Ten Years in BJJ, Ten Takeaways

In June 2018, I will have trained Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for exactly 10 years. In honor of that, I wanted to take a moment and reflect on a few tips that might help you reach your Jiu Jitsu goals! 


  1. BJJ is difficult. I estimate that i’ve rolled with nearly 1000 people, and only a fraction of those are currently active. It’s hard to continually lose, but putting your ego/expectations aside can set you up for a longer and more enjoyable experience.
  2. Most classes you feel better after you’ve trained. If you are on the edge, just go!
  3. Every class you learn a lesson. Even if it was that you suck that day. These days get fewer and farther between, which is what you’ll need to keep reminding yourself. 
  4. Brazil is amazing, and everyone should visit at least once! The views, people, and energy are contagious. You will return refreshed!
  5. Go into each class with a mini goal. “I won’t let anyone grab my collar.” “I will try to pull guard on everyone.” Setting achievable goals can help you feel successful after each class, or at least learn something along the way that needs improvement.
  6. Lift weights outside of BJJ. Lifting helps keep you active, healthy, and balanced. As you progress, your BJJ becomes efficient and you WON’T work as hard. For example, laying on your back playing de-la-reverse-worm-guard is not a good way to condition. 
  7. Greet your training partners in a friendly manner before rolling with them. It sets the tone for a lighter roll, which can help reduce injuries due to training too hard and spazzy. It took me WAY too long to learn this.
  8. There really ARE 1 million ways to skin a cat. Slight variations in technique can make a big difference, but sometimes it comes down to determination and confidence to pull off a move. 
  9. Wash your gi after every class. If your gi gets a “ripe” smell, soak it in white vinegar. 
  10. Have fun and use BJJ as a supplement to your lifestyle! If that means you can train once a week, then do just that. In one year, you will have attended 52 classes and be pretty decent! Now, have a good week and attend a class or two with a mini-goal in mind!