IS JIU JITSU HARD?
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has become one of the most iconic forms of Martial Arts in America, and across the globe. The ground fighting combat has a rich Brazilian history that derives from ancient forms of Japanese Jiu Jitsu. BJJ incorporates a dynamic transitional system of takedown techniques that combines elements of judo, and wrestling to take an opponent down to the mat. Once the fight is grounded the Brazilian art uses its formidable system, as it involves a series of high calibre transitions like sweeps, and guard passes, in order to gain dominant control positions. The art also incorporates positional, and submission escapes, combined with a formidable submission system made up mainly of joint locks, and chokeholds.
What This Article Covers:
- A Complex Beginning
- The Blue Belt Phase
- Becoming a Teacher in BJJ
- Reaching a Black Belt in BJJ
- What Are Some of the Hardest Moves in BJJ
- How to Maximise Efficiency Within the Art of BJJ
As BJJ has become mainstream across the world, many students are now lining up to train in this exceptional form of Martial Arts. The Brazilian art is a highly intense, and complicated form of grappling, which can take an extremely long time to master. Although some of the movements are considered bjj for beginners, and are simplistic in their nature, there is a large portion of technical components that need constant attention, and repetition in order to achieve proficiency. The level of difficulty involved in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is extremely high, as students across the world are putting in decades of hard work, and perseverance to gain promotions within the art.
A COMPLEX BEGINNING
To begin a Martial Art like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, students need to brace themselves for an extremely tough initiation. Most students that begin BJJ won't understand the mechanics involved in many of the technical components. Even high level athletes from various other sports, including combat art forms, will still struggle to wrap their head around many of the technical aspects of BJJ. When a student trains for the first time they can often be unfit or uncoordinated, which can make Brazilian Jiu Jitsu seem extremely hard to adapt to. The extremely tough initiation is during the live rolling segmant in a Jiu Jitsu training session, as students will use muscles they never knew they had. In most cases new students will be forced to submit to higher level athletes time and time again.
Trying to understand the mechanics of BJJ as a beginner seems next to impossible, but with the right guidance and encouragement students will soon realise all they have to do is persevere. Some of the movements in BJJ are extremely hard to execute, this is why instructors at an academy will incorporate movement based drills in their warm ups. Students will soon be able to adapt to a new form of movement with drills like hip shrimping, forward and backwards rolls, hip inserts, and various other technical movements. The complexity of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is among one of the highest calibres of all combat sports. Navigating through a BJJ academy as a white belt can be a difficult task, but in most cases they will find that the guidance they will receive is excellent.
THE BLUE BELT PHASE
Not all students that start BJJ reach the blue belt level, but for the ones that do, the art does get harder. As a white belt students will commonly be protected by higher belts, this means most higher belts will take it easy on beginners, and give them a chance to explore their game. When a student reaches the blue belt level everything changes, as higher belts will now begin to put a new blue belt under significant pressure. The natural progression is for blue belts to elevate their training by rolling harder, and testing their skills against higher level training partners. Blue belts will often become the hunter, as they look to submit higher level athletes within their academy. The downside to this type of attitude is that higher level athletes will step up their game, and use tighter and more dangerous submissions. The bjj benefits of blue belts acquiring harder rolls are highly substantial, as the student will learn a deeper understanding of defensive mechanisms like positional escapes, submission defenses, and submission escapes.
Becoming a blue belt also means that competitions become even tougher, compared to when they were at the white belt phase. A blue belt will always have a higher level of proficiency, as they begin to utilise a broader range of technical movements. Even though a blue belt may be hungrier for success, this doesn't always translate into an easier run through Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competition. Usually at the blue belt level students will become extremely serious with their aspirations for winning world championships, as this leads to students training harder and studying more. As the level gets harder so does the need for more knowledge, and more guidance, as this can be an extremely tough period for students of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
BECOMING A TEACHER IN BJJ
After a significant period as a blue belt, students will earn the right to wear a purple belt in BJJ. This can be an exciting time for a student of the art, as they have reached the halfway point towards becoming a black belt in BJJ. Reaching the purple belt level comes with its own set of advantages, and perhaps disadvantages, as the level of competition will reach an extremely high technical standard. Students at this belt rank will have usually spent at least five to eight years training in BJJ, which means they have built an extremely high level of strength and conditioning. Rolling, or competing against other higher belts can be extremely tough, as their technical application is of high intensity, and a systematic approach.
One of the more harder aspects of becoming a purple belt and above is learning the art of teaching Jiu Jitsu. Most students will ask how long does it take to learn brazilian jiu jitsu, and in most cases it takes ten years or more to become proficient within the art. Teaching BJJ can be an extremely hard prospect, as it requires a completely different level of knowledge and understanding. Not every student will have the ability to teach Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at a high standard, as it takes ingenuity, patience, knowledge, and understanding to get results. What students will learn when they become a teacher is that many of their students will learn differently, and to be a good teacher of the art it is all about identifying how each individual learns. Not all students will be able to easily practise a technique that is taught, so teachers of the art must think outside the box, and utilise different concepts of teaching. Some students will learn by researching some of the best bjj instructionals they can find, while others will need to master the art through movement based drills. In all cases of learning BJJ repetition is key, as the knowledge they will learn needs to be practised numerous times in order for students to build up a sufficient muscle memory.
