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red_cloak
1/11/2016 12:29am,
I recently dropped out of a Wing Tsun school and joined a Gracie Barra academy. I have been training for a week, five straight days, and I'm really enjoying it so far. What advice do you have for white belts like me? What should my goals be as a white belt? What should I look to do in the closed guard position? What individual drills can I do to better my jiu-jitsu?

I look forward to all of your insights.

plasma
1/21/2016 5:09am,
http://www.ojimas.com/blog/50-killer-tips-for-bjj-white-belts.html

BKR
1/22/2016 1:30pm,
Keep training, as much as you can. Otherwise, you won't get any better.

goodlun
1/22/2016 1:39pm,
Its a silly one but listen to your instructor.
If the bjj bug has bite you and you must watch you tube, watch matches instead of instructional videos.
Rolling is about learning not winning. Don't count taps, don't worry about how often your getting tapped, don't brute strength something just to get a tap.
Be a good partner while drilling, drilling ins't rolling, but your also not suppose to be a complete noodle.
Tap early tap often, injuries keep you from training.
You are simply going to suck for a very long time.

red_cloak
1/22/2016 3:59pm,
http://www.ojimas.com/blog/50-killer-tips-for-bjj-white-belts.html

Ah, this is great! Thanks so much!

red_cloak
1/22/2016 4:01pm,
Keep training, as much as you can. Otherwise, you won't get any better.

Well, here's my plan. Right now I'm a white belt with no stripes. Since I can balance work and BJJ, I can train 7 days a week. Once I earn 3 stripes, I'll be able to add on 8 more training sessions a week. When I earn my blue belt, I can enroll into the black belt program, which means 2 more training sessions on top of everything. So, I can grow pretty quickly, as long as I get in shape and don't get injured.

red_cloak
1/22/2016 4:05pm,
Its a silly one but listen to your instructor.
If the bjj bug has bite you and you must watch you tube, watch matches instead of instructional videos.
Rolling is about learning not winning. Don't count taps, don't worry about how often your getting tapped, don't brute strength something just to get a tap.
Be a good partner while drilling, drilling ins't rolling, but your also not suppose to be a complete noodle.
Tap early tap often, injuries keep you from training.
You are simply going to suck for a very long time.

Why do you suggest staying away from YouTube videos? They have been helpful. For example, I have tapped because I was put into a triangle. So, I went to YouTube and found Stephan Kesting's video on triangle escapes. My partner put me in a similar position, I used one of the techniques (kind of), and I managed to survive! Tapping out doesn't really bother me. My first instinct is to understand why I got tapped and how I can avoid it the next time I'm in the same position. No ego is the best way to learn!

BKR
1/22/2016 4:05pm,
Well, here's my plan. Right now I'm a white belt with no stripes. Since I can balance work and BJJ, I can train 7 days a week. Once I earn 3 stripes, I'll be able to add on 8 more training sessions a week. When I earn my blue belt, I can enroll into the black belt program, which means 2 more training sessions on top of everything. So, I can grow pretty quickly, as long as I get in shape and don't get injured.

Training 15 times a week might be a bit overboard, you will have to see how your body holds out.

Xiphiidae
1/22/2016 4:10pm,
1) Get comfortable in uncomfortable places, as a new guy you will spend almost all of your time learning to defend.

2) When in a guy's closed guard, you need to posture, when a guy is in your closed guard, you need to break his posture.

3) Relax, you are going to muscle stuff because you are new, try to get a handle on that.

edit: changed some words for clarification

submessenger
1/22/2016 4:12pm,
Training 15 times a week might be a bit overboard, you will have to see how your body holds out.

Agreed. Don't overdo it in your first several weeks. I was in fantastic shape when I started full-time BJJ, coming from an MMA McDojo, and I still basically puked on my first one-hour beginner session. It's a different level of intensity, using muscles that you didn't know you had and are probably undeveloped for the task. Even young whippersnappers need time for their body to recover.

