How to Improve at BJJ (Faster)

Unlock rapid BJJ improvement with our strategies. Discover techniques and tips in our latest article to transform your BJJ journey now!

Hey there, fellow BJJ enthusiast! We know how passionate you are about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and how eager you are to improve. Trust us, we’ve been there, and we get it.

If you are here, you probably want to know how to improve at BJJ, and how to do that fast.

So, let’s embark on this exciting adventure together with the tips we’ve gathered to help you excel in BJJ faster than you can say “OSS!”.

This is probably one of the most important and complete guides we wrote so far at BJJ Today, so if you enjoy it, please consider sharing it with your BJJ training partners.

Set Clear and Specific Goals: Your BJJ GPS

Remember the first time you tried to assemble IKEA furniture without instructions? Yeah, that didn’t end well, did it?

Just like that nightmarish dresser, your BJJ journey needs clear directions.

Set short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals to guide you.

And make them SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) – because who doesn’t love a good acronym? Periodically review and adjust your goals, as your BJJ aspirations may change faster than you change your gi.

SMART goals

Create goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART).

This approach ensures that your goals are well-defined and realistic, making it easier for you to work towards them systematically.

For example, instead of a vague goal like “improve my guard,” a SMART goal would be to submit three different training partners from my closed guard within the next month.

Write all of your SMART goals in your BJJ diary and write a deadline (a realistic one!) near each one of them.

Short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals

Establishing goals across different time frames provides a clear roadmap for your BJJ journey.

Short-term goals may involve mastering specific techniques or improving your cardio.

Medium-term goals could focus on competition performance or belt promotions.

Long-term goals might include becoming a high-ranking BJJ practitioner or opening your own academy (yes, this one could be very long-term).

By breaking your journey down into smaller milestones, you can maintain motivation and better track your progress.

Regularly review and adjust your goals

As you progress in BJJ, your goals may evolve or change.

It’s essential to review and adjust your goals periodically to ensure that they continue to align with your current skill level, interests, and aspirations.

This practice helps you stay focused on the most relevant areas of improvement and prevents you from becoming stagnant in your training.

Prioritize Technique Over Strength: Brains Over Brawn

Picture this: a tiny David armed with flawless technique, triumphing over a hulking Goliath. That’s the magic of BJJ!

It’s not about the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.

Focus on learning and mastering techniques, developing a rock-solid foundation in BJJ fundamentals, and leveraging body mechanics to outsmart your opponents.

After all, nobody wants to be that guy who muscles through everything (we’re looking at you, overly aggressive white belt).

Learning and mastering techniques

In BJJ, the technique is the key to success. Focus on learning and mastering various techniques, paying close attention to the details that make them effective.

By developing a strong technical foundation, you’ll be able to rely less on physical strength and more on your skill, making you a more efficient and formidable practitioner.

Strong foundation in BJJ fundamentals

A strong foundation in BJJ fundamentals is crucial for long-term success in the sport. Make sure to invest time in mastering essential positions, movements, and principles.

This foundation will serve as the basis for more advanced techniques and strategies as you progress in your BJJ journey.

To know more about this, read our article about the most common BJJ mistakes and learn how to avoid them.

Leverage and body mechanics

Emphasize the use of leverage and body mechanics when executing techniques.

BJJ is built on the concept of using these principles to overcome stronger and larger opponents.

By focusing on efficient movement and proper application of force, you’ll be able to execute techniques more effectively, regardless of your opponent’s physical attributes.

Drill Like Your Life Depends On It (Because It Kinda Does)

Drilling is like the kale of BJJ – not everyone’s favorite, but incredibly beneficial. Find yourself a drilling partner who shares your goals and love for perfecting techniques.

Practice both offensive and defensive moves, so you’re ready for anything that comes your way.

Gradually crank up the resistance, and before you know it, you’ll be the BJJ superstar you were always meant to be. Don’t forget to throw in some visualization and mental rehearsal to really seal the deal.

Find a drilling partner

A dedicated drilling partner can significantly impact your improvement in BJJ. Look for someone with similar goals and commitment to practicing techniques consistently.

Regular drilling sessions with a reliable partner will help you refine your skills, build muscle memory, and increase your overall understanding of the techniques.

Practice offensive and defensive techniques

Ensure that you’re well-rounded by practicing both offensive and defensive techniques.

Familiarize yourself with various submissions, sweeps, and escapes, preparing for a wide range of scenarios you may encounter during sparring or competition.

Gradually increase resistance

As you become more comfortable with a technique, gradually increase the level of resistance in your drills.

This practice will help you simulate real-world situations and test the effectiveness of your techniques under pressure.

It also allows you to identify areas for improvement and further refine your skills.

Visualization and mental rehearsal

Incorporate visualization and mental rehearsal into your drilling routine.

By mentally rehearsing techniques and visualizing successful execution, you can reinforce neural pathways associated with the movements, making it easier to perform them during live training.

Embrace Your Inner Sherlock: Analyze and Learn from Your Mistakes

We all make mistakes, and that’s okay! It’s time to turn those “oops” moments into valuable learning experiences.

Keep notes of your progress, record your sparring sessions, and seek feedback from coaches and training partners.

Then, take your newfound knowledge and apply it to your future training sessions. It’s like turning lemons into submission-inducing lemonade.

Keep a training journal

Maintaining a training journal (a relic from the pre-digital era) is a valuable tool for tracking your progress and reflecting on areas for improvement.

Use it to record your training sessions, noting techniques you’ve learned, successes, and challenges.

