Jiu-Jitsu is a Martial Arts with unlimited possibilities and can be overwhelming at the beginning. Like everything you start learning it will get better with time but in BJJ every time you start understanding a techniques it open another universe of opportunities so is important when you get started to have a clear path and focus in the correct hierarchy of techniques, I mean you need to learn some techniques before others.
Most people focus on submissions first but don’t know how to control the positions or how to even get there to begin with, this can lead to a lot of frustration and a lot of times people end up quitting before getting to the good part of BJJ, also not having a hierarchy of techniques and no focus will make your learning curve much longer.
Here are some things you can focus to get started:
Basic Solo Drills: This are the movements you typically do at the beginning of classes to warm up like: hip escapes, bridges, technical bridges, front and back rolls, break-falls. Learning how to move your body will help you get familiar with BJJ movements and understand how to perform technique better.
Defense: When you start training you will find yourself been mounted, side mounted, having people taking your back or getting submitted from someones guard and if you don’t know how to defend (been safe in this positions) and escape from there to improve your position, you will spend a lot of energy trying to force your way out and getting exhausted, tapped and not being able to train for long period of time.
(NOTE: I recommend if you are new to Jiu-Jitsu that you spend the first 2 to 4 months focusing in the fundamentals classes and learning all the basics. At my school beginners have to get to at least the second stripe on their white belt to be invited to a more advance class where they roll more, this is super important so you can enjoy Jiu Jitsu longer, trust me don’t rush it and be patient, the good part is coming but you have to prepare your body and mind for the long journey.)
Escaping Basic Positions: So in order to start constructing your game you first need to get comfortable been in bad spots, meaning that you are able to not get tap in this spots and then been able to escape and recover your guard or come on the top to a better position. I recommend you learn and master 2 or 3 escapes from each of this basic positions:
– Front Mount: Can be UPA escape, elbow escape, hipe escape.
– Back Mount: Under-hook escape, over-hook escape.
– Side Control: Replacing guard, going to turtle , and back door escape.
– Headlock: This is common in self defense situation but it will also happen in training and there is 2 or 3 fundamentals escapes you should know.
– Half Guard: Depending on your body type you will use half guard as your main guard and attack position but in general a good guard passer will look to force half guard also know as half pass, to smash and pass your guard so you should learn to replace your full guard from here and also going to the back.
With this you have a lot to work to get started, I say it before but is important to repeat, make sure to leave your ego outside the academy.
Everyone is trying to learn and getting tap is not personal, you are trying to do the same to your training partners. Build good relationships with them so you both can trust each other and enjoy more the process.
In the next lessons I will show you the techniques I was talking about to escape this positions of control that your partner will try to get to be able to submit you.