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HOW TO GET BETTER AT JIU JITSU AT HOME 
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HOW TO GET BETTER AT JIU JITSU AT HOME 

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Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a highly complex form of Martial Arts, which involves two combatants standing toe to toe. BJJ initially begins on the feet, as two athletes look to take each other down to the mat. Once the fight is on the ground, the athletes will use a series of highly advanced, and dynamic technical movements that lead to positional controls like the mount, side control, and back control. In BJJ competition, the fight can end as athletes secure points for various positions, otherwise the main objective is to submit an opponent through various chokeholds, arm locks and leg locks.

What This Article Covers:

Training at a BJJ academy is a fascinating prospect, as the professionalism involved is quite substantial. Athletes will be able to learn grappling at their own pace, while feeling encouraged and inspired to keep progressing through the art. Often students may ask questions like can you train jiu jitsu alone, as not everyone will train at an academy. It has become common for practitioners to build their own gyms at home, in an attempt to acquire knowledge through online materials, and training with friends. The art of BJJ is a Martial Art that takes a long time to master, and students that have mats in their own homes, will find it extremely beneficial in bolstering their skills and, practise of the art.

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how you can get better at jiu jitsu at home

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SETTING UP FOR SUCCESS

For anybody that is serious about training their Jiu Jitsu at home, they need to set up a functional workspace where they can execute a different assortment of exercises. Setting up a home gym doesn't have to be all the bells and whistles, as long as it has functionality for its intended purposes. It's important to have a nice open area, so students can lay down between 12 and 24 square metres of BJJ mats. This is extremely important so the student has room to stretch, and explore their movements. It is also a good idea for students to set themselves up with some strength and conditioning equipment, so they can maximise their training as they begin to increase their strength. The benefits of brazilian jiu jitsu are well documented, as students from all over the world are adding layers to their game. 

With success comes failure, as quite often learning BJJ can be two steps forward and one step back. Aiming for success is all in the mindset of a student, and if they work hard, stay consistent, and never give up, they will ultimately achieve success. The downside to training at a home gym is the student can allow laziness into their mindset. It's easy to cut training short, or not train at all because of the day to day aspects. Sometimes what an athlete needs is somebody to encourage them, challenge them, and guide them through many of the complicated processes. There is only so much an athlete can do by themselves, as ultimately they need to find themself a good training partner.

GREAT SOLO DRILLS 

Doing solo drills at home can be extremely beneficial to an athlete's movement. One of the toughest aspects of learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is understanding, and then applying the mechanics needed in most of BJJ's movement spectrum. Students that put in comprehensive time practising specific movements related to BJJ, will find that they will improve at a faster rate. Training these movements at home can also help students that are perhaps a little bit too shy to front up to a BJJ academy. Another common occurrence in BJJ, is when students that are thinking about beginning jiu jitsu, they would rather first work on strength, fitness, and movement in the comfort of their own homes. This is usually because they do not know what to expect from an academy, and feel like they need to get in shape before embarrassing themselves. Doing solo drills in your home gym is a good way to develop an understanding of what is involved in BJJ, before stepping into the limelight of an academy.

Here are some great functional bjj tips that athletes can use while training at home. The rock up and kick is a movement where athletes will sit on their bottom and roll onto the upper part of their back, as they kick their legs up toward the ceiling. This movement is good to get the blood flowing as it activates the muscles in the hips and the core. The rope pull to s-sit is another extremely important movement that athletes should learn. Athletes can do this from a stationary position or they can rock back onto their upper back using momentum. As the athlete leans forward they pretend to pull an invisible rope lifting their hips and switching their legs into the s-sit position, before letting go and rolling back down. This kind of movement helps athletes with their dexterity, strength, and balance, which is extremely relatable to BJJ. This movement will help athletes get up from awkward positions in an attempt to gain positional control.

Students will soon discover how hard is jiu jitsu to master, as they will need to practise these maneuvers constantly. The break fall to technical stand up is another well established drill that will help athletes tremendously. Firstly learning how to break fall properly is crucial to the survivability of an athlete, when they are entrenched in battle. To do a proper break fall students will lower their knees, as they roll backwards onto their back. As they make contact with the mat, their chin should be tucked into their chest, as their arms take the power from the mats, by bracing for impact on a 45 degree angle, with their hands towards their hips. Once the athlete has executed a correct breakfall, they will then use the technical stand up to practise how to get up out of an opponent's control. The technical stand up or otherwise known as the tactical getup, is correctly executed by opponents posting on one of their hands, as they step up on their opposite foot. From this position athletes will lift their hips up, lifting their bottom leg off the mat as they circle it backwards into a standing position. It is important for athletes to step straight into a base position when they are getting up off of the ground, this will ensure the athlete is well balanced and ready to attack.

