what to expect/how to prepare?

Discussion in 'Brazilian Jiu Jitsu' started by rsm688, May 2, 2007.

  1. rsm688

    rsm688 Valued Member

    well in about 4 weeks im going to start training in BJJ and i was wondering what to expect my first few weeks and what i can do in these next 4 weeks to help prepare myself and get ready for it.

  2. Atharel

    Atharel Errant

    Conditioning wise:
    Swimming (crawl) is the best conditioning IMO. Make sure you really push yourself. Try doing, say, 2 minutes of hard swimming, brief break, then 2 more minutes. Repeat.
    Another easy option is running. 1 minute sprint, 1 minute jog, 1 minute sprint, 1 minute jog, 1 minute sprint, 2 minute break - repeat 2x - is my current running routine. Try something similar that works for you! Note that distance running/"road work" is not as useful as this kind of conditioning for BJJ or other grappling.

    Stretching is even more important than conditioning. Without conditioning you'll just run out of gas easily and have to sit out a round or two and be mildly embarrassed. Without good flexibility you might be injured, especially if you don't warm up properly.

    General notes about my advice: always stretch both sides even if I only mention one side. I may say 10 seconds or so but that's a number for warming up before practice really. If you want to gain real flexibility from doing home stretching you will have to hold for more than that. 30 is a number I hear often on these topics, but it can vary from stretch to stretch even.

    Important areas to stretch:
    ALWAYS take care of your neck first. A torn neck tendon or whatever is far, far worse than one in just about any other place. Warm up. Stretch your neck out.
    -Slumping your right shoulder down, reach up and grab the right side of the top of your head with your left hand. Keeping your right shoulder down, pull your head to the left till you feel a pull on the right side of your neck. Hold for ~10 seconds or alternatively gently rhythmically pull it for 10 seconds for a more dynamic stretch (my preference). Repeat with opposite side.
    -Keeping your shoulders shrugged down (never up) look up towards the ceiling as far as you can while making sure to keep your chin where it should be or even jutting out. Hold for 10 seconds, rolling your head slightly side to side for a more dynamic stretch if you desire. You should feel it in the muscles on the front and "corners" of your neck - if you feel pain/compression in the back of your neck, stop immediately and try to adjust so that the pain stops.
    -Reach up with both hands and cup the back top sides of your head. Keeping your shoulders down, pull your head forward till you feel a stretch in the back of your neck. Hold for 10, roll slightly if you prefer. ALWAYS do this one after the preceding one! The previous stretch will often somewhat compress your upper spine and this stretch can alleviate that problem.

    -Standard hip stretches. This one is great for starting.
    -I like this one: Yoga Hip Stretch
    -Seated, place your left foot to the right of your right leg and fold your right leg in by your buttocks. Turn slightly to the left and hug your bent left leg, pulling it into you. You should feel it in your left hip.
    -For a nice twisting spine stretch, after the previous stretch place your right elbow on the outside of your bent left knee, reach back and out with your left hand on the ground, and try to turn as far to you can to the left by pushing with your right and reaching with your left while keeping your hips in place.

    Inner thigh
    -Butterfly stretch is my number one favorite and is a must for any BJJ practitioner IMO.
    -If you are especially flexible and wish to work some hips and knee at the same time, try to pull your shin such that it is lying sideways across your throat. Eventually work up to being able to put your foot behind your head.

    -Touch the back of your neck. Grab the back of that elbow with you opposite hand. Pull it behind your head towards the crown of your head. For extra stretch push back with your neck.
    -Extend your left arm such that your left hand is to the right of your right arm. Reach up and "trap" your left elbow in your bent right arm. Try to get the inside of your left elbow to touch the right side of your neck.
    -Touch the back of your left hip with the back of your left hand. Reach over with your right hand and grab your bent left elbow. Pull it forward gently, holding it at the margin of pain. This will prepare you for kimuras ;)
    -This one is complicated. Hold your left hand, elbow bent, in front of you palm facing right almost like you're doing some kung fu move. Thread your right arm under and around your bent left arm till you are grabbing your left wrist and your left elbow is kinda on your right bicep. Gently push your left wrist to the left while torquing your left elbow to the right. This will prepare you for americanas. I picked this up from yoga.

    -Bridges. Make sure that after you do a bridge, you bend your spine back the other way to relieve compression (as with the neck stretch).
    -On the balls of your feet when crouched, tuck your head and roll back such that you are resting on your shoulders and neck. Roll forwards. We call these "roll-outs" and they are useful for decompressing the spine after bridges. For more of a proper stretch try the yoga Child's Pose (making sure to roll your back up to actually stretch it) and eventually that funky pose where you're resting on your neck and shoulders and your feet are touching the ground so you look like a sideways question mark (someone help me with the name/link? haha). I've found that nameless one to be of most benefit but you have to be pretty flexible to get that far.
    -Also, try alternating Cobra/upward facing dog and downward facing dog. Similar to bridges/roll-outs/funky question mark stretch but I think they get slightly different muscle areas.

