5 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Bjj

Very often, I get the question from students: “I feel like my progress is slow. How can I get better faster?” Good question and one that does not have a quick and easy answer! here is NO “get rich quick” equivalent in training jiu-jitsu, BUT there are some good practices that maximize a student’s progress.

read also: Ideas to Improve Your “A Game”

Here are 5 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Bjj

1) Get on the mat regularly!

Many students do not have an accurate idea of how often they are ACTUALLY training. If you ask them “How many times were you in class THIS week?” I will hear an evasive answer like “USUALLY I am here every day,..BUT this last week was busy because of….” Take your own attendance and be honest with yourself about how often you are ON THE MAT.

2) Be in good physical condition

For most serious students of bjj, they supplement their mat time with outside conditioning. You need to be in good physical condition to roll for multiple rounds.
Run, weight training, power yoga, kettle bells, swim…do that little extra to make sure you are in good enough physical condition to train with good energy and intensity. Many of the most gifted and naturally talented athletes I have trained with have ALSO been the biggest fitness fanatics outside of the academy.


3) Have a training focus

Especially for those students who have several years of experience on the mat.  They should have an awareness of their game and identify what they should be working on.
Fixing a hole in their game or concentrating and drilling a pass, sweep or submission for several weeks to get it into your game. Try picking one specific technique or position and devoting 1 month to it. This is more expedient than training in a haphazard manner with little focus.

4) Be a student of the game

There are abundant resources for the student of jiu-jitsu to get more details and tips on whatever their area of focus is. I wanted to get some new ideas about different mehods of how to attack a kimura.

  • I watched multiple videos on Youtube by high level instructors to get their tips
  • I asked my head instructor at the end of class for his position specific advice
  • I asked other class mates who I knew were proficient in the kimura attack for what they understood about the position. Even lower belts than you will often have a solid knowledge of their favorite position. don’t be shy to ask them!


5) Nutrition

This is so easy to overlook and often is under recognized as an important factor in bjj. Master Carlos Gracie Jr. is known to pay close attention to his diet by consuming natural, unprocessed foods and following the Gracie Diet.
Most of us know what we should be eating and that fast foods, sugary sodas and candy bars are not good for us. If we are making extra demands on our bodies, we also have to ensure that we are putting quality fuel in our machines.

Read this Gracie Barra article on how to eat better for bjj:5 Ways to Eat Better
Credits: Mark Mullen 
Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam
Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