Beginners Guide to Jiu Jitsu: Learning the Basics

What is Jiu Jitsu?

In the heart of the thriving city of Miami, Florida, LiveFree CrossFit houses a unique sport that coils physicality and strategy in one dynamic activity – Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Originally from Japan, Jiu Jitsu was developed as a means for samurai to combat enemies without weapons. Centuries later, it metamorphosed into its Brazilian form, which prizes leverage and technique over brute strength.

Jiu Jitsu, often simply known as BJJ, is a martial art with a deep-rooted commitment to personal growth, mental resilience, and community spirit. It leverages restricted strength and applies technical skills to enable smaller and weaker people to defend against bigger and stronger attackers.

The Importance of Learning Jiu Jitsu

Here at LiveFree CrossFit, we host an amalgamation of practical self-defense techniques, strength, conditioning, and a compelling sport. We believe Brazilian Jiu Jitsu offers benefits that extend far beyond the mat.

Physical Fitness: Jiu Jitsu is a full-body workout that strengthens your core, enhances flexibility, and improves overall body coordination.

Mental Stamina: It boosts mental toughness as it requires you to strategize and make quick decisions under pressure.

Self-defense skills: Jiu Jitsu is practical in teaching efficient defenses against prospective real-world threats.

Building relationships: The community that you engage with forms a significant part of your Jiu Jitsu journey. You constantly learn from each other and build strong, supportive relationships.

Basic Techniques in Jiu Jitsu

To start your journey in Jiu Jitsu, here are some basic techniques you should focus on. They form the foundation of the sport and your continual progress.

Guard Position

The guard position is a common place to end up in during a roll – an informal sparring in Jiu Jitsu. It allows a fighter on his or her back to defend against an opponent with a variety of techniques. By having their opponent between their legs, they use their arms and legs to control the individual.

Side Control

In Jiu Jitsu, the side control allows a fighter to dominate the opponent by lying perpendicularly across the opponent’s chest. It provides an advantageous position while reducing your opponent’s room to strike back or escape.

Rear Mount

The rear mount position is considered one of the most dominant positions in Jiu Jitsu. Here, you are behind your opponent with your legs wrapped around them (hooks in), controlling their body and leaving them vulnerable to various attacks.

Jiu Jitsu Rules and Scoring

Jiu Jitsu scoring primarily revolves around position control and submission. Points are awarded based on the effective establishment of control positions, such as mount, rear mount, and guard pass. The ultimatum of Jiu Jitsu matches is submission. This implies using a technique that captivates your opponent into “tapping out,” signifying their surrender.

Avoiding Common Beginner Mistakes in Jiu Jitsu

Despite its exploratory nature, beginners often stumble upon common pitfalls.

Not Tapping: At the beginning of your journey, you’ll find yourself tapping out frequently. Accept this, and remember, every tap marks a lesson learned.

Skipping Warmups: Warming up prepares your body for the rigors of training. It also improves your agility, balance, speed and reduces injury risks.

Excessive Strength Usage: Relying too much on strength rather than technique is a common pitfall in Jiu Jitsu. The focus should be on mastering the technique over merely overpowering your opponent.

Choosing the Right Gi for Jiu Jitsu

The Gi, or kimono, serves as the standard uniform for Jiu Jitsu students. When starting, it’s crucial to select a Gi that is both comfortable and durable. It should allow for unrestricted movement and be able to withstand various grips from your opponents and extensive training sessions.

Jiu Jitsu Belt System

The belt system in Jiu Jitsu serves as the milestone for your progress. After starting with a white belt, you move through the ranks of blue, purple, brown, and finally black (plus, a few levels beyond black). The transition between belts reflects the increment of your knowledge, skill level, and maturity in the sport.

Your Jiu Jitsu Journey Begins Now

The journey of Jiu Jitsu is infinite, always offering something new to learn, another skill to master. It’s not only a journey of physical self-discovery but also of the mind and spirit.

At LiveFree CrossFit in Miami, we build on the core tenets of Jiu Jitsu, fostering an environment that allows you to grow at your own pace. We propel you to chase your personal goals – be it self-defense, fitness, or a shot at competition glory. Join us, and you’ll not only learn Jiu Jitsu but also be a part of a thriving and supportive community. Your Jiu Jitsu journey is about to begin. Are you ready?


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