Posts Tagged ‘How to Improve My BJJ Game’


Brazilian  Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) is an enormously popular martial art. This is why you see so many BJJ schools are opening all over the world. Of course, the presence of a school is not the main indication of its value. The number of students enrolled in the school is. When you look closer at these students, you will see many training as frequently as possible and others train when their schedule permits. Since BJJ schools often offer unlimited training per month, there is a lot of flexibility available in terms of how often a student can train.

But, how many days a week should a student train? This is an important question that needs to be asked and answered. There are active and athletic students that train virtually every day of the week and there are also those that have to train far less because training too often leads to them becoming sore and somewhat broken down.

Really, you do not want to become sore or too beat up to train. That does no one any good. When you are over-trained, you end up missing days of class. Does that help your ability to progress in BJJ? Absolutely not!

Again, different people’s bodies will react in a completely different manner to their training regimen. There is, however, a safe medium that you can follow in order to be sure that you avoid over-training. That medium would be playing it safe and training about three days a week.

These three days should not be consecutive. The reason for this is you want to at least one rest day in between the three workout days because your body will need time to recuperate and heal. When you do not get the proper amount of rest, the body will start to break down. This is where all those aches and pains come from. Those that are older BJJ practitioners will be more than familiar with such pains which is why they might be more willing to take such breaks than younger BJJ’ers. However, just because you are young does not mean you are invulnerable. Over-training can affect anyone at any age.

There are going to be those serious minded BJJ players that want to train each and every single day. They reason they wish to do so is not all that difficult to figure out. They just want to become very good at the art of BJJ. Here is a little news for those that have such desires in mind: frequency does not always equate with quality.

The true value of the class will be in the quality of the instruction combined with a good attitude for learning. In short, you need to enroll in a good class and then make the most out of it when you are in the class. This means you should py very close attention and ask pertinent questions when they arise. (Of course, you should ask them at the appropriate time) Follow these very simple steps and you will find it is a lot easier to get the most out of your three day a week training plan.

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There are many important aspects to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu/BJJ that are somewhat overlooked by beginners. They are definitely not overlooked by those that reach a high-level of skill because such BJJ‘ers clearly display all these little nuances. One area many top players excel in would be the art of gripping.

Gripping is basically what it sounds like. It refers to how your hands grip and grasp your opponent. With the Gi, a large amount of your gripping will involve grasping the collar and the sleeves.  The pants legs are also grabbed and, to a lesser extent, you can grab the belt. (Beware – the belt moves around a lot so belt grips are somewhat unreliable)

Why is gripping important?

There are a few reasons why you would employ grips. Mainly, you do so to control and opponents and execute offensive and defensive maneuvers. Obviously, performing offensive and defensive maneuvers is a major part of the game.

 In a sense, the reasons for gripping on the ground in BJJ/Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, is the same as gripping standing in Judo.  In Judo though, a greater emphasis is placed on grips very early at the beginner level. Gripping definitely is not something to be overlooked on the ground because of the many benefits to using it.

A few of the gripping techniques are about as simple. If someone is in your guard you can grip the sleeve and pull their arm forward to execute an armbar or a triangle. You could grip the collar and sleeve to pull someone down to prevent them from getting the posture to pass the guard. If you are trying to pass the guard, gripping the sleeve can be employed to press the arm down and hold it in place so it cannot defend the guard pass.  

To repeat, gripping can be used to apply any offensive or defensive tactic.

There is a bit of controversy regarding the use of grips. Namely, there are those that say gripping is another form of stalling. This can be true if the person gripping his/her opponent is not doing anything and only trying to kill the clock. If the person is being active then it would be impossible to say what he is doing is stalling.

It is advised that if you wish to employ gripping techniques you should perform conditioning exercises that can help improve your grip. Squeezing an isometric rubber ball would be one example of an easy way you can develop your grip abilities. Even a few minutes per day can lead to a great improvement. 

Don’t allow gripping to be an overlooked component of your game. Putting the proper effort into developing your grip game could lead to many improvements in how you actually perform.  And you definitely want to improve. That is why you are training in the first place.


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