New to BJJ and I have a question

Discussion in 'Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu' started by paperguynj, May 21, 2018.

  1. paperguynj

    paperguynj White Belt

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    i took my first BJJ class the other night. I wrestled in HS so grappling came natural to me. At the end of the class we did live sparring starting from our feet for about 20 minutes. I felt very comfortable on my feet and my wrestling background came right back to me. The issue was once I scored a take down or ended up on the mat I had no clue what to do and got choked out every time. First of all, I don’t want to be a burden to the veterans in the class. It didn’t seem like they were annoyed and some were helping me. My real question is how long will it take to pick up on the scoring of BJJ and how long will it take to pick up some basic moves. Any advice is helpful.
     
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  2. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    Al depends on the person. I've been doing it almost a year (actually a year on Friday ) and I've only just started feeling even remotely competent but other guys have been there shorter time and do better. I'm more a striker than a grappler it's different to everyone
     
  3. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    There's no set timeline, but you're not being a burden; that's what they expect from new people. How are you expected to know how to choke/defend from a choke (or armbar, or whatever), when you've never experienced it before?
     
  4. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    If they’re good people, I’m sure they really like having you there. You give them a different perspective and probably expose some holes in their game. A lot of BJJers take up some wrestling for the takedowns and takedown defense. You’re giving them a decent look without them having to go elsewhere.

    I don’t have any BJJ experience, so take that as you will. I wrestled from 3rd grade - graduating high school, and coached on and off for about 10 years. I’ve spoken to a decent number of wrestlers who went BJJ and BJJers who went to wrestling.
     
  5. Martial D

    Martial D Senior Master

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    Expect to be pretzeled well into the foreseeable future. Bjj skill comes in slow and steady.
     
  6. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    BJJ is a game of inches.
     
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  7. oldsoldier2006

    oldsoldier2006 White Belt

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    Good BJJ practitioners don't look at white belts as a burden. At worst, they look at you as fresh meat. Personally, I see new white belts as a challenge. New white belts aren't predictable and don't know the rules yet so they're beholden to their instincts. Those with a wrestling background tend to freak out once they're on their back. Don't. Breathe. Relax. Learn. Ask questions. And for god's sake, don't try and muscle everything as badly as you'll want to. You'll be fine. There's no medal waiting for the people who tap you and there won't be a medal waiting for you for preventing your classmates from tapping you either. Tap early and often.

    Welcome to the long game of BJJ. I hope you stick with it. Enough people don't.
     
  8. PiedmontChun

    PiedmontChun Purple Belt

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    I'm in my first year of BJJ, a white belt too, so I feel you.

    Drills are for repetition but sparring / rolling is dynamic. So when you don't have many tools in your toolbox, or keep finding yourself in unfamiliar (and bad for you) positions, your mind goes a bit blank since you have no immediate built in response to it. But don't worry about blanking out during rolling. And definitely don't worry about the "scoring". Just focus on the positions themselves; ask questions like "where and how can I move from here? How can I frame or control their hips to give myself space? How can I recover some kind of guard from here and get back to a better position?" You will get mounted, armbarred and choked repeatedly. The first step is just surviving in uncomfortable positions, then you start to slowly see how to be less vulnerable, and then how to prevent bad position in the first place. Then you will roll against a much higher belt and it all goes out the window, back to square one, but that's the experimentation and fun of it.

    I agree with oldsoldier2006's comment above. Focus on the long game. I had a black belt tell me the other day "You have your whole life to do jiujitsu. You can work on side control for a year if you want and get reaaaally good it and then focus on something else if you want" and another black belt admitted he always hated half guard but was focusing on that position a lot now after training with some other black belts that had very different game than him; now he is finding new ways to attack from half guard or building a better position from it like taking the other person's back.

    Higher belts really don't resent white belts, unless they are really spazzy and do dumb stuff, or lack respect / courtesy. I used to give up the arm bar really easily, then gradually have started defending it, and escaping it, but I did it in baby steps. I didn't on day one freak out and try to scramble or fight against an armbar like it was life or death. Don't be a danger to your opponent.
     
