Avoid These Bad Habits

Your jiu-jitsu can be subject to the same tendencies at times. Let’s take a moment to remind ourselves about some BJJ bad habits.

1) Skipping the warmups
Showing up a few minutes late to class and jumping right into the training is tempting for some students. The warm up is the least favorite part of the jiu-jitsu class and skipping the warm up seems harmless.

However the body needs adequate preparation before physical activity to reduce any risk of injury. Most of the stories I hear from people who incurred a training injury go something like this : “I was running a little late for class so I just put on my gi and started rolling on the mat when I felt a….”

Don’t skip the warm up!

2) Neglecting the basics
YouTube jiu-jitsu videos are frequently criticized primarily for the reason that some students are drawn to the flashy, advanced sports techniques. Which in itself is not negative, but it is negative if a newer student ignores the more important basic techniques.

I have observed some 1st year students who showed some nice movements in berimbolo, reverse De la Riva guard and rolling back takes but…when asked to demonstrate a basic self defense technique to escape the headlock on.the ground they had zero idea.

By all means, explore the advanced positions in jiu-jitsu, but don’t neglect the basic techniques which form the foundation of a complete jiu-jitsu.

3) Never training takedowns
Training take downs is challenging – especially if your training from the beginning did not include standup technique. Gracie Barra classes have a portion devoted to learning takedowns every class but many bjj schools rarely practice takedowns.

Starting sparring from the knees is all many students know and they have to admit that they have little knowledge about how to execute a proper takedown. In a tournament they tense up in an unfamiliar phase of grappling.

Drill a select few takedown techniques to the point where you have confidence. Start at least some of your rolling rounds from the feet to get comfortable with the stand up portion of the match.

What are some bad habits that you observe in the academy?

See also on Gracie Barra : Advice For White Belts


Credits: Mark Mullen
Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam
Instagram: @bjjmarkmullen