I’ve been asked many times ”What do you need to do to be successful in BJJ?”. Well, there are quite a few things you’ll need to do. Turning up to train is a given. Being clean, adhering to the rules, and being consistent, are all general behaviours we should adopt. However, there are things that I believe are crucial, so I have compiled my own 3 Golden Rules that you need to do to get the best out of BJJ.
Rule No. 1
Sounds silly, but you must remember to breathe! Have you ever wondered why the upper belts seem to never run out of steam? It’s because they are calm, focused, and breathing! There have been many occasions where I’ve pulled the old Matrix quote out of the bag, ”You think that’s air you’re breathing… hmmm…”!
If you rush, become frantic and lose your composure, the likelihood is that your breathing will speed up, and you’ll quickly ‘gas’. The second you run out of air is usually the second you start losing. If you can’t breathe, you can’t think, can’t think… you lose. Rickson Gracie has said this many times – check this video with Kron Gracie.
Stay calm, stay focused, and control your mind. This will help with controlling your breathing. Do this, and you’ll already be one step ahead of your peers.
Rule No. 2
Not Comfy? MOVE.
At one point or another (we’ve all been there), we’ll use the following phrase ”oh, just tap me, just do it”.
What does this mean, though?
Simply put – ‘kill me’ or ‘just break my arm’… if you are not comfortable, particularly at the beginning of your BJJ journey, just wiggling could be the difference between someone letting go or holding on. If you are comfortable, then you can probably afford some time, not comfy, then move, do something, anything, to get the person off you. This could make the difference between success and failure.
Rule No. 3
Create space but do not give it away.
So this needs a little more attention, but it is really important that we don’t get into the habit of being careless.
We need to manoeuvre and manipulate our opponent, which means you’ll have to create space to get into or get out of positions. If you create space for your benefit, then awesome, but if you accidentally create it or don’t capitalise quickly enough, you’ll be giving it away, and anyone who is experienced enough will take it!
This could be costly to your match, so make sure you aren’t being careless with your attacks or defence.
These are my 3 Golden Rules – what’s yours? Would you add any extra? These are meant for beginners, so there will be loads more, but if you start with breathing, moving when you are uncomfortable, and creating space for your benefit, but not giving it away, I think you’ll be a winner!
Featured image credits to Embed from Getty Images