It can take more than 10 years to earn the coveted BJJ black belt, and it is rare to meet a black belt without keen insight into persevering throughout the journey.
The Jiu-Jitsu Times has featured many interviews in the series “Off the Mat with a BJJ Black Belt” with competitors and instructors who shared advice on their philosophy, training, and attitude.
Here are some excerpts to instruct and insprire.
Have fun … Enjoy the ride and learn it from it . There is always something to learn from Martial Arts in general. The message it’s simple … You don’t quit what you started! Life it’s going to tap you!
You can be mad or sad but you don’t stop playing the game …suck it up and get ready for the next training session!
Because Jiu-Jitsu is all about hugging tight and lifetime friendships! 🤗🙏🏾 📸 by: @shawna.rodgers . . . O Jiu-Jitsu é isso… Abraços apertados e amizades para a vida toda! Eu amo o meu trabalho! 🤗❤️ #bjj #brazil021 #brazil021chicago #friendships #believeandachieve #jiujitsu #jiujitsugirls #jiujitsuestilodevida #bjjlifestyle #bjjfriends #togetherwearestronger #juntossomosfortes #love #loveiseverything #amor #positividade
I think the biggest things for me were:
1. Never focus on your opponent’s strongest techniques, or trying to counter them, you have to focus on your strongest positions and how to apply them effectively. Of course I am not saying you should not pay attention to your opponents strengths, and most dangerous techniques, but more like, pushing your game all the time.
2. Drilling/practicing the techniques is one the most important things for a successful competitor.
3. Discipline and commitment with everything you do.
4. Faith (Have faith in you and in your training) Be confident with the victory.
They refused to play his National anthem. They refused to flyer his Country's flag. They could not stop him from training. They could not stop him from competing (thxs IJF). They could not stop his gold medal. They could not stop him from singing about hope! #Repost @talflicker (@get_repost) ・・・ Another day #judo #life
The strategy is to take out all of your physical attributes and your physicality. And #1 master defensive skill sets before the pursuit of offense. Your muscle memory will come with time on the mat where you’re doing much less and seeing much more even with your eyes closed. One thing you can explore is challenge and test your basic techniques with common resistance by your training partner. See have well you can do a simple technique against the struggle of a stronger person without doing a position transition to another jiu jitsu technique or the use of physical attitudes.
The testing is a step toward the path of better execution regardless of how your professor or his professor taught the technique. This a way to get you to start question the technique that were originally taught to you. We should always be questioning through some form of challenge or testing.
The best advice that John Danaher gave me is to continually have intentionality in jiu-jitsu; in the immediate term, intentionality of movement, every grip, every set up must have a clear purpose. In the longer term to always have focused goals for your skill. The advice I have for women new to jiu-jitsu is, take it seriously if you want to be taken seriously.
When you're on the mats as much as I am with BJJ and @ginasticanatural it pays to have good knee pads/braces. These are some of the best I've ever tried "never tap" by @nevertapgear . They were recommended to me by fellow black belt @jakesnakeryan and if you want to get a pair use the Code SNAKE for 25% off 👊🏽– 📷 @m_pang and photo bomb by @mahinamaeda 😂
Best advice that I can give is to keep training smart and try not to get hurt. Training smart and with a good instructor will help you greatly. One thing that worked for me and helped me a lot was an advice that Master Royler gave me a long time ago, he said to train with lighter and less advanced guys so you could learn and perfect the moves.
If you only go against top people you cannot learn any new moves and get frustrated.It was hard for me because I was one of the lightest in the academy but every chance I had I’d searched people that were less experienced than me and if there was someone light I would seek them 🙂
It’s vital to find a teacher who really cares about your progress. You’ll know one when you see one – he will put his heart and soul into his teaching and not be sitting on his phone during the class. This alone can make the difference between consistent progress and disillusionment.
When asking your instructor questions – have a scenario ready. Don’t ask, “What am I doing wrong?” It’s really vague and difficult to answer. When you’re being taught a technique do it more than 3x. Really try to do it exactly as your instructor does it. After you are able to do it in training against someone, at least, at your level then you can start adding variations.
Yes I have a few pieces of advice that I know were crucial to me. First is try not to muscle or force things, if you feel like something is requiring a lot of effort then either the timing is off or the technique is off. Remember everything we do is supposed to work against someone who is bigger and stronger.
With jiu-jitsu its all about using your opponents energy and movements against them so even against a strong person things should feel easy because they should be helping you. Try to relax more in training… it might be difficult to do at first because of fear but remember whats the wort thing that can happen? You tap and start over… Relaxing allows you to be more sensitive and feel your opponents movements better, it also allows you to react quicker.
Be more focused on learning instead of winning. The ego always wants us to win. Many times you will be stuck in situations where you feel you need to use power to either escape or finish. Powering through moves teaches you nothing, just that you need to use more energy or strength but again this strategy will not work for you against a bigger opponent or when you’re tired. If it doesn’t work without using strength and power don’t do it.
Be focused on learning the technique and having things feel effortless, that’s when you know you’re doing things right. When you’re more concerned with winning then learning you lose.
Had a blast supporting women in jiujitsu with my wife and the @jiujitsusisterhood yesterday at the Rickson Gracie cup. I made tons of new friends and really enjoyed the BJJ camaraderie. Love being a part of this great community! #oss #originmaine #trapandrollsoap #peopleputty #spiderninja #stayalpha #q5 #originbjj
The ego is a tricky thing and it serves it’s purpose… but ultimately you want to stay ON the mats! Almost every injury I’ve had in my BJJ career had more to do with my ego or someone else’s than a technical BJJ mistake I made.
So remember, surviving is always the goal. Whether you are defending yourself on the streets or having a tough match at BJJ…survival is always the goal. Remember, he who fights and walks away lives to fight another day.
It’s okay to tap and it’s okay to let go of a submission and move on when someone else isn’t willing to tap!
While we must remember a martial arts Academy is a place for respect, it is also a place for fun. I am only Professor Tom on the mats, the moment we step off the mats I am just Tom. I'm going to joke with you, bust your chops, make you smile. Jiu-Jitsu needs to be a positive in your life, make sure when you walk through your Academy doors that is what you feel. WE HAVE FUN DAMMIT!!!
My advice is simple. Stay disciplined when your motivation fails. Don’t get too down on yourself. There will be good days and days you are frustrated. Keep pushing. Keep showing up. Every week.
What is the best advice that you have been given about training jiu-jitsu?