Getting better faster at Jiu Jitsu

Kroyler’s Pro-Tip on getting better faster 

Paulie asked me to discuss how to get better at jiu-jitsu….

So, before we embark in this journey on how to make the path to lifelong jiu-jitsu easier….

Alright well let's just get this show started. These first 5 things are simply things that you shouldn’t do and 1 that you should do. If you do these it will at least ensure that you have a solid enough work ethic and mindset to succeed.

1.Don’t quit, no matter what.

2.Show and train like you actually want to be good at this. Don’t just show up and assume knowledge will be directly uploaded into your brain. It will take physical work, mental work, concentration and repetition.

3.Don’t chase the belt or the stripes.  It's nothing but cotton cloth and sticky tape.

4.Don’t compare yourself to anyone else… unless its yesterday’s version of you.

5.Don’t make excuses, create opportunities to train more.

Now I know Pauline wanted strategieson how to improve in Jiu-Jitsu when you don’t have a school that’s as systematic as mine… So here are some basic ideologies:

1.Attend every class that you can.

2.Ask questions if you don’t understand why and how something works.

3.Ask when a technique is supposed to be used.

4.Then drill the technique until you can physically perform the technique smoothly

5.Take notes after class

a.Break it down into steps and concepts

i.Steps should be concise but thorough

ii.Concepts should be the ideology behind the technique or what principle is at play

1.Then think on how it could be applied else where

6.Try the techniques you’re learning

a.Don’t hesitate

b.Don’t be bummed if it goes wrong, even if it costs the match. You are PRACTICING, not COMPETING.

c.Don’t force it to work, muscling or using weight or flexibility to buffer for shit technique is simply exactly that. Shit technique. Fix the technique and you won’t have to buffer.

d.When it fails make a mental note of what went wrong and why

i.Ask your instructor on how to address that issue.

e.When it works try to do it again.

Now for some more advanced concepts:

1.Think long term not short term. Meaning don’t be pennywise and dollar foolish.

a.Short term goals are garbage and will hurt you long term. Most of us are concerned with winning every roll any given day. I challenge you all to focus on long term greatness. Be the guy that in 5 years is nearly impossible to submit, not the guy that is simply a tough beginner. I would love to discuss this in personas this is something I preach a lot.

2.Pick a position you like it create a big enough comfort zone, then leave it.


i.Find a style of guard you like and develop it well enough that you feel confident in it and in your ability to be successful with it.

1.To do this you must spend a large amount of time in that position.  So, force yourself to spend as much time there as possible.

ii.Once you have developed a position that you are truly comfortable with, move on.

1.Branch out of your comfort zone and know that if things get rough outside of it that you can always run back to it.

2.But with the mindset that the goal is to expand that comfort zone, not dwell in it.

3.If you are comfortable in uncomfortable positions then you are unbeatable.

3.Find a training partner and commit to them. If they need a dummy or if you need a dummy, commit yourselves tohelpas much as you can even if you don’t enjoy the drill that your partner wants to do.

4.Ask questions from your training partners

5.Ask questions from your instructor

6.Find the flow of your jiu-jitsu

a.Jiu-Jitsu should be felt as well as understood. I think a lot of people focus on understanding a movement and not enough in feeling it.

7.Learn to breath

a.Its amazing how many people think they know how.

8.Think of the sword and the shield concept

a.The idea is that whenever a move is successful your training partners will need a better defense for it.  So, show them how you’re being successful and how you are setting it up and when you’re setting it up.

b.They in turn will naturally troubleshoot solutions and eventually they’ll have several solutions for yourmove.

c.Share their solutions with everyone so that everyone has access to all the possible solutions

d.This in turn will cause them to succeed and for you to fail.

e.Then this in turn will cause you to have to find solutions to each of the problems they are presenting.

f.This cycle continues back and forth until all scenarios are exhausted.

g.This vicious cycle grows at an exponential rate and it must be truly studied. All the options must be studied and given equal importance.

The other thing it would help immensely would be to do privates if you can’t grasp a specific concept or you notice a severe lack of ability in a given area.

This is not an exhaustive approach to improvement and there are several areas that aren’t discussed here, but as I mentioned to these ninnyhammers this topic is far too long to type up… so this is a simple overview.

Lastly, I learned that Paul doesn’t actually like tacos… he likes taco bell. But not legitimate tacos… so please no one send him a “taco and jiu-jitsushirt” …Infact, please send him some hate for his incredibly poor taste in food….He's like a little kid when it comes to food.

Kip Dice