enjoy it.

Haha no doubt, I've lost around 60 pounds in the last couple of years, so I'm pretty weak in comparison to what I was (I didn't do much weight training at all) so I'm not holding out much hope for my muscle endurance! haha

Dan
03-04-2012, 01:37 PM
Hey guys. Just wanted to give you an update on how it's going. I've been to two classes now (I can only make it to one class a week because I get home from work late) and I'm hooked.

In the first week, we just drilled shrimping/hip escape, break-falls, and a basic kimura from the bottom, as well as a sweep (I found a video of the one we did here - Knee on Belly Arm Bar Submission Technique - Gracie Jiu Jitsu Moves - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhDFEZuhp7E)).

The second week was awesome, we worked on passing guard from a stacked position and landing in the knee on belly position. We then learned a lapel choke from knee on belly, and a step-over armbar from knee on belly (video of the technique here Knee on Belly Arm Bar Submission Technique - Gracie Jiu Jitsu Moves - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhDFEZuhp7E)).

I'm finding myself running over the moves for the week following each lesson, because I don't want to forget anything. I'd love to attend two or three classes, but right now it's not possible.

I was going to give it a month or so before buying a gi, just to see how I got on, but I think I'm going to go ahead and buy one. Does anyone have any advice on what I should look for (best kind of stick/material etc.) in a good gi?

Also, I'm looking into different things to wear underneath my gi, such as compression tops/rash guards? I quite like the Nike Pro Combat range and the Underarmor stuff, but if anyone knows of any other alternatives that are worth checking out, I'd appreciate it if then could let me know! :)

Thanks a lot guys

MIZjitsZOU
03-04-2012, 03:49 PM
Dan C-

Does your gym sell their own gi's? I always like to buy one from my gym, so that it has their logo. I also always think it is good to support your club.

I like to have at least two (got three now), b/c if you do multiple classes a week, you don't want to wear a used gi. Those things hold sweat like nobodys business. Ask your club if they got any used ones for cheap. That way you have a crap one to train with. Then you can get a nice one if you start to compete.

I have a blue and a white gi. Jiu Jitsu you can have other colors as well. The nicer the gi the more thread in the coat part, which is nice b/c they are tougher fabric. You can tell the difference when you roll with someone. Harder to grab and yank a nice gi, IMO.

I don't wear anything else except compression shorts and a cup. I remember when I first started training I would get rubbed from the gi (especially my nips, ha), but your body gets used to it.

Do they have opens at your gym? My gym has classes and then opens. An open is where you just go in and roll or practice things. I hit two classes a week and then an open. The open is great, b/c you get to just try out whatever you want.

Edit: Check out Marcello Garcia's vids. I like his stuff.

CtGreat
03-09-2012, 09:36 PM
Dan, one of the greatest tools available to us in this day n age is the ease of access to information. YouTube is a invaluable asset IMO for one learning new techniques in any martial art. I've personally learned many things from ken primoa's YouTube videos; you only can spend so much time in training and only get exposed to so much. Go on YouTube and look up different submissions, takedowns, ten weeks, etc, then when you are in practice, try out some of the things you saw online. It really helps with creativity.

Dan
03-18-2012, 12:48 PM
Dan, one of the greatest tools available to us in this day n age is the ease of access to information. YouTube is a invaluable asset IMO for one learning new techniques in any martial art. I've personally learned many things from ken primoa's YouTube videos; you only can spend so much time in training and only get exposed to so much. Go on YouTube and look up different submissions, takedowns, ten weeks, etc, then when you are in practice, try out some of the things you saw online. It really helps with creativity.

Thanks man. Yeah I've been watching quite a lot of the videos on lockflow.com and it's given me a whole load of great ideas for things to try. I've also watched a load of Ryan Hall's vids, as he explains things clearly and in an easy-to-understand way. We don't get too much of an opportunity to just roll, as we're still working on the basics, and making sure our technique is strong first, but as soon as we do, I think I'll have a bunch of ideas to try.

This week, we worked on the americana from the high mount, and an armbar from mount, too. I love how every week, I really feel like I come away with something new, whereas I never had this in my experience of striking. With striking, I came away sometimes with a feeling that maybe I had improved on my jab slightly, or ironed out some of the kinks in my movement, but with BJJ I feel like the techniques I learn each week are really applicable to real-world situations, and the things I take away are far more significant that what I took fro striking.

Dan
03-18-2012, 01:03 PM
Dan C-

Does your gym sell their own gi's? I always like to buy one from my gym, so that it has their logo. I also always think it is good to support your club.

I like to have at least two (got three now), b/c if you do multiple classes a week, you don't want to wear a used gi. Those things hold sweat like nobodys business. Ask your club if they got any used ones for cheap. That way you have a crap one to train with. Then you can get a nice one if you start to compete.

I have a blue and a white gi. Jiu Jitsu you can have other colors as well. The nicer the gi the more thread in the coat part, which is nice b/c they are tougher fabric. You can tell the difference when you roll with someone. Harder to grab and yank a nice gi, IMO.

I don't wear anything else except compression shorts and a cup. I remember when I first started training I would get rubbed from the gi (especially my nips, ha), but your body gets used to it.

