Many believe that Joe Rogan is one of the most influential figures in the world of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. While Rogan is a legitimate BJJ black belt, he doesn’t have any World Championships or EBI belts to his name. Rogan is however a vocal supporter of BJJ as a key component of a complete MMA fighter in his role as color commentator and announcer for the UFC.
A certain percentage of new students walk through the doors of a BJJ academy for the first time because of their interest in MMA. They have little interest in competing in IBJJF tournaments and are dubious at best on the usefulness of the go, which is understandable.
The gym that I teach BJJ at is first and foremost a kickboxing gym. For a brand new student, these are two of the tools to dip your toe in the pool of MMA training.
One new student recently explained, “I’m mostly interested in MMA. I do the boxing/muay thai classes here and some of the crossfit classes. I know that I need some BJJ also.”
He then asked, “Is one BJJ class per week enough?”
The short answer is no.
I have a ton of respect for MMA fighters. There are so many factors necessary to be a complete fighter and each of those disciplines on its own is challenging!
I’m biased as a 20+ years BJJ addict, but I also recognize that an aspiring fighter needs to be putting in at least the equivalent training hours in a week on their striking and include some strength conditioning in there too. That is a heck of a load on your body every week and you have to allow adequate time for recovery in between tough sessions.
All that said, you aren’t going to get good at any skill that you only practice once per week.
A) There are a lot of different positions and basic techniques in each of those respective positions. At the training frequency of one session per week, it would take you a LONG time to even see most of the basic moves.
B) You just aren’t going to get in the reps to burn the fundamental movements into your muscle memory. Sure, I can show you the triangle choke, but performing enough reps for your body to efficiently execute it is quite another story!
3) By far the most common issue, is that you will forget your moves when under pressure.