Review your journal regularly to identify patterns and areas where you may need to focus more attention.

Record and analyze sparring sessions

Recording your sparring sessions provides a unique opportunity to analyze your performance and identify strengths and weaknesses.

Review the footage to pinpoint areas where you can improve, such as your positioning, timing, or execution of techniques.

Watching yourself in action can also help you recognize habits or mistakes that may be difficult to spot during live training.

Seek feedback from coaches and training partners

Don’t hesitate to ask your coaches and training partners for feedback on your performance.

They can provide valuable insights and different perspectives on your progress, helping you identify areas for improvement.

Be open to constructive criticism and use the feedback to make adjustments to your training plan.

Implement lessons learned in subsequent training sessions

After identifying areas for improvement and receiving feedback, it’s crucial to implement these lessons into your future training sessions.

Focus on addressing the specific issues you’ve identified, and track your progress over time.

This process will help you make continuous improvements and avoid repeating the same mistakes.

Mobility, Flexibility, and Conditioning: Your BJJ Holy Trinity

To really up your BJJ game, you’ll need to become a well-oiled machine.

Incorporate Yoga or Pilates to enhance your flexibility and mobility, making you more twisty and bendy than a pretzel.

Focus on functional strength training, because BJJ muscles are earned, not given.

And don’t forget to work on your cardiovascular endurance – nobody wants to gas out halfway through a roll.

Incorporate stretching routines

Improving your flexibility and mobility can significantly enhance your performance in BJJ.

Incorporate stretching routines, such as yoga or Pilates, into your training regimen to increase your range of motion, prevent injuries, and improve your overall body awareness.

Focus on functional strength training

In addition to technique, strength plays a vital role in BJJ. Focus on functional strength training exercises that target the specific muscle groups needed for BJJ techniques.

These may include bodyweight exercises, kettlebell training, or resistance band workouts, all designed to build strength while also improving your overall movement and coordination.

In order to maximize the results of your strength training, remember to eat properly.

Develop cardiovascular endurance

Cardiovascular endurance is essential for maintaining a high level of performance throughout your BJJ training sessions and competitions.

Engage in activities like swimming, running, or cycling to improve your overall fitness and stamina, ensuring you can keep pushing yourself on the mats.

Leverage Online Resources

Because you can’t spend every waking moment on the mat (or can you?).

In fact, we are so lucky to have one powerful tool that we can use basically every moment of our day to learn something new about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

It’s almost like having a wise and knowledgeable BJJ master near you all the time.

This tool is the Internet. And you should use it too.

Utilize instructional videos, online courses, and articles

Supplement your in-person training with instructional videos, online courses, and articles from reputable sources (have you heard of BJJ Today?!).

These resources can provide additional insights and tips for improving your BJJ techniques, strategies, and understanding of the sport.

By leveraging these resources, you can accelerate your learning and progress faster in your BJJ journey.

Join BJJ forums and social media groups

Connecting with fellow practitioners through BJJ forums and social media groups can provide valuable support and knowledge sharing.

Participate in discussions, ask questions, and share your own insights to expand your understanding of BJJ and learn from others’ experiences.

I find a lot of useful information on groups like the BJJ Community on Reddit and the BJJ section of Martial Talk forum.

Also, try to give a look to Facebook communities like BJJ Fanatics Group and BJJ EVERYTHING.

Study competition footage of high-level athletes

Observing high-level athletes in competition can offer a wealth of information about techniques, strategies, and movement patterns.

Analyze their matches to identify the details that make them successful and seek to incorporate those aspects into your own game.

This practice can help you refine your techniques and develop a deeper understanding of the sport.

Simply go to YouTube and type: best BJJ matches and start learning from the best of the best!

[BONUS] Start a BJJ Online Course

If you are a beginner in BJJ and want to gain a real unfair advantage against the other athletes of your dojo, then I want to share a secret with you.

There is a proven method that you can apply to quickly improve and get to a Blue Belt level.

The method consists in applying a specific routine during your training sessions (and even during the rest days).

You’ll find everything in the course Blue Belt in 1 Day.

What is Blue Belt in 1 Day?

Blue Belt in 1 Day is an online course made to help BJJ beginners quickly improve thanks to a specific method created by other Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners.

In this course you will get:

  • The impossible-to-forget beginner game plan.
  • BJJ techniques checklists for all beginner techniques, with a huge variety of guards, guard passes, leg entanglements, pins, pin escapes, takedowns, and submissions.
  • Quizzes at the end of every chapter to help you memorize what you studied.
  • A chapter specific for takedowns.
  • Dozens of improvement tips based on the feedback of the community.
  • Exclusive discount codes (worth 46$, but will add more in the future).

In total honesty, the beginner game plan alone, if you will apply it correctly and consistently, will quickly repay the investment.

One last thing. If you aren’t satisfied with the results, there is a 100% guaranteed refund policy within the first 14 days, no questions asked. You will find more info about that on the course page.


In conclusion, my fellow BJJ enthusiasts, accelerating your progress in Brazilian jiu-jitsu is entirely within your grasp.

By setting clear and specific goals, prioritizing technique over strength, drilling regularly, analyzing your mistakes, focusing on mobility, flexibility, and conditioning, and leveraging online resources, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a formidable force on the mats.

Don’t forget to check out the game-changing “Blue Belt in 1 Day” course, your ultimate survival guide for mastering the essentials and fast-tracking your BJJ journey.

So go forth, embrace the grind, and keep growing in this incredible martial art.


BJJ Today
BJJ Today
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