What Should You Expect from Your First Month of BJJ Training?

Beginning your journey in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can be a daunting task. There are so many things to learn and remember, and it can be easy to get overwhelmed. Here are a few things that you can expect during your first month of training. If you’re thinking about starting Carlson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ)) training, you may be wondering what to expect from your first month of training. BJJ is a challenging and rewarding martial art that offers many benefits for practitioners of all levels. In this blog post, we’ll give you a glimpse of what you can expect from your first month of BJJ training.

In your first month of BJJ training, you should expect to learn the basic techniques and principles of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. You will likely be introduced to a variety of different guard positions, such as the closed guard, half guard, and butterfly guard. You will also learn how to perform common submissions, such as the arm bar, triangle choke, and heel hook. In addition, you should expect to develop a better understanding of leverage and how to use your opponent’s weight to your advantage

1. Month One is About Showing Up

Leverage is a key element of Jiu-Jitsu. It is the use of your opponent’s weight and momentum to your advantage. By using leverage, you can force your opponent to tap out or submit.

There are many different ways to use leverage in Jiu-Jitsu. For example, you can use your opponent’s weight to your advantage when you are on their guard.

In addition, you should expect to develop a better understanding of leverage and how to use your opponent’s weight to your advantage as you progress in your Jiu-Jitsu training program. With time and practice, you will become a master of leveraging your opponent’s weight and momentum to your advantage.

2. Month One is About the Basics of BJJ

In month one of your BJJ journey, you will focus on the basics. You will learn the fundamental techniques and principles of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This will give you a strong foundation on which to build your BJJ game.

During this month, you will learn the following BJJ techniques:

– The fundamental guard positions (closed guard, open guard, half guard, side control, full mount, and back control)

– The fundamental escapes from bad positions (closed guard, open guard, half guard, side control, full mount, and back control)

The fundamental submissions, sweeps, and take-downs are the building blocks of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. They are the techniques that all practitioners must learn in order to be effective in this martial art.

While there are many different submissions, sweeps, and takedowns, there are a few that are considered to be the most fundamental.

The fundamental submissions are the chokes, arm locks, and leg locks. These are the techniques that are most effective in submitting an opponent. Chokes are used to restrict the flow of blood to the brain, causing the opponent to lose consciousness.

Arm locks are used to hyperextend the elbow, causing the opponent to submit. Leg locks are used to hyperextend the knee, causing the opponent to submit.

Submission or choke hold is the technique that involves grabbing a neck of an opponent and squeezing the throat to prevent breathing.

Choke holds are simple to perform but can be very effective in forcing an opponent to submit.

The Pros and Cons of BJJ Video Instructionals

Everyone wants to get better at BJJ, right? But how? Enter the BJJ instructional. Whether it’s by DVD or an online course, the thought of getting instruction from a well known instructor is tempting. And while finding the best online jiu jitsu course can sometimes be a challenge in and of itself, what is even more difficult is learning how to best utilize the instruction.

Will a DVD or online course really be the lynchpin that improves your closed guard game? It could be…if done right.

Let’s review the pros and cons of learning BJJ by video and how you can get better at BJJ with instructionals.

Advantages of learning BJJ with video instructional

How many times in class have you said to your instructor: “Can you repeat that technique?” Fortunately, when you are watching a video clip all you need to do is to hit the rewind button to replay the instruction. You no longer have to be that guy (or gal) who always wants to see it just one more time.

Another advantage to online bjj training is that you can really focus on nuance. By this we mean that you can find just about any position or technique and have it explored from many perspectives. You are not just limited to what your instructor says on a particular evening. With the explosion in instructional content, you can find entire encyclopedias of BJJ knowledge, so to speak, that will help you become a better grappler for a particular position.

A third advantage to learning by DVD or online is that you get access to world class instructors for pennies of what a seminar might cost. Seriously, this point cannot be emphasized enough.  How much would it cost to have a private session with Marcelo Garcia? You probably do not want to know…

Last, the production value of instructionals has increased over the years. As Modern BJJ has evolved so has the quality of the BJJ instructional. These courses are not your 1990s martial arts VHS tapes, or heck, even early 2000s DVDs for that matter. These days, you can expect that a course will offer good sound, lighting and editing to enhance the learning experience.

Disadvantages to learning BJJ with video instructionals

There is no substitute for learning in a real life setting. You could watch every BJJ video online and still not improve one iota if you never practice the techniques in real life.

The main disadvantage with learning BJJ by instructional is that you cannot receive live feedback. Yes, a training partner can help, but unless they are a coach or higher level belt, you won’t know if you are doing the techniques properly.

