A beginners guide for building discipline in BJJ, by Juan Pablo Garcia *

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Starting Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can be an exciting yet challenging journey. As a beginner, the best thing you can do is to focus on showing up and building discipline. Here’s how to get started on the right foot and ensure steady progress.

Show Up Consistently

One of the most critical aspects of beginning BJJ is simply showing up. Consistency is key. No matter how motivated you feel at the start, there will be days when you might feel tired or unmotivated. On these days, remind yourself that the simple act of showing up is a victory in itself. Aim to train at least twice a week. This regularity will help you build a solid foundation and keep you moving forward.

Control What You Can

In BJJ, as in life, there are things you can control and things you cannot. As a beginner, focus on what you can control:Attendance: Commit to your training schedule. Make it a non-negotiable part of your week.Effort: Put in your best effort every time you step on the mat. It’s not about being the best; it’s about doing your best.Attitude: Maintain a positive and open-minded attitude. Every class is an opportunity to learn and grow.

Start Slow and Build Up

It’s tempting to dive in headfirst and try to train as much as possible. However, starting slow and gradually building up your training frequency and intensity is crucial. Overtraining can lead to burnout and injuries. Instead, focus on:

* Pacing Yourself: Begin with a manageable training schedule and increase it gradually as your body adapts.

* Recovery: Allow your body to rest and recover. This includes getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, and listening to your body’s signals

Professor Juan Pablo Garcia is on a mission to bring the positive impact of Jiu-Jitsu to as many people as possible. Photo: Reproduction

Professor Juan Pablo Garcia is on a mission to bring the positive impact of Jiu-Jitsu to as many people as possible. Photo: Reproduction

Embrace the Learning Process

Progress in BJJ is not always linear. Some days, you will feel like you’ve made significant strides, while other days might be more challenging. Embrace this learning process. Understand that every class, whether good or bad, contributes to your overall growth. Celebrate small victories and learn from setbacks.

Develop a Routine

Creating a routine can help you build discipline and make training a habit. Here are some tips:

* Set Specific Goals: Having clear, achievable goals can keep you motivated. Whether it’s mastering a particular technique or improving your fitness, set targets to work towards.

* Prepare Your Gear: Keep your training gear ready to go. This reduces the chances of skipping a class because you’re unprepared.

* Track Your Progress: Maintain a training journal to document what you’ve learned, your strengths, and areas for improvement. This can be a powerful tool for self-reflection and growth.

Find a Support System

Having a support system can make a significant difference in your BJJ journey. This can be:

* Training Partners: Build connections with your training partners. They can offer encouragement, share tips, and make training more enjoyable.

* Instructors: Don’t hesitate to ask your instructors for advice and feedback. They can provide valuable insights and help you improve faster.

Building discipline and making progress in BJJ takes time. Stay patient and persistent. Remember that every black belt was once a white belt who never gave up. Trust the process, keep showing up, and you will see improvements over time.

Starting BJJ is an exciting adventure that requires dedication and discipline. By focusing on showing up consistently, controlling what you can, starting slow, embracing the learning process, developing a routine, finding a support system, and staying patient, you can build a strong foundation for success in BJJ. Keep at it, and you’ll find that not only will your skills improve, but you’ll also develop a resilient mindset that will benefit you both on and off the mat.

Looking forward to sharing the mats with you sometime!

* Juan Pablo Garcia is head instructor at EDJ School of Jiu-Jitsu. Learn more about him at WWW.EDJASSOCIATION.com.

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