As a new white belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, there are a few mistakes you should avoid in order to make the experience more enjoyable for yourself and those around you.
In this blog post, we will discuss 10 of the most common mistakes that BJJ white belts make. These mistakes can range from simple etiquette issues to dangerous techniques that can get you disqualified from tournaments.
If you're serious about learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, it's important to learn these things now and avoid them at all costs.
So, without further ado, here are the top ten things that every new white belt in BJJ should avoid:
Table of Contents
Mistake #1: Trying to learn everything at once
When you first start learning BJJ, it's easy to get overwhelmed by all
of the different techniques and concepts.
There are so many things to
learn and remember that it can be tempting to try and learn everything
at once. However, this is a surefire recipe for disaster.
better off focusing on one thing at a time and mastering it before
moving on to something else.
For example, as a new white belt, you will spend most of your time on the bottom.
Therefore the two most important things you must focus is on how to escape bad positions from the bottom or how to develop a good guard retention.
A good video that I recommend for any white belt who wants to learn on how to have a solid bottom game Adam Redzovic's Open Guard Translated below:
Mistake #2: Not drilling enough
Drillers make killers.
Thus, one of the best ways to learn BJJ is
to drill the techniques you're trying to learn.
This means practicing
them over and over again until they become second nature.
Unfortunately, many new white belts make the mistake of not drilling enough.
either don't drill at all or they only drill for a few minutes before
moving on to something else.
Here are some good drills for brand new white belts to focus on:
Mistake #3: Trying to muscle through techniques
BJJ is not a strength-based sport.
In fact, many of the most effective
techniques are designed to work against an opponent who is much stronger
Trying to muscle through techniques is often
Not only will you be less likely to succeed, but you'll also tire yourself out quickly.
Focus more on using proper technique and leverage instead of physical strength.
Remember, a good jiu jitsu should be effortless.
Mistake #4: Tapping too late
You have three choices when you are a brand new white belt: tap, nap or snap.
When you're in a submission hold and your opponent has the
advantage, it's important to tap out before you get injured.
Many new white belts make the mistake of waiting too long to tap, which can result in a serious injury.
Refusing to tap can also piss off a lot of your teammates.
Most people do not like to legitimately hurt anyone and by refusing to tap, you are forcing your teammates to do something that they do not want to do.
If you have a reputation as being the guy who refuses to tap out, sooner or later you will find that nobody wants to roll with you.
Mistake #5: Not paying attention to detail
BJJ is a very technical sport.
This means that even the smallest details
can make a big difference.
Many new white belts make the mistake of not paying attention to detail, which can frustrate them because they think that the techniques do not work.
For example; putting your knees up instead of on the ground when you are about to do a pressure pass makes a huge difference.
If you put your knees on the ground, your weight distribution will be less optimal while if you use only your toes, your opponent will feel heavier pressure regardless of your body weight.
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Mistake #6: Getting frustrated
Learning BJJ can be frustrating at times.
There will be days when you feel like you're not making any progress at all especially if you are a new white belt.
It seems like everyone in the gym is constantly smashing you. It's important to stay positive and keep at it.
You will always get better if you constantly train and roll with everyone even if you do not feel that way.
I never had a legitimate submission on anybody during the first 12 months of my BJJ journey but I kept on showing up and now, as of the time of writing, I am already a purple belt.
Mistake #7: Not staying relaxed
It's important to stay relaxed when you're rolling with an opponent.
Many new white belts make the mistake of tensing up, which makes it harder to move and react effectively.
Being tensed up also makes it easier for you to gas out.
Try to relax and think more during a roll.
BJJ is more of a chess match using the human body rather than a chaotic brawl on the ground.
Below, you can watch a great explanation from Kenny Florian on how being relax can help your jiu jitsu tremendously:
Mistake #8: Not breathing properly
One of the most important things to focus on when you're training BJJ is
Many new white belts make the mistake of holding their
breath, which can lead to fatigue and a decrease in performance.
Poor breathing technique can also lead to panic and spaz whenever you find yourself in a bad position.
Mistake #9: Failing to warm up properly
It's important to warm up before you train or compete.
Not warming up can lead to injuries.
Warming up helps improve your range of motion, increases your heart rate and gets your muscles ready for activity.
It's important to do a dynamic warm up, which means you should be moving around and not just static stretching.
A good warm up should last about 15-20 minutes.
You can do some light jogging, jumping jacks, rolls, jump ropes or any other activity that gets your heart rate up.
You can check out some good warm up drills below:
Mistake #10: Trying to coach other white belts
Don't be the white belt coach in your gym. Everyone hates the white belt coach.
Many new white belts, who have participated in several
classes, make the mistake of thinking they already know everything and
trying to teach others.
This is a surefire way to annoy everyone around you.
It's best to just keep your mouth shut and train hard.
Here is a better and more elaborate explanation on why you don't want to be branded as the "white belt coach" in your gym.
To wrap it up....
As a white belt, you are just starting out in your Brazilian Jiu Jitsu journey.
Congratulations! You have chosen one of the most challenging and rewarding paths there is but with any new challenge comes the potential for mistakes.
In this article, I’ve outlined 10 of the most common mistakes that beginners make so you can avoid them.
And if you want to take your training to the next level, I highly recommend the Ground Control Program.
This program is designed specifically for beginner and intermediate grapplers, and it will help you avoid the mistakes that 97% of grapplers make.