Discussion in 'Brazilian Jiu Jitsu' started by Giovanni, Dec 2, 2010.

  1. Giovanni

    Giovanni Well-Known Member Supporter

    ok, i'm into this bjj for a few weeks now. i was doing good for the last couple weeks. by good i mean attitude was still positive, managed to take over a couple white belt beginners like me, caught a blue belt in a choke the instructor taught (although i think part of it was the blue belt kind of letting me feel the technique out).

    i just hit the wall last night. body's sore and tired. mind's numb from trying to understand this huge amount of techniques. we were doing passing the guard drills and people were literally passing my guard like nothing. another white belt literally crushed me to get out of my guard. i'm serious, he brought all his weight down on my neck. i tried to fight off a purple belt's choke and in the process, he put me to sleep. i think i helped him sink it. i've never gone to sleep before, that was interesting. i feel like i've hit a brick wall.

    any advice? yeah, i'm going to keep attending. and i'm trying to stay positive. but i don't see how i'm going to learn anything. it's one thing to do aikido and to have people just let you do technique to them. but a resisting foe? not so easy.

    one thing i think i need is a bjj gi. my judo gi is just giving dudes too much to latch onto.
  2. righty

    righty Valued Member

    You may want to take a little bit of time off just to recover mentally and physically. I don't mean a few months, but maybe just a week or so. Just a few classes. It just sounds like you are physically and mentally overloaded and haven't had a chance to process all the feedback you are getting from training.

    You are always going to be sore after classes, or at least for a very very long time. You are you just using too many different muscles each time not to be.

    Regarding getting chocked. Just tap and tap early.

    Regarding getting crushed. Communication. If someone is being dangerous (whether they realise or not) let them know. If they don't know they are about to break your neck, then they might break it or someone elses. Necks are something you need to take care of.

    You don't need a BJJ gi. Sure, one would be cool and you will get one eventually. But get one if you really want.
  3. Van Zandt

    Van Zandt Mr. High Kick

    Advice? Keep going. Sounds simple, but a lot of beginners get sore or confused and think they're missing something. You're sore (probably delayed-onset muscle soreness) because your body is adapting to new activity and training loads; you're confuzzled because it's a helluva lot of info to take onboard. Keep training and your body will get used to it; keep studying the info you're being fed and you'll eventually get it. :)
  4. robertmap

    robertmap Valued Member


    The trick is to remember that it's important but not that important...

    I will try and explain what I mean...

    You do need to train hard and you do need to train regularly and you do need to have recovery time and you do need to have time off the mat to think about (understand) technique.

    However you also MUST realise that you have lots and lots and lots of time to get things right - as long as you are training at a good club with a good instructor (who can teach as well as do) with good club members who want to win but are not trying to 'be tough' or injure you... Then if that is the training environment that you are in, then it WILL come in time. Keep learning, keep practising and above all keep relaxed (mentally and physically)... and oh yes the most important thing of all HAVE FUN!!!
  5. Frodocious

    Frodocious She who MUST be obeyed! Moderator Supporter

    It can take a while to start feeling comfortable and being able to regularly apply techniques.

    I think you also need to adjust your attitude a little, if your getting choked out you're not tapping early enough. The simple thing to think of is leaving your ego at the door. You will be out-manuevered by people who have been training longer than you and it is not an admitance of weakness to tap out when you feel a technique starting to go on, or when you feel like something is hurting.

    It's not the gi that is your problem at the moment, it's the fact that you are a beginner. Accept that people in the class are better than you and that you're not good enough yet to challenge them, then work on the techniques you know, work on balance and movement and avoiding getting submitted rather than using strength to try to force a submission on someone.
  6. Giovanni

    Giovanni Well-Known Member Supporter

    i'm going to try to keep going, for now. if i need to, then i'll consider taking a class or two off. i'm sore mostly in my neck and my hands. legs, core are not so bad, probably due to running and yoga.

    i can accept that people are better than me. it's still frustrating though.
  7. Doublejab

    Doublejab formally Snoop

    Sometimes when I've rolled alot I've found myself doing worse and worse. I'm not sure if it was mental or physical burn out but it definitely happened.

