The Everyday Jiu Jitsu Podcast

The Everyday Jiu Jitsu Podcast Ep 12: BJJ For Beginners

June 28, 2023 Matt Kwan Season 1 Episode 12
The Everyday Jiu Jitsu Podcast
The Everyday Jiu Jitsu Podcast Ep 12: BJJ For Beginners
Show Notes Chapter Markers

This episode is for the beginners! Are you brand new to Jiu Jitsu? Here is a survival handbook just for you. Jiu Jitsu is a complex language, and you will be expected to have full conversations with others even before you can understand any phrases. The consequence of not being able to carry the conversation is you getting pinned and strangled! If you are a newbie to the gentle art, I hope this episode helps you navigate through the beginning of your grappling journey. Enjoy the show!

Picking a gym

-Be honest with your goals and expectations in Jiu Jitsu

-Shop around in your area and take some free trials (assess cost, commute, culture)

-Understand the culture of the gym before joining (recreational, competitive, family)

-Research the instructors and competitors

-Be aware of cult behaviour

-Network yourself in the local BJJ community

What to learn first?

-Understand the basic history of Jiu Jitsu

-Understand how BJJ fits into an actual fight/MMA

-Try both Gi and No Gi

-Emphasize defense; pin and submission escapes

-Develop the core movements

-Understand the rules of Jiu Jitsu

-Learn how to be a good uke

-Study outside of class time

-Ask questions and listen to others

-Learn from higher ranks at the academy

-Identify your weaknesses

Think in systems

Systems are defined as:

1) A set of things working together as parts of a mechanism or an interconnecting network

2) A set of principles or procedures according to which something is done; an organized framework or method.

-Identify your learning style

-Some systems will come more naturally than others based on body type and preference; develop a tokui waza (favourite technique/system)

-Think of how systems fit together in Jiu Jitsu

-Learn each system's critical control points

-Identify common mistakes when learning a system

-Take notes



-Be on time 

-Always be clean for training, trim nails, clean gear (date)

-Be polite and fun to be around

-Work hard and don't complain

What to do:

-Good hygiene

-Be friendly

-Don’t take losing personally

-Train safe; always be in control of your movements

-Embrace discomfort

-Pace yourself

-Ask questions

-Try to use new techniques

-Contribute to your gym

What NOT to do:

-Train to win

-Be spazzy or uncontrolled

-Go 100%

-Rely on strength

-Become the “what if” guy

-Leave a mess behind

-Train with skin infections; staph or ringworm

Let your body acclimatize to training

-Prioritize longevity and recovery

-Listen to your body

-Pace yourself

-Gradually increase training volume

-Create a routine

-Good diet and sleep

-Don’t overdo it


Don’t get discouraged

-It’s supposed to be hard

-Reflect on class afterward

-Try to recall the previous lesson before the next class

-Appreciate difficult training and skilled training partners

-Be grateful for finishing training uninjured

Contact/Support The Show:
Instagram: @theessentialjiujitsupodcast


On Guard Online Academy:

Zara Can Do Jiu Jitsu!

Goals for beginners
Picking an academy
Gym culture
What to learn first
Learning the rules of Jiu Jitsu
Learning to be a good uke
Mental training
Mimic better JJ players
Think in systems
Tokui waza (favourite techniques)
Critical control points
Kaizen mindset
Defeating techniques and common reactions
Your first class/gym etiquette
Do these things
What NOT to do
The “What if?” guy
Clean up after yourself
Letting your body acclimatize to grappling training
Know your body type
Be grateful
Create a routine
Embracing the grind
Our findings with the ecological approach
What I am doing next
A quote from Vincent Van Gogh