Do they have opens at your gym? My gym has classes and then opens. An open is where you just go in and roll or practice things. I hit two classes a week and then an open. The open is great, b/c you get to just try out whatever you want.

Edit: Check out Marcello Garcia's vids. I like his stuff.

Thanks man, Yeah my school does it's own Gi's, and I spoke to my instructor the other day about getting one, and they're 90, which is pretty reasonable seeing I was looking to pay anything up to 150.

Also, this week, we learned a choke that I don't actually know the name for, and I was wondering if anyone could tell me the name of it, so that I can watch some technique vids on it to go over it again.

Basically, from the mount (top), we would place one arm under the head of the opponent, keeping our elbow planted on the ground. To make it clearer let's say we put our RIGHT arm under. We then gripped the sleeve of our other hand (the LEFT). Following this, the LEFT arm would come across the jaw of the opponent, and under the chin. It would then rest on the bicep of the arm that is under the head, creating the choke.

If anyone can name this for me (I hope my description is clear enough!) then that'd be great! :D

Cheers guys!

Repenter
03-18-2012, 03:55 PM
that's an ezekial choke. it becomes a white belt's best friend, especially since the victim always bridges, takes top position, and passes out.

i have an odd game, bases on d'arce chokes and armbars from the top and manipulating the triangle/omoplata positions from the bottom.

Dan
06-03-2012, 04:37 PM
that's an ezekial choke. it becomes a white belt's best friend, especially since the victim always bridges, takes top position, and passes out.

i have an odd game, bases on d'arce chokes and armbars from the top and manipulating the triangle/omoplata positions from the bottom.

Ahh thanks man. Sorry for the slow reply, haven't been around much as I started a new job a couple months back. BUT, I have been training at least once a week (twice if I can fit it around work).

Here's a little update (if you guys are interested) on how things are going for me:
I bought myself a gi after training for about a month. Unlike striking martial arts I've trained in before, I got hooked on BJJ straight away, and that was just when all I was doing in the classes was warming up, and learning a chain of techniques that ended with a submission.

It's only in the last two weeks that my teacher has allowed us to spar at the end of classes The novice class only has 6-8 people in it each week (I go to a late-night Friday class) and most of us are at the same level, so we're developing together nicely.

On Thursday of this week I rolled for the first time with a dude who was a lot bigger than me (I'm 150lbs and 5'10, he was about 200lbs and over 6ft), but had only been training for about a month or so. It was a great way to test what I had learnt, because I wasn't able to power through techniques, and had to make sure my form was correct. I pulled guard and managed to sweep him pretty quickly and hold side control, and knee on belly (I was surprised at how well you can hold guys in place with knee on belly - great technique). I let him wear himself out a little while I held position, then worked for an americana (again, being a little stronger would have helped). It was close, I just couldn't quite pull his elbow in to finish. He managed to sweep me with a nice sweep we'd learned that evening (very impressive), but I managed to hold my ground, keeping my guard closed and tying his arms up. I worked for a kimura from the bottom about 3 times but he was able to pull out each time and posture up.
Not the most eventful roll, but I was quite proud at how it went considering it was my time (even if the guy was even more inexperienced than me).

Friday's class was a different experience altogether, but one that has helped me learn a lot. The guy I rolled with was about the same build as me, maybe a little taller and with super long legs, but, well... he dominated me haha! I started in his guard, and got swept and mounted pretty quickly. He didn't do a whole lot from mount, mostly holding me there for a minute or so, working for an ezekiel choke at one point, but I managed to defend, but gave up my back in the process. He slapped a body triangle on pretty quickly and got a rear-naked on, forcing the tap.

After that we re-set, with him in my guard. I managed to stop him passing or posturing up, and worked for a triangle or an armbar. I know I need to work on my technique for both though, as even though my legs are flexible (I can put them behind my head), I just couldn't get the triangle on him. Anyway, he managed to pass to half guard again and went for a head and arm choke, just as the buzzer went for the end.

As I explained it to my girlfriend, I loved BJJ before I had rolled, but live rolling brings it to life. It was awesome to test the skills I've been learning in the past few weeks against a guy who will resist, and who will try to choke you.

Unfortunately I managed to pull a muscle at the back of my leg (below my knee) and can hardly work. Luckily with the Queen's Jubilee over here in England I'm off work until Wednesday so it'll have time to heal (as I ride to work), and I can get back to training next week. I'll keep you all up to date!

MIZjitsZOU
06-03-2012, 05:09 PM
I never work "knee on belly". Seems like it would be to easy to get off balance. I am fairly new to the jits game, but wouldn't an experienced player get guard back pretty easy if you left your knee on a guy's belly. I would rather be in side mount or move directly to mount.

Thanks for the update Dan. Not saying knee on belly is wrong, just wondering if the anyone else sees it this way.

Kimbo> Rampage
06-03-2012, 08:04 PM
keep it up, everybody starts out at some point. ull be a blackbelt in no time. :grinsmile1:

you should also try out boxing and/or muay thai.