    My advice is take a week off, watch some youtube grappling matches, then come back stronger.
  8. illegalusername

    illegalusername Second Angriest Mapper

    There's a sort of a cycle in these things.

    When you finish your basics class you're like "Hey, this grappling stuff isn't too hard after all"
    Then you start rolling with the rest of the club and for the next few months you get choked out by everyone. The skinny guys. The fat guys. The little girls with who have time to tighten their ponytails before locking in a choke.

    At some point you notice you can keep up with most of the people and the smaller instructors actually have to put their cup of coffee when they roll with you so you think that you're getting it again. This is not true. You have just amassed enough techniques to sort of know what to do from every position, but you still flail around like a landcrab on acid when you attempt anything apart from maintaining position.
    Then you realize you have to stop trying to learn new stuff and go back to the goddamn basics and drill every single technique again and again until your girlfriend wakes you up by beating on your head because you just took side control of her in your sleep.

    Then few months later you realize that you only know how to wrangle for position and have maybe two different submissions you can perform reliably and spiral into a deep depression over the fact. At this point, you start really getting it.

    Then someone gives you a blue belt, your ego skyrockets and you begin the cycle all over again.

    This is why BJJ is the best martial art
  9. slideyfoot

    slideyfoot Co-Founder of Artemis BJJ

    In regards to frustration, I normally put up this, as per the FAQ:

    Don't worry: BJJ is difficult, so a lot of people get frustrated and demoralised. First thing to note is that the only person you should be measuring your progress against is yourself. Other people may train more often, have athletic ability, previous experience etc - although it's natural to think "damn, that guy started the same time as me, I should be as good", think instead "how would the me of today fare against the me of last month?"

    Focus on a small number of techniques and concentrate on just working those in sparring. It may even just be that you steadily work one tiny part of a particular technique - perhaps where you want your hands to be at a certain point - but that all contributes to eventually getting the technique right, and in turn means you're being constructive and have a clear goal to work towards.

    I also find a technique-focused method of training helps with motivation, as it's a useful way of ignoring ego: you're not thinking about 'winning' or 'losing', just making technical improvements. It doesn't matter if you get tapped along the way.

    Following on from that, I'd strongly recommend keeping a training log. Personally, I've found doing so has been of massive benefit to my training: to copy what I wrote somewhere else, for a start it makes it easier to remember technique. The process of putting what you've just learned into words means you have to carefully think about exactly what you did in class. Even if your memory of it isn't that great, that will still mean you know specifically which parts you're unsure about, so can then ask your instructor next time you train.

    That also helps with recollecting terminology, which I find can be a big problem in BJJ. Of course, that normally means you only learn the terminology used in your particular school, but still of benefit. Ideally, I'd like to be able to learn the most common terms used globally, as well as just in my school: it then becomes easier to search places like the net for hints and tips on specific techniques.

    In addition to remembering technique, writing notes also means you can track your own progress, and identify what you feel you need to work on. As with writing up techniques, that then means you can concentrate on what went 'wrong', for want of a better word, asking your instructor and training partners how you could improve. So in effect, your notes become an action plan for the next sparring session.

    Also, read this fantastic thread, if you haven't already. This is also well worth a look, as is this blog post. Also, if you've got access to the Grapplers Guide, check out this thread on being stuck at the same belt for a long time.

    You might find this BJJ Beginner FAQ useful, as a new student in BJJ.

    As I mention in that FAQ, for further reading on BJJ, I'd recommend the following threads:

    Training, Stagnation and Tapping
    Maximizing what you get out of rolling
    Protecting Yourself During Sparring
    BJJ Rolling Guide for Beginners
    Grappling Basic Principles
    Advice for Noobs
    10 Quick Tips for White Belts
    Realistic Goals for Beginners
    First Day Lesson
    Fundamental 5
    Obvious Epiphanies

    And the following articles:

    Starting BJJ Classes
    Nuggets of Advice
    Beginning BJJ
    (free e-course and e-book)
    The Journey to Blue Belt
    BJJ Grrl's Dos and Don'ts
    Getting Started

    If you're looking to buy your first gi, then Seymour's post tells you everything you need to make an informed decision:

    What BJJ gi should I buy?
  10. altc

    altc Valued Member

    ^ So true mate. Well put. Training progression in bjj definately happens in cycles. Persistance is the key. The skills will come even if you do not see it.

