5 tips for beginners from BJJ coach Thiago Steffuniti

Here are my 5 tips for beginners starting BJJ.

Attendance

As with a lot of things – turning up is half the battle! To accelerate the speed of your progression, it is important to make it to as many sessions as your schedule allows. If you miss one session, don’t write off the week.

You can’t learn everything in your first month

It takes the average person, two years to reach blue belt, and around ten years of continuous training to reach black belt. While there are certainly exceptions to these timelines, nobody reaches blue belt in their first week – even Travis Stevens‘ incredible progression took a few weeks from white to blue! Focus on what is shown in class, consolidating the fundamental positions and movements – giving you a strong foundation of knowledge to build upon.

Tap! Don’t snap or nap

Like in the striking arts, you should keep yourself safe at all times. An injury from a non-tap can take you out for a long time, halting your progress. It is important to learn your limits. Training with competent teammates is essential to your progress.

Control Yourself

We usually compete in different weight divisions, but at training we encourage training with different body shapes and sizes. If you find yourself training with a smaller or weaker training partner, dial your strength back a bit. By taking strength out of the equation, it will allow you to focus on the technique. When you return to training/competing against someone of the same size, if not larger, you will have the tools to combat a strength discrepancy.

Play to your strengths

While it is important to learn and absorb as much as you can in your early months, it is also important to learn what your style is. You may be a natural open guard player, a pressure passer, or any other positional/technique type player. You will find ‘your game’ through your white to purple belt progression. A good fighter is one who understands his/her own body.

Thiago Steffuniti Third degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt

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