28 Things I Wish I Knew as a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu White Belt!

When one of my teammates asked me to write down a few things that I’ve learned over the years that I wished I’d known when I was a white belt starting out in BJJ, I thought this would be an easy task.

Unfortunately, it turned out to be tougher to write that I thought it would be.

Why, you may ask?

Well, it wasn’t that I didn’t know what to say.  The issue was how much to stay in such a small space without boring you by typing a book.

And since I’ve been training for almost 14 years, they’re SO MANY things I wish I would’ve known at the beginning of my grappling
journey.

Maybe I’ll take a weekend and write down all the “lessons learned”
during my grappling journey for the OG Nation.

In the meantime, here are 28 things from The Wise Grappler’s “I Wish I Would’ve Known…” List:

– 90 percent of the folks that you start with at white belt will never make it to  black belt
– You will be one of those 90 percent that never reaches black belt unless you really want it
– Injury is 100 percent guaranteed at each belt level, but that shouldn’t stop you from going after your black belt
– Family members will try to talk you into quitting after each injury, especially if surgery is required.  And if you really don’t want to be a black belt, their comments will make sense and you will quit
– Listen to your body and rest when you’re hurt.  BJJ is a marathon race, not a sprint
– There’s a thin line between being hurt and injured. Don’t ignore the warning signs
– BJJ is ALL EGO, regardless of the old “leave your ego at the door” mantra
– Keep a flower pot at the office large enough to soak my sore wrists, hands and elbows during the day and a bathroom trash can for my toes, feet, and ankles at night
– Never train hard without a good warm-up first.  If you’re intentionally skipping warm-ups so you can save energy for your matches, you’re going to pay for it someday
– To not listen to training advice from other white belts over my
instructor
– Everyone online sounds smarter and better equipped to teach you than your instructor that sees you every day
– Too much BJJ info (e.g. DVDs, books, magazines, etc.) is just as bad as not enough BJJ info
– Good grapplers are training, not spending all day posting about who’s the best grappler or where they train
– If you don’t have training goals in the beginning, someone will give you their agenda for what they want you to be and you may not like them
– The grappler that thinks “drilling is a waste of time” will be an average grappler at best
– You don’t have to be at the gym to train
– You can join the best grappling gym in town and still suck if you’re not doing what you need to do on the mat
– Competitions will reveal all your bad habits that you can either hide or ignore in the gym
– Start learning takedowns as a white belt.  that way, you won’t be a  blue/purple/brown belt that can only jump guard or butt scoot
– The paintbrush and every other basic technique that you think is
useless will work if you take time to learn how to set them up and execute them correctly
– If you have to think about doing a technique before you execute it, you don’t know it
– Drill at least 10-15 mins after class every day on the technique you just learned to help reinforce it in your muscle memory
– Trust your coach to build you as a grappler, not strangers that you only talk to online
– White belts don’t have a style, regardless of what they think
– Never let anyone intimidate you on the mat
– Remember to breathe when sparring.  If you run out of gas too quickly every time you roll, you’re probably holding your breath
– Never be afraid to tap with a partner, it’s really not that important
– There are no “magic bullets” to ensure grappling success.  If you want success, commit to a grappling system and put in the mat time necessary to master the system

I’m sure that I could’ve gone on forever, but I’ll have to put my “grappling brain dump” on hold until a later date!

Meditate on these “28 things” and feel free to send me your feedback
at www.TheWiseGrappler.com to let me know how you can use these
tips to make life easier for you on the mat.

One Response to 28 Things I Wish I Knew as a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu White Belt!

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    […]28 Things I Wish I Knew as a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu White Belt! «[…]…

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