    You are currently at a learning threshold. Keep training and you will break through to the next lesson. Soon enough, you will once again feel as though you are not getting any better, maybe even feel like you are getting worse. Persist and then later without realising it, you are doing much better than you were.

  11. JSun

    JSun Valued Member

    If you're going to play guard you might as well get used to being stacked. Just remember to backroll and go with the flow. That's why it's called rolling. You've got to remember not to fight against your opponent, but relax and flow with his energy.
  12. Giovanni

    Giovanni Well-Known Member Supporter

    took a couple days off. but now i'm back. think i was just tired. mind you, didn't really improve. i think i've gotten choked or arm-barred more the couple days i've been back. but i'm going to try to concentrate on a few things for now....

    escapes: i feel like i'm always in a bad position. so i'm going to work on getting out of side mount, full mount, guard.

    going with the flow a bit more. this is why i've been getting submitted more. i'm just trying to get the feel for what the opponent is doing a bit more and kind of letting the roll happen. then all of a sudden i'm like "whoa".

    fitness: started running again, and going to start doing yoga 2-3 times per week. get stronger and more flexible and leaner. i need all the help i can get being 40 and overweight (slightly). ;-)
  13. altc

    altc Valued Member

    Nice one mate. Good to see back at it and a little more relaxed. And dont worry about being tapped. Sounds like you are learning. That is the most important thing. Too many beginners dont want to risk trying new things because they might 'lose'. Keep it going and you will progress for sure.
  14. liero

    liero Valued Member

    How many days a week are you training?

    Do you have gap days between sessions?
  15. Giovanni

    Giovanni Well-Known Member Supporter

    trying to go 2-3 times a week and have at least one day off between. couple of weeks ago, because i was into it and just getting going, i did go three days in a row. may have been part of my problem.
  16. edudley

    edudley Valued Member

    I am only going to be able to do two days a week, Tuesday and Thursday. Tuesdays are tough but Thursdays usually rock good!
  17. liero

    liero Valued Member

    2-3 is a decent amount. Why dont you try going twice a week for about a month and try and make them at opposite ends of the week to space out the breaks.

    Let your body get used to the intensity of the training before you add another day.


    Do you do other exercise? What was your activity like before you started training in martial arts?

    Finally, how is your diet and sleep patterns?
  18. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    was going to say relax more, tapping is your friend and you shouldnt be fighting the chokes that much that you go to sleep, consentrate on your escapes because as a beginner thats what yiou really need...but then read your other posts and it seems like you are starting to do that anyway!

    just have fun
  19. SenseiMattKlein

    SenseiMattKlein Engage, Maverick

    I'm with JSun and icefield here. When I roll with inexperienced grapplers, they expend all their energy struggling. Relax and have fun with it and you'll see a lot more opportunities arise. Your time on the mat will manifest itself in your technique as you progress. You will be the one controlling the "chess game on the ground" in time. Be patient.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010
  20. newy085

    newy085 Valued Member

    Totally agree with the last three posts. You may have jumped in too deep trying for 3 lessons a week, I'd stick to 2 and let your body adapt. Look at your recovery routine make sure you stay hydrated before, during and after the session and get some protein and carbs in you as soon as you can after you finish. It will help with the muscle soreness and fatigue.

    My mate just started rolling with my group and he was like trying to wrestle a tree. His strength was amazing and he would go well for a about thirty seconds then gas. There was tension every where, he would just grip and hold. Awkward as hell to roll with, but zero threats and he would often put himself into bad positions.

    Like others have said, relax and try to feel what your partner is doing, sometimes letting them go the way they are trying to can work well if you can time it. And remember you learn more from loses than you do from wins. While winning feels good, you need to make sure you attitude and mindset stays positive. When you get locked or choked, ask them what they done, how they went about it. And ask if you can try to set the same move up yourself. Your opponent will love to talk about their 'win' and you'll learn a lot quicker.

    Training should never be win-lose, always try to make it win-win, and in my opinion learning something is always a win.

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