A few years ago, Bianca Basílio kindly went on record in issue #259 of Graciemag to offer her ten favorite nuggets of advice for white-belts — the lessons she wished she had learned as a beginner.
Let’s get to ’em.
1. Do not worry. The beginning may appear tough, but in time you will hone your techniques and see the art with different eyes.
2. Don’t torment yourself if you’re doing the positions wrong or can’t execute a maneuver right away. Repeat, repeat and repeat.
3. Don’t have an ego. Go in willing to learn, with no vanity. Always have an open mind.
4. Armor yourself against any type of pressure. Don’t put pressure on yourself to beat that teammate or even win a tourney — not even to develop the best techniques. Have patience and show up to train the following day. Exclude all kinds of psychological pressure coming from friends or family.
5. Jiu-jitsu is fun. When you step on the mat, forget all your problems. Train happy, and all around you will change.
6. Don’t compare yourself. One of the initial mistakes consists of wanting to compare oneself to others. Evolution is individual. Just train!
7. Pain and setbacks will always pop up along the way, from a flat tire to money problems that can get in the way of your desire to practice. Rise above everything and think about the joy of training, above all.
8. Talk to your teachers about your difficulties, share your troubles and, one day, when you’re on top, give back by helping someone who needs it.
9. Strive to fight and train against heavier people. It’s through this kind of challenge that your self-confidence increases and your technique is polished.
10. Have as your goal only the grand objective of becoming better than your present self.