Don’t Focus on Belts

Enjoy Time at White Belt

This blog is a little hypocritical coming from a guy who couldn’t wait to receive his blue belt. Myself and a host of other guys from my gym all got promoted to blue belt at the same time. Some people had been training jiu jitsu longer than me, some had been training less. Everyone takes a different path. So, don’t focus on why or how long it takes for someone else got promoted. Instead, focus on your own jiu jitsu and your own problems. Just enjoy time where you’re at.


Some coaches like to see you win tournaments at your belt level before they will give you a promotion. These competitions are a great way to gauge how good you are at jiu jitsu. Even better, if you compete in a division higher than your current rank and win or give a good showing, it can impress your coach while you gain quality experience. Before you jump into that, make sure your coach is cool with it.

Don’t Ask

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Don’t ask. Just work. Sometimes, people will ask their coach when they are going to be promoted or even think they should be promoted. The coach will let you know. You don’t have to ask. Put in the work needed, and eventually the promotion will come. Just don’t ask for it.

Starting Jiu Jitsu is the Hardest Part

Not Understanding Concepts

When people first start jiu jitsu, they are unfamiliar with the techniques and basic fundamentals. Beginners are unsure of how to properly defend against submissions. In addition, they will try to attack using all of their strength and won’t get any results. Because of this, beginners will also tire faster than people who are experienced. It can also take a considerable amount of time to get passed this stage. Fundamentals are important, and live grappling will be extremely frustrating without knowledge of these principles.

Getting Submitted… A Lot

Because beginners lack knowledge of these basic principles, they will get submitted a lot. This might go on for several months and can be extremely frustrating. Many people have a competitive mindset, and that is great. However, if this person struggles initially to understand the concepts they will likely get aggravated.

But Don’t Quit

Many people who get aggravated or think the techniques aren’t sticking will leave. Getting good at jiu jitsu takes time. Everyone knows the cliche saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Yeah, and neither is a good guard game. Some people quit simply because their ego can’t take it. Until they realize getting tapped is normal and that they should learn from it, progressing in jiu jitsu will be difficult. But, it can be done so do not quit.

Why Competing is Different from Training

Level of Intensity

When you’re in the gym training jiu jitsu, the intensity level can vary depending on the person you are rolling. Some people roll harder than others, and there are benefits of both rolling easy and hard. Rolling at an easy pace can make you more aware of each individual movement you make. This can help increase technical skills. Rolling at a harder or faster pace can prepare you for the speed of a competition match. Competition rolls will be harder and faster, for the most part, than an average round in the gym. In a competition, no one is trying to “flow”. Everyone wants to win.

Trying New Techniques

I learned this the hard way. In a competition, very few people will try a new move they haven’t executed in training. When you’re in competition, it’s best to stick to what moves you already know and hit regularly. Pulling off cool moves is great, and if you can pull them off without training them first, more power to you. Sometimes it will work out. But, the gym is the best place to try new things. Not a tournament.

Most People Get Nervous

I didn’t think I would get nervous. It was my first tournament. I was a whitebelt and had been training jiu jitsu for less than four months. Leading up to my first match, I did not feel nervous. They called my name and my heart skipped a beat. Oh, now I feel it. I stepped onto the mat and my nerves hit hard. I ended up losing on points 2 to 1. I won the next match 13 to 11. In both matches, had I calmed down, I was in position to win with a submission. Nerves happen to most everyone, it’s normal. But you can’t let that affect your jiu jitsu. Trust in your training and nerves will get better over time. Just don’t be surprised when you feel nervous. It will happen. 

Snap, Tap, or Nap

In training, especially if you are a newer student, people will tell or warn you if an arm or leg is dangerously close to breaking if you still haven’t tapped. In competition, this doesn’t happen as much, especially at higher levels. If you’re rolling in a competition, I’m not gonna stop midway through an armbar or heel hook to inform you of the pain coming your way. Neither is anyone else. So, be prepared to tap out. Even verbally.

5 Reasons You Can’t Finish a Triangle Choke

Reason #1: You don’t have their posture broken down enough. Their posture has to be broken keeping both hands on the back of the head, or one hand on the head and the other controlling his arm.

Reason #2: You are locking your leg over the foot, and not the ankle. If the triangle is locked over your foot, it is much weaker.

Reason#4: This is where a lot of people mess up. You have to cut a perpendicular angle by grabbing an under-hook on the leg or underneath their free arm. If the angle is not cut, they will have more ability to posture or pressure into you.

Reason #5: Pressure isn’t being applied correctly to finish the choke.

Below is a link to UFC fighter, Ryan Hall, showing the proper way to apply pressure for the choke:

Why I Started Jiu Jitsu…And So Should You

It was March of 2017 when I discovered Jiu Jitsu. I did not know there was a

solid gym in my area or I would have paid a trip much sooner. I was

so excited, I showed up 30 minutes early. The instructor showed me what

an arm drag was before the class started to kill time. Looking back, I barely

listened. The class started and I remember enjoying it.

But after class is when the fun began and it was time for “free rolling”.

They set a timer for six minutes and people started pairing up. The

instructor grabbed me and we started to do a live round of grappling.

I know he tapped me at least four times, but it could’ve been forty. While I

heard about how crazy Jiu Jitsu is, I did not expect the whooping I took. I

considered myself to be an athletic guy. How is it this bad?

After the round, the instructor began looking around the room for

someone else I should roll and so did I. I saw a guy in the corner and

thought, “Bet I can give this guy a run. He’s closer to my size. Shoot, I might

tap HIM.” Why I thought that, I still don’t know. What I do know, is that I

still haven’t tapped that guy. This guy beat up on me worse than the

instructor did. When I left that night, I thought, “Now, I have to go back.

That can’t be the last time those people see me. Getting killed.”

This is why you should train Jiu Jitsu. People that do are good at choking

you and breaking bones. Really good. Tap you five times in 6 minutes good,

then say, “nice job”. If you do train, and you’re getting killed I hope

ya stick with it. If ya don’t train, maybe you should look into it.