How to propel your Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to new heights!

Here are some useful tips from the Evolve BJJ Instructor Team:

1) Focus on defense first. If you can defend a position, then you are one small step towards understanding BJJ. If you can prevent submissions, then you are another small step towards becoming a great BJJ stylist. (As a case in point, World Champion Braga Neto has only been submitted once in his entire tournament career spanning over 15 years). If your opponent cannot dictate a position on you, then it is unlikely that he or she will be able to submit you.

2) Be on the attack. While this tip might seem to contradict the first tip, it does not. Once you have confidence that you can defend your position at will and that you can avoid being submitted, then your attacks will be even that much better. You will be able to attack without exposing yourself unecessarily. If you are attacking, your opponent will always be worrying about defense. Attacking in BJJ means to be bettering your position or to be attempting submissions from favorable positions.

3) Find the position, then the submission. You must try to gain superior position before going for a submission. This lesson is a key ingredient that Renzo Gracie teaches. If you go for a submission from an inferior position, you are exposing yourself in a big way. Always go for submissions from a position of strength. BJJ is like human chess. It is about improving your odds of success by gaining positions that allow you to control the situation.

4) Find your combinations. Just like a Muay Thai combination, there are BJJ combinations. Practice your combinations. BJJ Black Belts often have 5-6 combination attacks. In other words, their bodies automatically flow from one position/submission to the other for a sequence of 5-6 different moves. For example, you can flow from armbar to triangle choke to omoplata as a sequence of 3 submission attempts. If you can do it flawlessly, the likelihood of landing one of them will increase.

5) Go with the flow. The most technical BJJ practitioners go with the flow. They do not force a position or a submission. They flow from one position to the next, from one submission to the next - all based on the energy that their opponents are giving them. This concept is a very advanced one, but it is the essence of BJJ. BJJ is a soft and graceful art. It is not about using muscle and strength to gain advantage. It is about using leverage, body weight, momentum, and balance. It is about using what your opponent is trying to do as a lead into doing something. So in the future, if your opponent is pulling you, don't always just pull back. Experiment with pushing and pulling based on what your opponent is doing.

6) Look at the head, hands, hips, and feet. If you can control the 3 of the 4 leverage points (head, hands, hips, and feet), you will gain a good advantage. Pay close attention to where your 4 leverage points are and where your opponent's 4 leverage points are. When you are trying to pass to another position, try to control 3 of the 4 leverage points. It will make it easier to pass to another position.

7) Drill as much as you can. The more times that you practice how to do an armbar, the more it will become muscle memory. The more times you practice the hip escape, the more it will become instinctive and natural. Find a partner and drill as much as you can on a regular basis.

8) Cardio is the foundation to your game. Without strong cardio, it is hard to become good at any of the reality-based martial arts. Try to do circuits outside of class. Try to run sprints. You will see how quickly it translates into success on the mats.

9) Mat time is everything. Roll as much as you can on the mats. Get comfortable on the ground. We spend most of our lives walking upright. It is no wonder why BJJ is so hard to learn because it is done lying on the ground! The more you drill or roll, the more attuned your body and mind will become to the mats.

Of course, always feel free to approach any of our BJJ instructors with your questions! Evolve Mixed Martial Arts is considered to be one of the best Brazilian Jiu Jitsu schools in Singapore because it offers the most advanced instruction in Southeast Asia! In fact, no other BJJ school in Asia has a current World Champion as an instructor! And this is only the beginning! Evolve Mixed Martial Arts has plenty of surprises in store for your enjoyment!

Until next time,
Team Evolve