Probably the most important aspect that a student of BJJ will need to master is hip shrimping. This is a way for students to escape their hips from out of dangerous positions. When a student is stuck in the mount position they will commonly use an elbow escape to try and secure their way back into a guard position. The importance of having a good hip shrimp, or hip escape is crucial to a student becoming good at defending, escaping, and then attacking opponents in BJJ. A great drill that students can do at home is to basically lay on the floor and hip shrimp backwards, before hip inserting forwards. This movement is quite easy, as they will turn to their side pretending to push the knee of an opponent, as they escape their hips backward towards their head, before swinging back into the guard position. When students can master this form of movement, they will become increasingly harder to control when they are training on the mats.

Another extremely important aspect of mastering BJJ, is learning how to Bridge. Many of the escape techniques involve athletes using bridging technique, which helps them escape their hips out of dangerous positions. In order to do a bridging technique, students should lay on their back with their feet planted on the mats near their hips. Students can then raise their hips up high towards the ceiling, as they reach one of their arms over the top of their head, touching the mat. To make this movement easier for beginners, whichever hand they use to reach over their head with, they can use their opposite leg to shoot long while they attempt the movement. Bridging is a crucial part of the defensive mechanisms that athletes will use to escape positions. Bridging from underneath an opponent will help a student create space, this is how they can then execute a hip shrimp, in order to retain their guard.

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CONDITIONING AT HOME

Many people will question why train jiu jitsu, and apart from the incredible self defense aspect, the Martial Art is challenging but has freedom all at the same time.

The upside to training at home means that athletes can pick their own schedules, as they look to advance in their learning. Training from home means athletes can add as much flare as they want to their training, this includes doing weird and wonderful conditioning workouts. A home gym doesn't have to have brand new gym equipment, for it to be functional. Students can use all sorts of tools when they are training from home, this includes equipment they have built, or items they are repurposing. For example athletes can use paint cans instead of weights, or they can use truck tyres to flip, or hit with a sledgehammer. Implementing different techniques into a student's training regime is pivotal for the students development. Now with many online tutorials, students can access a large range of different workout drills, so no matter what type of a home gym a student creates, they have some valuable resources at their disposal. If the student really wants to improve, then they need to take their conditioning seriously, and make sure they are consistent with these aspects.

MOBILITY EXERCISES 

Nowadays the modern athlete is training extensively in mobility exercises, as this is crucial to the makeup of a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu athlete. BJJ can be extremely hard on the body with all of the dynamic movements, impacts and submissions that athletes will face. Athletes that increase their range of mobility will find themselves becoming more flexible and durable while they are rolling. Good mobility is also a great form of injury prevention, as the athlete will become much more adapted to some of these more dynamic movements. There are many different forms of mobility exercise, as they are commonly taught by physiotherapists to injured athletes. Training from your own home gym, means you can take as much time as you need to work on your mobility.

Here are some great mobility exercises that have been proven to work for BJJ athletes. The granby roll is one of those exercises that will help athletes understand their full range of movement. A granby roll is where athletes will roll over to their side, as they invert up onto the back of their shoulders, before rolling back over sideways into a sitting position. This movement will build core strength, and will increase an athlete's range of flexibility. Another good mobility exercise is the cossack squat, which is a way to extensively broaden an athlete's range of motion in their leg muscles. To do a cossack squat the athlete just needs to stretch one leg out sideways, while they lower their hip towards their other foot. Once an athlete can understand this type of exercise they can also add weights to help strengthen all of their leg and hip areas.

Two of the most important areas that athletes need to increase their mobility is in their knees, and their neck. It is important for athletes to warm up with neck mobility exercises before every training session. This will include simple exercises of moving their head up and down, side to side, and in circular motions for an extended period. By doing this, then the neck will be activated at the same time building up neck muscles to help brace any impact they may incur. Warming up the knees is an extremely important aspect, as the knees do take quite a beating while training in BJJ. Circling your legs like a cyclist, or switching them around in circles like an egg beater are great ways to build mobility inside the knee. Another good way to achieve this result is by doing squats, the best part about doing squats means it will strengthen the athlete throughout their whole core. Doing different types of squats like pistol squats, normal squats, or sumo squats will help extensively with an athlete's range of mobility, strength and conditioning, and power within their muscle groups.

Let Leonardo Xavier and BJJ Fanatics make you better on the mat and off!

how to learn jiu jitsu at home

THE FINAL STEP

Training BJJ in a home gym can be extremely rewarding, but with all the solo drills, cardio, mobility, and strength and conditioning workouts, there is one final piece that connects them all. Every home gym needs a training partner, and even though there are grappling dummies that can be purchased, nothing compares to the original. One of the best ways an athlete can get better at Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fast, is if they can find a training partner that challenges them. When two students of Jiu Jitsu come together and roll extensively in one of their home gyms, their skill level increases rapidly. This is due to a number of different factors which includes understanding each other's game, getting the repetition in for executing flow chains, and challenging each other competitively. Training in a home gym can be extremely fun and challenging at the same time, but if athletes focus, and put in the maximum amount of effort, then they are on their way to success.

If you enjoyed this piece, consider checking:

ARE YOU A BJJ FANATICS INSIDER? IF NOT, YOU’RE MISSING OUT!

Take a deep dive on one specific skill per month with the top instructors in the BJJ Fanatics family.

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  • Private Lesson (Masterclass)
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  • Rolling breakdowns & more.

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