How to best learn with a BJJ instructional

Here are three tips for learning BJJ by DVD or with a subscription online.

First, alway have a training buddy. This will emulate actual training like at your gym.

Learning by yourself is tough. And since BJJ is done against an opponent you are missing half the equation if you are just watching a DVD or course by yourself. Find a training partner and watch the material together. This is the most practical way to get better.

Second, review what you learned on an instructional in your actual class. Find time after a training session to put your new techniques or approach to the test. This should sound simple, but you need to practice these techniques just like everything else you learn from your actual profesor.

Third, take notes! If you take notes during your actual BJJ class this should be a no brainer. Taking notes helps reinforces concepts. Approach the video lessons as you would a normal academic course. Write down what you learn and then try to summarize the principles. Of course, BJJ is not a writing sport, you must eventually practice on the mat!


BJJ is a sport that takes time to learn. Learning online can help speed up this process, but it must be used in conjunction with your real life training, not against it. Stay focused and study with a goal in mind.


What to pack for a BJJ competition!

Recently I stumbled accross this article on what to pack for BJJ competitions, written by the guys at Grapplers Planet.

The article covers what to wear in terms of uniform, what to bring in terms of protective gear, what you must do in terms of hygiene, equipment and clothing, food and other stuff.

Check it out here.

“I always bring the latest Grappling magazine because it passes the time before your fight, and often stimulates conversation between other guys competing.”

–          Chris Arsenault – Blue Belt, Pictou County Titans (Team Renzo Gracie)


“Underwear… you need new underwear after fights!”

–          Mike Aviado – Blue Belt, Body of Four (Franco Behring)


“An extra Gi.  You know…for those wardrobe malfunctions.”

–          Dan SETH, Purple Belt, McMaster BJJ (Franco Behring)


“Ah, I bring an apple to help settle my stomach.”

–          Paul Zenchuk, Purple Belt, Pura BJJ (Mendes Bros.)

Understanding the Basic Concepts of Anticipation and Application for BJJ White Belts

Every one of us started from the bottom. It doesn’t matter whether we’re in a basketball or a football team, or we practice wrestling or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, we all go through the similar white belt phase. This is the frustrating part where we learn the ropes, so to speak, and absorb the basic concepts and fundamental movement patterns of our chosen sport. In a way, it can also be said that this is where we paint a somewhat indistinct picture on a blank canvas. Our objective, of course, is to establish a solid foundation for all the things we’ll learn in the future, and everything starts with our mental toughness.

Former UFC veteran and BJJ black belt Vagner Rocha shares that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu regularly entails supreme mental concentration, especially when foreseeing your opponent’s next move and devising your own game plan. Rocha adds how this natural focus helps us not just on the mats, but also in other facets of life. So for us to take things a step further in terms of improving our white belt game, it’s imperative to understand BJJ’s core principles of anticipation and what they actually mean.

In their article on the outline of permutations and combinations, Pocketfruity points out the value of knowing when and how to quickly measure the different outcomes we should be concerned with. According to the piece, as much as our instincts play a huge role in this scenario, we still have to process and assess the number of options for every situation. Applying this idea to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu means it’s like facing a math problem in an orderly fashion, in which the solution leads to a submission or an escape. This notion doesn’t necessarily require us to become a math wiz, but rather it simply suggests the significant role of proper and logical judgment.

The white belt is basically the cognitive stage of our BJJ learning curve, based on a blog post by Infighting. This point is also where we exert most of our attention and energy on the execution of techniques. It still doesn’t come natural, as every movement is linked with our thoughts and each sequence is articulated by our limited grappling knowledge. To put things further in perspective, this phase is where we are like sponges and absorb as much information as we can from everyone and apply it on the mats.

Essentially, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and all the other forms of martial arts, involves assessment, logic, and application. There should always be definitive reasons for every movement, whether we’re shrimping or bridging, or applying or escaping a submission. Throughout this whole process of learning and practicing these basics, we’ll comprehend the importance of effort. Moreover, by knowing how to deal with different scenarios and measure possible outcomes, we’ll slowly but surely feel a more natural sense of flow and sweep our way into the next level.

Who’s who of Women in BJJ

A run down of the current top Female BJJ players in the world inspired by Attack the Back.

Whether the following amazing women and BJJ competitors where motivated by family; fitness; exercise; self-defense; stress relief; or as a transition from more traditional forms of martial arts, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu enrolment for women has increased every year despite it being a traditionally male-dominated sport.

Below is a list of who’s who in the world of female BJJ.

