When you practice Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, you are part of a team, while also remaining an individual attempting to conquer your own goals. You may think it’s all about you, but it’s really not. You don’t improve at this sport on your own, but achieve each level with the help of others. You also need to strive to find ways to be a good training partner for others, too. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a unique individual sport that also has aspects of a team sport and depends on everyone sharing, remaining friendly and helping each other achieve their best.
Always be ready to share your knowledge with newer students.
If you’ve been practicing BJJ very long, you have learned from others. In some cases, it was indirect and the lesson learned came from being forced to submission, but in many cases the knowledge came when you were practicing with someone who was a bit better at a specific technique or concept and shared their knowledge with you. Remember, you learned from someone better than you, so occasionally volunteer to partner with new students who are still unfamiliar with drills and help them learn. You’ll be amazed at how much you really learn yourself because you’re more focused on the basics.
Tap when it’s appropriate.
Even though your pride may be on the line, sometimes you have no option but to tap. Doing it too soon not only slow your training program, but also your training partner’s. It never gives them the full opportunity to learn how effective they are at each technique or ways to get better. Try to push yourself to last a little longer and find a way to escape. The one thing experience brings is to become more aware at when it’s appropriate timing, when you know there’s no way you can turn things around, it’s time. If you’re just beginning BJJ, you’re better off tapping earlier and then discussing what could have been done to improve, rather than risk continuing.
Keep your training partner safe.
Yes, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is a sport where you want to dominate, but in practice, particularly when you’re practicing with someone with obviously less skill, adjust what you do to their level. You could dominate them, but then neither of you are really learning. You need to give just enough resistance to challenge the newer student, but not discourage them. You’ll learn by doing this if you use a technique fostered by those who are skilled in BJJ, limiting yourself to one or two options for submission. You’ll find new ways to achieve that goal and improve your skills while being a much better training partner.
- Stay focused during instruction, learn to moves so you can do your best. Listen closely to each move. Practice moves in your head, so you can be better during drilling, which gives both you and your partner an opportunity to improve.
- Keep your lines of communication open and eliminate confusion. Ask questions when you don’t understand something.
- Right along with communicating your needs comes listening to your partner’s needs and goals. If your partner is training for competition, but you just want to shed a few pounds and learn self defense, find a common ground where you both benefit from the pairing.
- Respect your partner and keep your word. If your partner said they’re new or are nursing a particular injury and you promised to respect that and avoid moves that might exacerbate the condition or lead to immediate submission, don’t bully them by changing gears mid practice and ignoring your promise.