The Trick to Progressing in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

The Trick to Progressing in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is easily one of the toughest things to progress in.  BJJ has one of the toughest learning curves in the world and this is what makes the dropout rate so high.   So is there any way to progress faster than others?  It is difficult to answer this question, but in short, there are specific ways of training that can help you progress.  Check out our article “White to Blue, the most important step.”

The best way to progress is to just get as much mat time as possible, but that is the obvious way to progress.  Are there anyways to progress if you only train a few times a week? Yes, the trick to getting good at bjj quickly is to develop a game.  What does develop a game mean?

Developing a game means getting good at a specific set of moves quickly and focusing on a few things.  Basically, you want to adapt the philosophy Bruce Lee implements, “I fear the man who has practiced one kick ten thousand times more than the man that has practiced a ten thousand kicks once.”  Basically work the same positions over and over.

Finding Your Game

Finding your game can be the most important part of BJJ, but also the most difficult.  When you are a fresh white belt you don’t know much so it is difficult to progress quickly, you can start to see a more rapid progression in the blue belt level because you can pick and choose what moves are working for you and constantly use them.

Let’s look at some examples of high level black belts that have very specific games that they constantly implement.  Bernardo Faria is a 5x Black Belt World Champion who has a very specific set of techniques that he uses over and over again.  His opponent’s know what he is trying to do but still can’t stop it.  Bernardo likes to play half guard and use his trademark over under pass.

Another legendary competitor who is famous for his simplicity is Marcelo Garcia.  Marcelo always plays butterfly guard, X-guard, and single leg x.  Although his opponent’s know what he is doing, they can’t seem to stop it.  This is because he has done these positions so many times that he has seen every reaction possible.  This is the trick to advancing fast. 

If you always try and play a specific guard you will see all of the reactions to it from different people, check out this video below of Bernardo Faria discussing how many people doing BJJ feel after their first 6 months.

Also, if you want to learn some tricks to progressing quickly, check out this DVD Set, “The Lower Belt Prescription.”  This is an excellent resource for anybody struggling to understand bjj and trying to put together a game.