HOW TO BUILD YOUR BJJ GAME
“What do I need to do to improve my Bjj?” This is a question that I hear from a lot of students on their Jiu-jitsu journey. Which is totally understandable when you look at the massive combination of mental and physical skills required to be good at BJJ.
But where to start?
PHYSICAL SKILL DEVELOPMENT:
Without the physical ability to move well there are no skills of any kind. By making it easier to move you can acquire all these weird and wonderful new BJJ skills quicker accelerating your learning and practice of the art.
Start with Mobility: Human life conditions us to sit. This is one of the single biggest issues facing humans is that we mould our bodies into these weakened shapes then expect to perform like Olympic gymnast without any problems. To unlock our bodies we need to re-educate it in how to move. This requires us to do daily activities that will ultimately mean we have healthier lives with greater longevity but also much better BJJ.
Then Get Strong! The sheer combative nature of BJJ means you will have someone cranking your joints the wrong way. This requires your joints to be strong. The best way to do this is with a systematic approach to strengthening your whole body. This requires a combination of body weight and externally weighted exercises. This enables you to control your body and also deal with the external load of another human trying to strangle you. Not only does this help you control your opponent but helps protect you from potential injury.
TECHNICAL SKILL DEVELOPMENT:
A great coach once said to me “If it was you VS you in a serious roll who would win? The you playing Guard OR the you playing Top Game? Which part of your game is stronger? Which ever part of your game is weakest is what you need to work on.” This has been some of the best advice I have received in my BJJ career.
You may not know where you need to improve as you may feel like your game is quite well rounded or equally terrible across the board. This is where having a proper chat with your coach can really help. Paying for a private lesson is another great way for your coach to have a closer look at your game to give you the direction you need to improve your specific game.
Skill practice= Drilling All complex skills can be broken down into their smaller parts to be better understood. Each isolated skill requires practice to master it. Once each part is understood and you are able to put these parts together, the practice of sequencing and creating fluid transitions leads to a repeatable process to move you toward mastery. Skill practice requires regular repetition to move the skill from your conscious mind to your subconscious mind where it will become instinctive. To achieve this you must DRILL.
Don’t Repeat Your Mistakes: This statement holds as true for everything in life as it does for BJJ. The biggest thing that will move you forward is identifying your mistakes and fixing them. This will allow you to move to the next series of problems and mistakes that will inevitably come. New mistakes are good! This results in new learning and ultimately greater Jiu-jitsu development. A great way to do this is to film your rolls and analyse them with your coach later on to see where you can adjust and fix the holes in your game.