Dan
06-03-2012, 08:11 PM
I never work "knee on belly". Seems like it would be to easy to get off balance. I am fairly new to the jits game, but wouldn't an experienced player get guard back pretty easy if you left your knee on a guy's belly. I would rather be in side mount or move directly to mount.

Thanks for the update Dan. Not saying knee on belly is wrong, just wondering if the anyone else sees it this way.

I see what you mean man, I thought the same way, until my teacher showed me where to position my outer leg (the one not on the belly) and which angle it should be bent to, then it seemed a lot more stable. I've found already that I prefer to move to side control from knee of belly, but the position does seem to open opportunities to jump on an armbar, or a choke if they turn towards you, or if they turn away you can grab the back real quick.

Another question for you Miz, and any guys who train judo/BJJ, did your 'style' come naturally, or was it a conscious decision to become more of a 'top guy' or a guy who fights mostly off his back, etc.? Because I find that with my leg flexibility, and the fact that I'm not too strong in my arms but have good leg length from cycling, I find at least setting up a lot of the attacks made from the back much easier than those from the top. I obviously won't neglect my top game but I wasn't sure if I should drill bottom position more, or will my style just 'emerge' naturally?

MIZjitsZOU
06-03-2012, 08:58 PM
I see what you mean man, I thought the same way, until my teacher showed me where to position my outer leg (the one not on the belly) and which angle it should be bent to, then it seemed a lot more stable. I've found already that I prefer to move to side control from knee of belly, but the position does seem to open opportunities to jump on an armbar, or a choke if they turn towards you, or if they turn away you can grab the back real quick.

Another question for you Miz, and any guys who train judo/BJJ, did your 'style' come naturally, or was it a conscious decision to become more of a 'top guy' or a guy who fights mostly off his back, etc.? Because I find that with my leg flexibility, and the fact that I'm not too strong in my arms but have good leg length from cycling, I find at least setting up a lot of the attacks made from the back much easier than those from the top. I obviously won't neglect my top game but I wasn't sure if I should drill bottom position more, or will my style just 'emerge' naturally?

I have had to really work on my bottom game. Judo is a top game first sport, b/c you can pin your opponent and win. That said I like working from the bottom. I would think you would want to really work on the basics, while taking in the higher level stuff. So for you the basics would probably be triangle, straight arm bars, and scissor sweeps if you have strong legs. In judo we always say that you have to practice a throw a 100 times before you might even get the chance to throw it live. Find someone better then you and have them show you. Thats what I do. Those people not only have the technique, but also little tricks to help complete the technique.

At my club we have opens and practice. At practice we learn a technique from our instructor and then roll live. At the open we come in and either work on technique or roll, whatever we want. I really like the opens b/c then you can work with people your level and higher on whatever you want. Always important to go against better people. Do you guys have opens?

Dan
06-03-2012, 11:18 PM
I have had to really work on my bottom game. Judo is a top game first sport, b/c you can pin your opponent and win. That said I like working from the bottom. I would think you would want to really work on the basics, while taking in the higher level stuff. So for you the basics would probably be triangle, straight arm bars, and scissor sweeps if you have strong legs. In judo we always say that you have to practice a throw a 100 times before you might even get the chance to throw it live. Find someone better then you and have them show you. Thats what I do. Those people not only have the technique, but also little tricks to help complete the technique.

At my club we have opens and practice. At practice we learn a technique from our instructor and then roll live. At the open we come in and either work on technique or roll, whatever we want. I really like the opens b/c then you can work with people your level and higher on whatever you want. Always important to go against better people. Do you guys have opens?

Great advice, thanks so much mate. I'm aware I'll need to rely on being technically sound because I'm not strong, so I've been drilling the basics at home just to make sure my foundation is really strong when it comes to the more technical techniques.

The difference I've found between BJJ and the kickboxing (which I trained before) is that in BJJ there is little to no ego whatsoever, so guys are more than willing to show me how to do techniques, and I'm not made to feel like a whitebelt at training if that makes sense. I only need to attend the novice-only classes for about another 6 weeks before joining the standard training classes with the experienced white belts, blues, purples etc, so hopefully training with some experienced guys in those classes will really help push my game forward.

It's funny you ask that about opens, because it was only at training this week that my instructor asked me to come along to an open mat session. Before that, I thought those sessions weren't actually open to new white belts, so I'll definitely be going along to that this week.

A couple of the other guys have warned me that I'll get tapped out again and again and again in the opens, but I'm not bothered at all as it's all part of it, so I can't wait!

MIZjitsZOU
06-04-2012, 02:10 AM
Dan, we should start a new thread. I was going to do one a while back (I did for Judo, but no one on here does Judo). We could just call it the BJJ Thread or the Roll Thread or something where we could just do daily, weekly thoughts on training, advice, or thoughts. What do you think?

Dan
06-04-2012, 08:39 AM
Dan, we should start a new thread. I was going to do one a while back (I did for Judo, but no one on here does Judo). We could just call it the BJJ Thread or the Roll Thread or something where we could just do daily, weekly thoughts on training, advice, or thoughts. What do you think?

Good idea, I really like it, it'd definitely help. You've been really helpful in this thread man. I'll go ahead and make the thread now (with credits to you of course haha!).