Ulsteryank
1/22/2016 4:27pm,
Well, here's my plan. Right now I'm a white belt with no stripes. Since I can balance work and BJJ, I can train 7 days a week. Once I earn 3 stripes, I'll be able to add on 8 more training sessions a week. When I earn my blue belt, I can enroll into the black belt program, which means 2 more training sessions on top of everything. So, I can grow pretty quickly, as long as I get in shape and don't get injured.
That's just it, stay healthy and injury free so you can train! Don't be a hero, so for now tap early and often. Until you get your 3 stripes and gain the additional training your instructor/s will be evaluating you on how you're progessing in the fundamentals program, so try focusing on getting what's shown to you down to a 'T' as much as you can. Of course you do that by regular training, and it sounds like you're keen there.

goodlun
1/22/2016 4:41pm,
Why do you suggest staying away from YouTube videos? They have been helpful. For example, I have tapped because I was put into a triangle. So, I went to YouTube and found Stephan Kesting's video on triangle escapes. My partner put me in a similar position, I used one of the techniques (kind of), and I managed to survive! Tapping out doesn't really bother me. My first instinct is to understand why I got tapped and how I can avoid it the next time I'm in the same position. No ego is the best way to learn!

So here is the thing, right, you are still in a very "technique" sort of mind set and when you go to youtube your looking for techniques.
The thing about BJJ though is good habits keep you safe. Good habits keep you from getting put into the triangle to begin with.
So you sort of know some steps to kind of get out of a triangle and its honestly not as useful as you think.
Yes there will come a time where that stuff becomes necessary.
White belt: The goal is "survival"
Escaping and Survival are two different things.
Survival is being put into a bad situation and having your posture right, your blocks right, being calm and collected, breathing and in general being safe in a poor position.
These are body position things, these are sensitivity things, these are pressure things.

What happened is you may or may not have learned a kind of escape that works against what I am assuming is a low level opponent.
To truly understand how to escape the triangle you need to understand how its applied and I mean all the details the angle that needs to be cut.
How the knee has to cut across, how pressure must be maintained, how the posture must be broken down, ect ect ect.
Once you understand this stuff, blocking the various parts that need to be put together starts to form on its own some.
You will understand when you are actually in danger and when the person is just burning out their thighs.
Of course that is where these techniques come from, they come from people knowing if say I block their hips on this side they can't cut an angel.
If I create space between his knee and my neck he can't choke me.
but just grabbing one at random and hoping it works well sort of works but isn't very useful up front.

submessenger
1/22/2016 5:00pm,
You will understand when you are actually in danger and when the person is just burning out their thighs.

Quite true. If you prematurely pick up a few techniques, you run the risk of finding yourself in a more precarious position. BJJ is a constant flow of positioning. Your one youtube escape could put you in a whole lot more trouble, and you're not going to know what that trouble is until you get there. Better to follow goodlun's #1, above, listen to your instructor.


(edit) Here's a good one - it's never impolite to stop in the middle of a roll and say "what if?" That's what your instructor is there for.

red_cloak
1/22/2016 5:01pm,
Training 15 times a week might be a bit overboard, you will have to see how your body holds out.

You're right. I guess I'm letting my desire to improve get the better of me.

red_cloak
1/22/2016 5:06pm,
1) Get comfortable in uncomfortable places, as a new guy you will spend almost all of your time learning to defend.

Yes! I am enjoying the closed guard position (when I'm on the bottom) and trying not to suffocate when a guy is putting all of his weight on me in side mount, haha.


2) When in a guy's closed guard, you need to posture, when a guy is in your closed guard, you need to break his posture.

I try to remain a solid base when I'm in the closed guard position. I try not to lean over and go for a collar choke, let him cross my arms to one side, put my hands on the mat, or lose my balance. But it's hard. I know a few ways to pass the guard, and as soon as higher level training partners feel when I shift my weight, I get tipped over and sometimes swept.


3) Relax, you are going to muscle stuff because you are new, try to get a handle on that.

I'm doing that in many situations, but I'm still trying to gauge when I should and should not use muscle.

red_cloak
1/22/2016 5:07pm,
Agreed. Don't overdo it in your first several weeks. I was in fantastic shape when I started full-time BJJ, coming from an MMA McDojo, and I still basically puked on my first one-hour beginner session. It's a different level of intensity, using muscles that you didn't know you had and are probably undeveloped for the task. Even young whippersnappers need time for their body to recover.

Right now I can manage 5 days a week of training and using the weekends to recover. I'm not in shape at all. I want to get in shape so I can train longer once I'm eligible for the higher level classes.