    Most hip stretches will also hit your knees, but for specific knee stretching (be very careful with these when starting out and even after) try:
    -Sitting with your legs extended in front of you, draw your left leg in and rest your left ankle just above your right knee. Slowly stretch forward almost like the hamstring stretch from this point. Pay close attention to what you're feeling in your left knee. Do not torque it to the point of pain, only moderate pressure. Hold. Repeat with right leg.

    I've found that leg/hamstring flexibility is possibly the least important type for BJJ. By all means do it and at least be able to grab your feet when extended, but it's not something that will contribute directly to your BJJ experience IMO.

    I hope this helps!
    Last edited: May 2, 2007
  3. Connovar

    Connovar Banned Banned

    Lets see...

    1)Last will and testament

    2)Organ donation card filled out... :D

    Actually its a lot of fun. Just dont let your ego get in the way because you will likely get submitted over and over. Dont try to use muscle and do tap early. Dont let yourself get frustrated because of the complexity of alll the positions. Focus on learning the positions first and the go to submissions later.

    Best prep would be to work on your cardio. Good luck and have fun. :)
  4. rsm688

    rsm688 Valued Member

    great post atahrel. thanks for the tips conovar. im doing some HIIT right now and also play soccer and a few other types of cardio. im going to step it up and try to get my endurance up as high as i can in the next few weeks. thanks again
  5. pauli

    pauli mr guillotine

    get your diet in order, and (if possible) learn how long before intense exercise you need to stop eating. showing up to your first class right after eating dinner is *probably* going to leave you feeling like an idiot.
  6. Stevebjj

    Stevebjj Grappling Dummy

    Excellent advice. As a general bit of advice (and until you know your own body), I've found that eating a bit of something about an hour before class, and drinking plenty of water all the time really helps. I personally like a piece of whole grain toast with peanut butter and a banana, but I'll eat fruit, half of a protein bar or anything else in a pinch provided it's not greasy or full of processed sugar.
  7. rsm688

    rsm688 Valued Member

    my diet is perfect, every macro is exactly what i need and timed right. i dont have a problem with eating before a workout, i can eat 3 cups of brown rice and a banana and a glass of milk and then go play a 1.5 hr soccer game where im sprinting the majority of the time.

    thanks for the tip though
  8. Stevebjj

    Stevebjj Grappling Dummy

    Dude, then you're good to go. If you're in decent shape, just go and have a good time and the only advice I'd give is relax and don't try to do too much at once.
  9. Agutrot-

    Agutrot- Jack of all Trades

    One thing I wish I knew when I first started was shrimping drills. Not a big deal but I felt like an idiot when I couldn't do it properly. Look it up online if you want to find out what it is.
  10. fanatical

    fanatical Cool crow

    In 4 weeks? T_T
  11. rsm688

    rsm688 Valued Member

    thanks alot for the tip, i would definately be the idiot that cant do them. ill search em up and start working on them

    im in great shape, thanks for the encouragement. i feel a little less worried about not being ready to get started
  12. rsm688

    rsm688 Valued Member

    im confused? what T_T?

    yes in 4 weeks, im a senior and im working on finishing up school and getting my exams out of the way and when i finish i have a trip to the beach and then its off to the dojo for me ;)
  13. sprint

    sprint Banned Banned

    unless you are a natural with athletic tools at your disposal...

    expect to get totally tooled for the first couple of months. expect to face a beating everytime you step onto the mat.

    this is the reason most people drop out. its a little hard on the ego.

    but stick in there.
  14. rsm688

    rsm688 Valued Member

    i can handle the ego part pretty well. im not a self consciencous person and dont get embarrassed or my ego hurt too easily. i have pretty good body movement and can lock someone up pretty quickly (no technique) the few street fights i have been in i took my opponent to the ground with ease and tooled the guy up pretty easily. i know going from that to BJJ i would get my **** handed to me but im just saying i am pretty good naturally.
  15. martialmartian

    martialmartian Valued Member

    Excellent timing on thread

    I'm going to try out BJJ myself and was thinking of questions I may have had.

    Now I have no questions to ask.

    atharel... good post.

    Now all i need is to take myself down to the gym on monday night and say hello and take it from there.

    Looking forward to it.
  16. rsm688

    rsm688 Valued Member

    glad it helped you too ;) . i cant wait to get started
  17. MA Chick

    MA Chick New Member

    I just started myself, and I should have done a bit of research on terminology. Nothing too in depth, since I'm sure everyone uses slightly different terms, but enough that I would a least be in the same universe as the instructor. The first time my instructor told me to get my hooks in, I sat up and just stared at him. It would have saved some time and embarrassment if I would have done a bit of studying first.
  18. forever young

    forever young Valued Member

    i started a little while ago and i can say the pace with which you learn stuff can be a little fast hence the reason you will NEED to start a training journal/log otherwise you will end up forgeting stuff, also for me the warm ups were quite hard on the calfs with them cramping up big time so any exercises you know that will stretch the hams/strenghten the calfs i would recommend, snaking and lizard walking are also exercises you might practice if you can . Other than that just enjoy 'cause its great fun :D

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