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what should white belts focus on

What White Belts Should Focus On

As a beginner in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), it can be daunting to know what you should be focusing on during your training. In this blog post, we'll discuss five important aspects of BJJ that you should prioritise as a white belt.


The Importance of Escapes and Pins

BJJ is a grappling martial art that takes place on the ground. One of the most crucial aspects of the sport is understanding how to escape from bad positions and how to pin your opponent in advantageous positions.


As a beginner, you should focus on learning how to escape from bottom positions like mount, side control, and back mount. These positions give your opponent a lot of control over you, making it difficult for you to move or defend yourself.


By learning and practicing escapes, you can quickly get out of these positions and turn the tables on your opponent.


On the other hand, it's equally important to learn how to pin your opponent. Pins are positions where you control your opponent's movements, restricting their ability to escape or counterattack.


By learning how to maintain positions like mount or side control, you can control the pace of the match and potentially set up submissions.


Try to Relax and Avoid Overusing Strength

One of the most common mistakes that beginners make in BJJ is overusing their strength during training. While it can be tempting to rely on your physical strength to get you through a match, it's not an effective long-term strategy.


BJJ is a sport that relies heavily on leverage, technique, and strategy. As a white belt, it's important to focus on proper technique and not overuse your strength.


By trying to relax and focus on technique, you can conserve your energy and execute moves more efficiently.


Avoid Overtraining and Injury

BJJ is a physically demanding sport that requires a lot of energy and effort. It's important to listen to your body and avoid overtraining, as this can lead to burnout or injury.


As a beginner, it's especially important to warm up properly before each training session and stretch after each session to prevent injuries.


Focus on Fundamental Techniques

BJJ is a complex martial art that offers a wide range of techniques and strategies. As a white belt, it can be overwhelming to try to learn everything at once.


Instead, it's important to focus on fundamental techniques that you'll use most frequently when rolling. For example, closed guard is a fundamental position that allows you to control your opponent while limiting their ability to attack.


Top positions like mount and side control give you the ability to control your opponent's movements, potentially leading to submissions. Learning how to pass your opponent's closed guard or half guard is also crucial to advancing your position and setting up attacks.


Remember that BJJ is a Journey

Finally, it's essential to remember that BJJ is a journey, not a destination. As a white belt, your goal may be to achieve your blue belt, but it's important to enjoy the process and focus on improving your skills.


Consistency is key, and the only way to progress is to keep showing up to training and putting in the effort.


Remember that everyone starts as a beginner, and it's normal to make mistakes and struggle at first. The most important thing is to keep learning, growing, and enjoying the journey.


BJJ is a martial art that requires dedication, patience, and a willingness to learn and improve continuously. As a white belt, it's important to focus on the basics, including escapes, pins, and fundamental techniques like closed guard and top positions.


It's also important to avoid overtraining and injury, try to relax and focus on technique instead of strength, and remember that BJJ is a journey. By prioritising these five aspects, you can set a solid foundation for your BJJ journey and make steady progress towards your goals.


Keep in mind that BJJ is a dynamic and evolving sport, and there is always more to learn and explore. With patience, consistency, and a willingness to learn, you can enjoy the journey and continue to improve your skills in BJJ.



White Belt vs Blue Belt - Breakdown Video



 Top 10 Tips For BJJ White Belts 


 If you're just starting out in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), it can be overwhelming to navigate the intricacies of this martial art. In this section, we'll outline the top 10 tips for BJJ beginners to help you get started on the right foot.


These tips will cover everything from technique to mindset to help you develop a solid foundation in BJJ.


1. Focus on fundamentals: As a beginner, it's important to focus on fundamental techniques such as the closed guard, side control, and mount. These are the building blocks of BJJ and will serve as the foundation for more advanced techniques later on. Don't worry about learning every technique right away, focus on mastering the basics first.


2. Relax and breathe: One of the biggest mistakes beginners make is tensing up and using too much strength during rolling. This not only tires you out quickly but also limits your ability to move and react to your opponent. Focus on staying relaxed and breathing throughout your training. This will help you conserve energy and move more fluidly.


3. Take notes: BJJ is a complex martial art with many techniques to learn. Taking notes after class can help you remember what you learned and make it easier to practice on your own. Be sure to write down the name of the technique, how to perform it, and any key details or variations your instructor mentioned.


4. Find a good training partner: Having a reliable and consistent training partner can make a huge difference in your progress. Look for someone who is around the same skill level as you, reliable, and committed to training. This will make it easier to practice and progress together.


5. Ask questions: Don't be afraid to ask questions if you're unsure about a technique or concept. Your instructor and more experienced training partners are there to help you learn and improve. Asking questions can help clarify any confusion and deepen your understanding of BJJ.


6. Drill, drill, drill: Practice makes perfect. Take the time to drill techniques outside of class, focusing on perfecting your form and movement. This will help you develop muscle memory and make techniques feel more natural and instinctive.


