Being a white belt can be the hardest part of the journey in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but it can also be the most exciting. I started learning BJJ back in 1994, when Royce was still fighting in the UFC. I would go to a class that a white belt was teaching where he would teach 15-20 techniques per class, then we would roll. Needless to say, I didn’t have a good instructor to help me. Here are 3 tips that would have really helped me.
- Work on defense first. You are going to get tapped, just accept it. Work on escaping the mount, side, the back, and breaking and passing the guard. Don’t focus so much on learning lots of submissions. You won’t have an opportunity to use them unless you achieve a good position first.
- Relax when rolling. Don’t focus on winning. Focus on learning. When you get so tense because you’re freaking out because you don’t want to lose, you can’t think and you can’t react. And this is where a lot of injuries happen.
- Rep and review techniques as often as you can. This includes taking notes. If you don’t want to do it in class, take notes in the car after class. BJ Penn said that he used to visualize techniques while he wasn’t on the mat, like when he was in the shower or eating.