Most common BJJ Mistakes for Beginners (and not only)

Want to improve quickly in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu? Give a look into the 15 most common mistakes BJJ Beginners make and learn how to avoid them.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a complex and challenging (but beautiful) martial art that requires dedication and consistent practice to master.

However, even the most experienced practitioners make mistakes, and beginners are especially prone to errors.

In this article, we’ll discuss 15 of the most common mistakes that beginners in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu may make, and provide tips and insights to help you avoid them.

Before starting, let me share a secret with you: if you want to improve quickly, work every day on each of those points. You’ll see the results way faster than you could imagine!

Top 15 BJJ Mistakes that beginners do (and probably You too)

Let me start with one important consideration. It’s kind of normal for beginners to make a lot of mistakes. You can’t run from them and they probably are your best training partner.

But mistakes are made by everyone. Even experienced practitioners could still make some of those errors. So I would suggest keeping reading even if you aren’t a White Belt anymore.

Ready? Let’s start!

Mistake #1: Neglecting Proper Nutrition and Hydration

In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, proper nutrition and hydration are critical for peak performance. Avoid training while starving or with a full stomach, and seek expert dietary advice to optimize your performance. Don’t take supplements without medical oversight, and drink plenty of water before, during, and after training.

Mistake #2: Focusing on Winning Rather Than Learning

The mats at your gym are for learning, not competition. Focus on learning and improving your weaknesses, and tap frequently. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a learning process, and you need to concentrate on learning, tapping, and improving your weaknesses to become a better fighter.

Mistake #3: Crossing Your Feet During an Armbar

Crossing your feet during an armbar is a common mistake that can make it easier for your opponent to defend against the submission. Keep your feet uncrossed and parallel to each other to avoid this mistake.

Mistake #4: Ignoring Self-Defense Techniques and Putting Yourself at Risk

Practicing self-defense techniques regularly can help you become a better fighter and avoid getting caught in simple chokes or submissions. Make sure to practice these techniques often to develop the muscle memory needed to execute them instinctively.

Mistake #5: Staring at Your Collar During a Choke

Staring at your collar during a choke is a common mistake that can make it easier for your opponent to choke you. Instead, tuck your chin to your chest, pull your opponent’s shoulder and arm, and rotate your hips to escape.

Mistake #6: Disrespecting the Hierarchy

The hierarchy in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is based on the rank and experience of each practitioner. Wait for more experienced fighters to invite you to practice, and show respect for their knowledge and experience.

Mistake #7: Maintaining Poor Posture and Making Yourself Vulnerable to Attacks

Good posture is essential to maintain balance and control in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Maintain a straight back and flex your toes to avoid being unbalanced and vulnerable to sweeps and submissions.

If you really want to improve your posture, you should check out this great video from the YouTube channel The Grapplers Guide by Jason Scully.

Mistake #8: Focusing Solely on Offense and Neglecting Proper Defense Techniques

Learning proper defense techniques is just as critical as learning attacks in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. By focusing on defense as well as offense, you can become a more well-rounded fighter.

Mistake #9: Leaving Your Arm Within Your Opponent’s Guard

When passing the guard, be mindful of your arm position and keep it away from your opponent’s guard. By keeping your arms close to your body, you’ll be able to defend against submissions more effectively and maintain better control over your opponent.

Mistake #10: Not Keeping Your Elbows Close to Your Body

Keeping your elbows close to your body can help you control your opponent more effectively and defend against submissions. Avoid leaving your elbows away from your body, which can leave you vulnerable to armbars, imbalances, and other attacks.

Mistake #11: Overcommitting to a Technique

Beginners may become attached to a particular technique or strategy and overcommit to it during training. This can limit their development by preventing them from exploring other techniques and strategies that may work better for them. It’s important to remain open to trying new things and expanding your repertoire of techniques to become a more versatile fighter.

Mistake #12: Failing to Warm Up Properly

A proper warm-up is essential to prevent injuries and prepare your body for training. Beginners may skip warm-up exercises or not take them seriously, leading to injuries that can hinder their training and progress. Take the time to warm up your body properly before training, and listen to your body to avoid overexertion.

Mistake #13: Inconsistency in Training

Consistency is key to progress in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Beginners may skip training sessions or not train with sufficient frequency, hindering their progress and making it more difficult for them to improve. Make a commitment to consistent training, and set realistic goals for yourself to track your progress and stay motivated.

Mistake #14: Not Seeking Guidance from Experienced Practitioners

Beginners may hesitate to ask for help from more experienced practitioners, which can slow down their learning and hinder their progress. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek guidance from those who have more experience. This can help you develop faster and avoid making common mistakes.

Mistake #15: Becoming Too Passive

Beginners may become too passive during training, which can make it difficult for them to develop their techniques and strategies effectively. They may hesitate to try new things or take risks, limiting their progress. Don’t be afraid to take risks and try new techniques during training. This can help you develop your skills and become a more well-rounded fighter.


In conclusion, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu requires dedication and consistent practice to master.

As a beginner, it’s important to be aware of the common mistakes that can hinder your progress and work to avoid them. By focusing on good nutrition and hydration, maintaining good posture and defense, seeking guidance from experienced practitioners, and remaining open to new techniques and strategies, you can develop your skills and become a better fighter.

If you’re serious about improving at BJJ, then you should read our Guide on how to get better at Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu faster than everyone else.

Consistency and dedication are key, so commit to regular training and set realistic goals for yourself to track your progress and stay motivated.

BJJ Today
BJJ Today
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