7. Don't rush into competition: While competing can be a great way to test your skills and gain experience, it's important to not rush into it too soon. Take the time to develop a solid foundation in the basics before considering competition.


8. Embrace the journey: BJJ is a long and challenging journey. Embrace the process of learning and improving, and don't get too caught up in the outcome. Remember that progress takes time and patience, and enjoy the small victories along the way.


9. Stay consistent: Consistency is key when it comes to progress in BJJ. Make sure to attend classes regularly and stick to a consistent training schedule. This will help you develop good habits and make steady progress.


10. Have fun: Last but not least, remember to have fun! BJJ is a challenging but rewarding martial art that can be enjoyed for a lifetime. Focus on enjoying the process of learning and improving, and don't forget to have fun along the way.


Example: Let's say you're a beginner working on the closed guard. Your instructor shows you how to set up a cross choke from the closed guard position.


After class, you take some notes on the technique and ask your training partner if they'd be willing to drill it with you. You spend some time practicing the technique, focusing on perfecting your form and getting the movement down.


Over time, you start to feel more comfortable with the technique and are able to execute it more fluidly during rolling. As you progress, you start to explore different variations of the cross choke and learn how to set it up from different positions.


Throughout this process, different opponents will give you different reactions along with different defences. This is where you will start to be able to build on putting your combination attacks together. 


Example: As you may be setting up your cross collar choke from your closed guard. One opponent might try to posture up, leaving their arm exposed for a straight arm bar.


Where another opponent might try to break your cross collar grip that leaves them exposed for a triangle choke set up, where they end up getting caught with one in and the other out between your legs, an this is where Jiu Jitsu gets fun. Being able to start to blend different techniques together.    



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Are BJJ Instructional's Worth It? 


Finding the Right Balance for Progression

Introduction: In the world of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), instructional videos have become increasingly popular as a resource for learning and improving techniques.


However, for beginners, the abundance of information can be overwhelming, leading to confusion and hindered progress.


In this section of the blog, we will explore the value of BJJ instructional's, while emphasising the importance of a balanced approach to maximise learning and growth.


  1. Focus on Specific Techniques: One effective strategy is to select a single technique or a set of related moves from an instructional video and focus on mastering them. Rather than attempting to absorb too much information at once, this approach allows for in-depth study and practice. By breaking down complex movements into manageable pieces, you can build a solid foundation and gradually expand your repertoire.


Example: Choose a specific guard pass technique from an instructional video, practice it repeatedly during training sessions, and seek guidance from your instructor to understand the underlying principles and nuances.


  1. Seek Guidance from Instructors: While instructional videos provide valuable visual demonstrations, they lack the personalised feedback and correction that a qualified instructor can offer. To enhance your progress, actively engage with your instructor by seeking clarification on techniques and asking why certain details are emphasised. This interaction ensures proper understanding and application of the techniques learned from videos.


Example: During class, demonstrate the technique you've been working on from the instructional video and ask your instructor for guidance, adjustments, and additional insights.


  1. Importance of a Training Partner: Having a reliable training partner who can provide appropriate reactions and resistance is crucial for effective learning. Practicing techniques with a partner who understands the desired responses helps create realistic scenarios and facilitates skill development. Choose a partner who is committed to mutual growth and collaboration.


Example: Pair up with a dedicated training partner who is willing to drill and experiment with the techniques from the instructional videos, providing realistic resistance and feedback.


  1. Balancing Fancy Techniques with Fundamentals: While it can be enticing to explore flashy and advanced techniques, beginners should prioritise building a solid foundation of fundamental moves. Technical mastery and proficiency in basics lay the groundwork for further progression. Focus on developing a strong understanding of core concepts and essential positions before delving into more complex manoeuvres.


Example: Prioritise mastering fundamental positions like mount, guard, and side control, along with their corresponding escapes and transitions, before venturing into intricate submissions or advanced guards.


  1. Online Training Platforms and Ongoing Progression: Beyond standalone instructional videos, online training platforms can offer structured curricula and progression paths. Platforms like the Jiu Jitsu Grappling Members area provide systematic learning with different stages, allowing students to progress gradually and receive personalised guidance throughout their journey.


Example: Utilise the Jiu Jitsu Grappling Members area, where students can access a structured curriculum, receive assistance, and track their progress as they advance through different stages of their jiu jitsu journey.


Conclusion: While instructional videos have their merits, finding the right balance is key. Supplementing your training with instructional videos can enhance your knowledge, but it should never replace the importance of in-person training with experienced coaches and higher-level training partners.


By focusing on specific techniques, seeking guidance from instructors, training with dedicated partners, and maintaining a strong foundation, you can maximise the benefits of instructional videos while ensuring well-rounded growth in your BJJ journey. 


Best Submission Moves? 


The Top 5 Submissions

As a white belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, it's crucial to develop a strong foundation in fundamental techniques, especially when it comes to submission holds.


Mastering these basic submissions will not only build your confidence but also provide you with effective tools to control and submit your opponents.


