So, you have made the decision. Next Monday you will start training BJJ. You may feel excited about it – you’ve watched some BJJ matches on YouTube and you think that this sport is definitely something that you could enjoy doing. But you may still feel a bit anxious about what BJJ is all about. It’s one thing to look at people doing it and it’s an entirely another thing to do this yourself. That being said, below you will find some of the most important things that you could do in order to survive your first year as a white belt.
BJJ White Belt Tips
This should go without saying – but in our experience, we have come to see many cocky, arrogant people that come to train BJJ. They think that they could just walk in and tap everybody out. If this is you – then we suggest that you change your mentality right now. If you walk into a BJJ gym with an arrogant air around you, then it’s very likely that some of the senior belts will sniff this arrogance of yours out. And nobody really likes arrogant people – this is especially the case in a BJJ gym.
So, you may get smashed by the people more skilled than you. In fact, you will see that even white belts will easily submit you in the beginning. When you come to think of it – BJJ is great for creating humbleness in people. You will see that people that are thirty pounds lighter than you – even girls, if you’re a man – will submit you in dozens of different ways easily.
You’ll want to be humble about it. If people see that you’re an all right person – then they will go gentler with you. They will tell you different moves and techniques that you can use to improve your game. They will tell you about the mistakes that you’re making. So, one of the smartest things that you could do if you wish to improve your BJJ game fast, is to be humble.
Follow your instructors
There are many gyms where people that have gotten a blue belt all of the sudden think themselves as experts. Since you’re the new person in the gym – you may see that you’re swarmed with attention from the blue belts and even the striped white belts. They will tell you about different moves that you can make. Always take their instructions with a grain of salt.
What you should follow instead is your instructor’s advice. Typically, BJJ instructors need to be at the level of a purple belt before they can begin instructing other people. It goes without saying that if you’re at a gym where the head instructor is a blue belt – you may want to consider finding another gym.
Of course, there are always exceptions to every rule – but still, make sure to listen to what your instructor says. The game of BJJ has many different levels. It takes years of experience to see what they are about – they are beyond the knowledge and vision of the striped white belts and the blue belts. If you want to advance your BJJ game, then follow the advice of your instructors and take everything else in with a grain of salt.
Taking care of your body
Many people make the mistake of thinking that BJJ is the only type of exercise that they need. This is not far from the truth, to be honest – BJJ is known to work practically every muscle in your body. But it doesn’t mean that it’s a foolproof form of exercise.
Always try to supplement your BJJ training with a couple of compound exercises here and there. Push-ups, pull-ups, and bodyweight squats are the basic most important exercises that you should do no matter what. If you have a healthy exercise regime – then you will strengthen your body so that it will be able to take the punishment on BJJ classes.
If you don’t supplement your BJJ with other exercises, then your body may break down. This is the most serious thing that you should be aware of. There are far too many people with torn ligaments and herniated disks from BJJ. Always make sure to warm up properly and to keep your body in tip-top shape if you wish to have a long-lasting career in the sport of BJJ.
It may seem like a lot right now – but the truth is that your first year as a white belt will breeze through. You won’t even be aware of the passing of the year – everything will be so new and exciting and you’ll want to learn more and more. The real work starts beyond the white belt. But for now, be sure to follow the advice from above in order to get the most out of your BJJ experience.
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