Leticia Ribeiro

Leticia Ribeiro N. Dos Santos is a 4th degree Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and multiple time world champion in the sport. She is associated with the Gracie Humaita jiu-jitsu school. Wikipedia

Born: February 24, 1979 (age 37), Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Residence: San Diego, California, United States

Team: Gracie Humaitá

Kyra Gracie

Kyra Gracie Guimarães is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner and grappling world champion and a member of the Gracie family. Wikipedia

Born: May 29, 1985 (age 31), Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Height: 1.7 m
Weight: 53 kg


Michelle Nicolini

Michelle Zonato Nicolini or Michelle Nicolini is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner and mixed martial artist. She holds a black belt under Robert Drysdale and is an ADCC and 8x BJJ World Champion. Wikipedia Michelle is an instructor at Evolve MMA in Singapore.

Born: January 5, 1982 (age 34), Itu, São Paulo, Brazil
Residence: Santos, São Paulo, Brazil
Teams: Checkmat, Evolve MMA


Gabi Garcia

Gabrielle “Gabi” Lemos Garcia is a Brazilian Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner, grappling world champion, and member of the IBJJF Hall of Fame. Wikipedia

Born: November 17, 1985 (age 30), Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Height: 1.87 m
Weight: 111 kg
Team: Alliance Jiu Jitsu

Mackenzie Dern

Mackenzie Lynne Dern is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner and mixed martial artist. IBJJF ranks Mackenzie as the number one female black belt in brazilian jiu-jitsu. Wikipedia

Born: March 24, 1993 (age 23), Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Height: 1.6 m
Nationality: American

Tammi Musumeci

Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie Carlson Gracie > Ricardo Libório > Emyr Bussade > Tammi Musumeci

Main Achievements:

  • Pan American Champion (2014)
  • World No Gi Champion (2013, 2015)
  • World Championship Silver Medal (2014)
  • Pan American Silver Medal (2016)

Favourite Position/Technique: Berimbolo/ Kimura

Weight Division: Peso Pena (58kg/129lbs)

Team/Association: Atos/ATT – www.bjjheroes.com


Valerie Worthington

Is a BJJ Coach based in the United States, New Jersey, at Princeton. Valerie teaches BJJ and Sports Psychology and is an all round inspiration. In the video clip below Valerie explains how she fought depression and found happiness in her life.

Gezary Matuda

Hometown:  Curitiba, Parana, Brazil (resides Coconut Creek, Florida)

School/Training Camp:  American Top Team (Coconut Creek, Florida)

Discipline(s): Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (Black Belt; 4-time World Champion)

Height: 162 cm (5’3″) Weight: 53.3 kg (118lbs)

In the video below you see Matuda pull of an unmissable and incredible submission in her fight against Michelle Nicolini from Polaris Pro 12th Sept 2015.

Dominyka Obelenyte

Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie > Helio Gracie > Rolls Gracie > Romero Cavalcanti > Fabio Gurgel >Marcelo Garcia > Dominyka Obelenyte

Main Achievements:

World Champion (2015 weight & absolute black, 2014 & 2013 brown, 2011 absolute purple, 2010 blue)
Pan American Champion (2016/2015 black, 2014 brown, 2013 absolute purple)
European Open Champion (2015 black, 2012 purple)
New York Spring International Open Champion (2015 weight & absolute)
Pan American Championship 2nd Place (2014 absolute brown, 2013 purple, 2010 blue)
World No Gi Championship 3rd Place (2010 blue/purple)
European Open 3rd Place (2015 absolute)

Favorite Position/Technique: Open Guard, Pressure guard passing

Weight Division: Peso Pesado (79kg/175lbs)

Team/Association: Alliance Jiu Jitsu – www.bjjheroes.com

Yvone Duarte

Yvone Duarte, the first female black belt in BJJ. There had been some debate and somewhat of a quest to figure out who the first was, so it’s good to see that they have figured it out.

Duarte was a fierce competitor, winning both her weight class and absolute several times in the late eighties and early nineties. This is particularly impressive since she fought at 52kg, just under 115 pounds. She received her black belt from Osvaldo Alves, who is, to put it lightly, a true legend and founder of the art of BJJ. She went on to become the head of the BJJ federation in the state of Brasilia, and has reached the 5th degree black belt.




Martial Arts Focus: Kron Gracie

Kron Gracie is the youngest son of the legendary Rickson Gracie, the whole Gracie family are probably the most well known family in the world of JJiu Jitsu. The Brazilian fighter has continued on his family and country’s tradition in the emotional evolutionary martial art.

Kron shows the best chess like strategy approach to Jiu Jitsu with skilled maneuvers and angles that represents the purer movements of the martial art.

Learn more from the source by clicking the link below.

Source: Martial Arts Focus: Kron Gracie