Here are the top five essential submission holds for white belts, along with guidance on how to set them up:


1. Rear Naked Choke: The rear naked choke is a highly effective submission from the back position. To set it up, start by securing your back control with hooks and establishing a seat belt grip around your opponent's waist.


From there, slide your choking arm under their chin and secure a tight grip by clasping your own bicep or grabbing your shoulder. Apply pressure by squeezing your arms together and driving your chest forward.


2. Triangle Choke: The triangle choke is a versatile submission that can be executed from various positions, including the guard and mount. To set it up, control your opponent's posture by gripping their collar and one of their arms.


With one leg over their shoulder and the other leg across their neck, lock your legs together and adjust the angle to create pressure on their carotid arteries and airway.


3. Armbar: The armbar is a staple submission that targets the arm joint, particularly the elbow. To set it up, control your opponent's arm by securing their wrist and isolating it from their body.


From there, step your leg over their head and place your foot on their hip to prevent them from stacking you. With a firm grip on their arm, extend your hips and bring their arm into hyperextension, forcing them to submit.


4. Guillotine Choke: The guillotine choke is an effective submission that targets the neck. To set it up, start by wrapping your arm around your opponent's neck while controlling their head.


Secure your grip by interlacing your hands or grabbing your own bicep. Use your body positioning and leverage to apply pressure on their neck, either from a standing position or from the guard.


5. Kimura Lock: The Kimura lock is a joint lock that targets the shoulder joint. To set it up, control your opponent's arm by gripping their wrist and isolating it from their body.


Apply downward pressure on their wrist while securing their upper arm with your other hand. Rotate their arm towards their back, causing a painful shoulder lock and forcing them to submit.


Remember, while these explanations provide a general overview, proper technique and practice are essential for executing these submissions effectively and safely. If you find yourself struggling with any of these techniques or want more guidance, I highly recommend referring to the Jiu Jitsu Grappling Members area.


It offers comprehensive resources, including detailed tutorials, troubleshooting tips, and personalised assistance to help you progress through different stages of your jiu jitsu journey.


Keep in mind that consistent training, under the guidance of experienced instructors, is invaluable for mastering these submissions.


Practice with focus, attend classes regularly, and seek feedback from your coaches and training partners to refine your technique and deepen your understanding of these essential submissions.


BJJ Submissions For Beginners - Blog


Does Competing At BJJ Make You Better?


If you're a white belt in Jiu Jitsu, you might be wondering whether competing is worth it or not. Competing in Jiu Jitsu can certainly make you a better practitioner, but it's important to not rush into it if you're just starting out.


In this section of the blog, we'll explore why competing can benefit your Jiu Jitsu journey, as well as when it's best to start competing.


Firstly, competing can help you identify your weaknesses and strengths. When you're rolling in class, you may have certain techniques that work well for you against your training partners.


However, in a competition setting, you'll be facing opponents who may be more experienced or skilled than your regular training partners. This can help you identify techniques that don't work as well for you, and areas of your game that need improvement.


 Additionally, competing can also help you learn how to handle nerves and adrenaline, which can be a useful skill to have both on and off the mats.


That being said, it's important to not rush into competition if you're just starting Jiu Jitsu. It's recommended that you train for at least 3-6 months before considering competing.


This allows you to get a solid foundation in the fundamental techniques and get comfortable with rolling before testing yourself in a competition setting.


Additionally, it's important to learn the rules for the event you're entering and train specifically for that event. This will help you feel more confident and prepared going into the competition.


However, as you progress in Jiu Jitsu, it's important to compete at each belt level. This allows you to test your skills against opponents of similar skill levels, and gives you the opportunity to earn recognition for your hard work and progress.


Additionally, competing at each belt level can help you set goals and milestones for your Jiu Jitsu journey, which can help keep you motivated and focused on your training.


One thing to keep in mind when competing is that it's important to not get too caught up in the outcome. While winning can certainly be a great feeling, it's important to remember that Jiu Jitsu is ultimately a journey, not a destination.


Even if you don't win a match, you can still learn valuable lessons and gain experience that will help you improve in the long run.


In conclusion, competing in Jiu Jitsu can certainly make you a better practitioner, but it's important to approach it with the right mindset and not rush into it if you're just starting out.


Take the time to train and get comfortable with rolling before considering competition, and make sure to learn the rules and train specifically for the event you're entering.


As you progress in Jiu Jitsu, make sure to compete at each belt level to test your skills and set goals for your journey. With a consistent and focused training approach, you can make steady progress and enjoy the many benefits of Jiu Jitsu competition



Blue Belt Vs Black Belt - Match Breakdown



I hope you all enjoyed this blog and if you would like to learn more about  jiu jitsu. Go to Jiu Jitsu Grapplings members area. Which has a free trial, with hundreds of different videos and courses. 


Also head to my Youtube Page for more videos or even follow me on social media


About the author: Gavin Hain has been training, competing, and teaching martial arts for over 26 years.


He is a coach on the Gold Coast Australia, who holds a 2nd Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, along with many other martial art ranks.



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