REACHING A BLACK BELT IN BJJ
Most students begin Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with a certain goal in mind, as this can be a simple as fitness, camaraderie, or higher ambitions of achieving world titles. Most students start BJJ with a hope to just reach the next belt level, as setting a goal to becoming a black belt can seem too high of an expectation. After spending a couple of years training, and going up in level, students will then start to believe in themselves, and aim for higher goals like becoming a professor of the art. Reaching the pinnacle of BJJ only happens for a handful of dedicated students, as quite often students will burnout long before they reach this level. For students that go all the way, and become a black belt in the art soon come to a realisation once they tie that brand new black belt around their waist. A new black belt is like a little fish in a pond full of sharks, as they realise they have only just reached the first summit in an extremely higher mountain.
There is an extremely vast difference between a black belt in BJJ, compared to a black belt that has earned their first or second degree. Considering it takes three years as a dedicated black belt to receive your first degree, the difference of skill level between the ranks is massive. Students will find this out especially if they compete in BJJ competitions, as a brand new black belt who goes up against another black belt with years of experience, will find it extremely hard to achieve success. It takes thirty one years as an active black belt to reach the first Coral belt in BJJ, so you can imagine just how hard it will be for a first year black belt to take on a third or fourth degree black belt in the art. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a highly complex Martial Art that takes decades of practise to become extremely proficient. There is also the added component of evolution within the art, as many high level athletes are constantly adding innovations to the game, so it pays for a black belt to stay with the trends and constantly evolve their knowledge, and application of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE HARDEST MOVES IN BJJ
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has an extremely vast range of different techniques involved from guard passes, to takedowns, sweeps and submissions. Even though many movements in BJJ can be extremely simplistic, there are an abundance of technical movements that are extremely complicated to learn, and practise. There are many different lapel wrap techniques that involve gripping different parts of an opponent's Gi, and then wrapping the lapel around limbs of the body to create vulcrum points, in order to sweep, trap, or submit their opponent. Due to a high calibre of variations in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, many of these lapel wraps can be considerably hard to remember, and to execute.
There are other movements like berimbolos that have become extremely popular in the modern era of grappling. There are many different variations of berimbolos, as students will commonly use them to set up back takes, and other dominant control positions. The berimbolo will also lead into leg lock entanglements, which can be another extremely hard component of Jiu Jitsu to learn. There are many different variations of leg locks, which includes inside and outside heel hooks, ankle locks, toeholds, and knee bars. Not only can these leg lock entanglements be difficult to learn, they can also be extremely hard to execute, especially on high level practitioners of BJJ.
Takedowns in BJJ can also be extremely difficult to utilise, especially in competition matches, as the technical difficulty is extremely high. BJJ combines elements of judo and wrestling in order to achieve different forms of takedowns. Achieving various takedowns is more than just having knowledge and using technical proficiency, there is also a need for flexibility and athleticism in some movements of the art. Shooting in for a double leg takedown involves strong driving power from the core, and fast momentum, while changing levels to shoot forward on their opponent. Not all students will become proficient in this style of take down, and in most cases it can take a considerably long time to master.
HOW TO MAXIMISE EFFICIENCY WITHIN THE ART OF BJJ
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is an extremely complicated Martial Art to learn, as students will discover along the journey just how much practise they will need to put in. Understanding the mechanics of BJJ, and acquiring a vast amount of knowledge takes a considerably long time. Becoming proficient in BJJ is all about maximising their efficiency, and students will learn this first hand in their first two years training in the art. Some good bjj tips are to be consistent, and come to training as much as possible, but to make sure that a student does not over train. This means they can still come to training six days a week, but they must take some of those days lightly so that their body can output at its maximum efficiency. Rest days are important in any combat sport otherwise a student will soon realise that they are putting their bodies under too much duress.
It is a good idea for students not to learn too much too soon, because if they bite off more than they can chew they can often wind up confusing techniques, and trying to do too much at once. Mastering the art of BJJ means they should be practising a sequence of moves, before they move on to a different sequence. It is important to battle test all movements they learn in BJJ against higher level athletes, and lower ranked athletes, this is so they can achieve proficiency. Learning how to maximise a student's output is extremely important, as all students should be constantly searching for better ways to improve their ability to learn, and practise Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
If you enjoyed this piece, consider checking:
- How to Get Better at Jiu Jitsu at Home
- Can You Practice Jiu Jitsu Alone
- Should I Do Jiu Jitsu
- Mental Benefits of Jiu-Jitsu
- What Do You Call a Jiu Jitsu Teacher
- What Does Jiu Jitsu Teach You
- Jiu Jitsu Moves
- Hardest Jiu Jitsu Move
- Are Bicep Slicers Illegal in BJJ
- Are Neck Cranks Legal in BJJ
- Is Jiu-Jitsu Safe
- Is There Punching in Jiu Jitsu
- Is Jiu-Jitsu a Good Workout
- Does Jiu Jitsu Build Muscle
- Is Jiu-Jitsu a Sport