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  9. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    The (most common sport rules) scoring of BJJ is easy and you can look those rules up today and have them down if you want to. I wouldn't worry about it too much unless you plan to compete in a tournament soon.

    Higher belts should be happy to work with a new student, especially one with a wrestling background. Wrestling is a great foundation for BJJ. There are a few habits you'll need to unlearn, but the advantages are much greater than the disadvantages.

    As far as basic moves: Some you know already from wrestling. Some you'll pick up more quickly than the average student without a grappling background over the course of weeks or months. Some you will struggle with for years. Even for the moves that you pick up and can use quickly you will make new discoveries on how to refine them. After 20+ years I still have these eureka moments when I realize "I've been doing this all wrong for years!"
     
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  10. Danny T

    Danny T Senior Master

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    If I may...
    With wrestling you already have a great base and pressure should be your greatest asset for the time being.
    Something I got from Pedro Sauer many years ago; Play...play Jiu Jitsu, don't try to win, don't fight, play. Learn to survive as you play, then learn to get to a position and control that position, then learn to attack from the position. Survive, Position, Control, Execution.
    Now I'm far from being an excellent BJJ practitioner but the above has helped slow my game down and become much more effective.
    Your's and other's mileage may vary.
     
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  11. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    A wrestler likes to obtain a clinch (such as head lock), take opponent down (such as leg break), and then use that leading arm control for his arm bar.

    In the following clip, a perfect side mount can be started after the throw. By using the wrestling approach, you are always one step ahead of your opponent.

    You can

    1. control your opponent's body and then take him down,
    2. drag him down and then look for body control.

    IMO, 1 > 2

     
    Last edited: May 22, 2018
  12. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    How long.....you know, kinda like how long it took you to get comfortable wrestling. But, in the long game you're already ahead with your wrestling background. And if you're not fit, you'll can probably get fit quicker than others because you know what fit was like from wrestling.
    That's a pretty good start right there.

    You'll get used to playing off your back, sometimes it's frustrating for a ex-wrestler at the beginning, but with no pins, it's a whole new feeling, a new game, you'll get used to it and probably love it. And you're going to love chokes, especially sneaky ones, and especially when you're scoring them on others instead of them on you. :)

    Relax, unclench everything, be pliable. The position game is a little different, but it's still the position game. If you don't understand it now, you will fairly quickly.

    Oh, what fun you're going to have. And keep us posted.
     
  13. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Another thought. There are two classic extremes to the philosophy of energy usage:

    Traditionally in wrestling you are taught to continually attack. Build your own cardio gas tank, Build your willpower to push through the suck. Never stall. Pressure your opponent until you can physically and mentally dominate him.

    Traditionally in old-school BJJ you were taught to conserve energy. Find the most efficient way to move. Protect yourself and let your opponent waste his energy trying to get you. Prepare for the long haul and take advantage of your opponent when he gets tired or frustrated and makes a mistake.

    To be a complete grappler, you really need to be able to use either approach or split the difference or switch back and forth as the situation demands. You already know one half of the puzzle. You may want to experiment with the other half from time to time and see what avenues it opens up.
     
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  14. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    The "don't try to win" is important, IMO. In my experience with BJJ guys, they are patient. If you "go for the kill" and they are reasonably skilled, they'll take all that "attack" and turn it into a bad day for you. The more strategic and patient you are, the more opportunities you'll find and the fewer you'll give to them.

    They'll still wrap you up like a burrito, but you'll feel better about how long you lasted. :D
     
  15. Danny T

    Danny T Senior Master

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    Coming to BJJ with a few years of wrestling in my younger years it was great advice. I began to spend more time on relaxing and working technically rather than using strength and finishing 'now'. The wrestling gave me pressure and I continue to use it but I've slowed down and slowly work to a position using pressure to control that position and then attack. Because my game has become more technical I am now attacking as I transition into different positions and can set up attacks by starting one attack to get a different one.
     
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  16. CoachRonald

    CoachRonald Yellow Belt

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    Hi budy,

    It deppend firstly on the method used by your coach and also on your attendence to the class. Usually in six four months I succed in making my students trained in such defendes tecnhiques, but my method is grounded mainly in defense actions.

    You can check it in my you tube channel
    Ronald Condé

    Regards
     

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