I’m covered in bruises from Jiu-Jitsu. They go from my ankles to my shoulders. I have bruises on my bruises. At first I thought it was just my poor BJJ technique. But over time I notices bruises on my wrists. How could that be poor technique? I found out aspirin was the culprit. I am talking aspirin for my niacin therapy. It helps stop the flushing. I was taking 325mg (one regular pill) each night. Aspirin helps stop clotting. That is why I was getting such huge and nasty bruises. I’ve stopped taking it this week. Tonight is the first night without it. It should be interesting if I bruise. A friend has told me it might be a blood disorder and I should get tested if I keep bruising after dropping the aspirin. He had a similar case in his school or dojo.
So you got your blue belt, Congratulations! If you are feeling like me you are excited. The thrill of achievement has you thinking, “what do I need to do now to get my purple belt”. The simple answer is time and practice. This isn’t exactly what you wanted to hear but what you expected, isn’t it? After asking my instructor and other basic research the average blue belt takes 3 years to get a purple belt. But you are pumped up right now. You say to yourself, as I do, “but I’m not average”. The fact that you are out looking for what the requirements are and trying to start working towards your purple belt helps reinforce that. After all the average time for a white belt to blue belt is 1.5 years and you did it in less, didn’t you? So you will achieve your purple belt sooner then 3 years. This is how I plan to do it. I hope my ideas inspire and help you to pass your purple belt test early.
- Keep a Jiu-Jitsu Journal.
- Learn the purple belt techniques. (Pedro Sauer Purple Belt Test)
- Create a daily drill routine.
- Research the greats. (My favorites Roger Gracie, Saulo Ribeiro, and Andre Galvao)
- Attend Another Dojo, School, or Academy
- Mentor a white belt.
- Set Goals.
By clicking on any one of these you will go to the article that gives specifics on what I’ve planned for myself.
Please feel free to add your comments or ask me questions.
Do you want to accelerate your learning when it comes to Jiu-Jitsu? Do you want to become more proficient in your technique? Then start mentoring a white belt or belt below you. Why?
- When you teach someone else it helps you retain what you have learned.
- As you think through how to teach the technique or concept you find new points that you hadn’t noticed before.
- It gives you a chance to increase your own muscle memory by repetition.
There are other pluses too. There is nothing like helping someone through something that was very difficult that you wish you had help on. It create camaraderie in your school, dojo, or academy.
Mentor a white belt today. Its a win-win situation.
Please tell me about some one who mentored you in BJJ.
When I took my blue belt test I tested at Unified Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu – Pedro Sauer Team. I hadn’t to that point attended or trained at any other academy, school, or dojo. I got to spend some time before the test with a class. I realized right off that it was good to get a larger perspective on my chosen martial art. In the half hour I was there for the class and the two for the test I was exposed to new ways of doing things and different approaches to training. I think my present Jiu-Jitsu instructor summed it up best in his post Fred Ettish was a Frog. To summarize it, if you isolate yourself to only one group your skills and technique are limited by that group. You need to get out and experience new challenges and different situations.
I think the idea configuration is that you should have a primary instructor and two secondary instructors. They should not be closely associated with each other. Your primary is the one you attend on a regular basis and test with. The secondary’s you attend only on a monthly or bi-monthly basis. I think this will help to reduce the “frog in the well” trouble talked about with Fred Ettish.
Once again the goal is to improve your Jiu-Jitsu and have fun doing it. Not to mention that you will make new friends and get tapped out in new ways. I hope this help you accelerate your training and enjoyment of Jiu-Jitsu.
Please share with me your experiences.
A big part of Jiu-Jitsu is muscle memory. If you play basketball you shoot hoops over and over to improve your shot. Its no different with Jiu-Jitsu. It is just a little harder given you don’t always have a partner. So what can you do to improve muscle memory? Most of the books in, My Bookshelf, have drills in them. You can find drill routines on YouTube.com.
Here are some I like on YouTube:
When it comes down to it you need a routine tailored for your own needs that you can do anytime.
Here is a example:
- Basic Warm up.
- Basic Survival Techniques from Jiu-Jitsu University
- Solo Side Control Guard Recovery Drill x 20
- Solo Mount Survival Drill x 20
- Solo Mount Elbow Escape Drill x 20
- Solo Knee-On-Belly Prevention Drill x 20
- . . .
You get the idea? I love Saulo Ribeiro’s book, Jiu-Jitsu University. It has some really good solo drills. I would recommend you get it and see what I mean.
Start to build your drill routine by identifying where you want to improve. I personally know I want to be strongest in my survival and escapes. After that comes sweeps and submissions.
Some considerations you might want to take into account as you build varied drill routines.
- How much space to I have to work with?
- How long can I take on a routine?
- How often should I do my drills?
- How will I know I am progressing and need to change my drills?
- Are my drills effective or am I just making a fool of myself?
These are the questions I am asking myself as I build my drills. I have already begun to notice changes in my game. The techniques I’ve been drilling at are becoming automatic. I do them without thought. This has forced my opponents to change tactics and now I have a whole new set of techniques I need to better understand so that I can survive or escape. This means I need to create new drill centered around them or include the techniques I need to improve on in my present routine.
Please share with me your drills that have helped you improve your Jiu-Jitsu.
Here is the list of purple belt requirements for Pedro Sauer affiliated schools.
Please note I am in the process of documenting the name to page in:
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Theory and Technique by Renzo Gracie and Royler Gracie
Purple Belt Requirements
Pedro Sauer – Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Purple Belt Requirements
1. Double Ankle Grab Sweep (BJJ T&T pg. 74)
2. Both Hands on Ankle Sweep to Armlock (BJJ T&T pg. 78)
3. Push Sweep From Scissors (BJJ T&T pg. 80)
4. Handstand Sweep (BJJ T&T pg. 144)
5. Arm Inside Sweep (BJJ T&T pg. 160)
6. Arm Inside Sweep to Armbar (BJJ T&T pg. 162)
7. Sweep from Seated Guard (BJJ T&T pg. 186)
8. Overhead Sweep (BJJ T&T pg. 188 or 238)
9. Leg Pinching Sweep (BJJ T&T pg. 190) ???
10. Scissor Sweep Standing from Guard (BJJ T&T pg. 226)
11. Hook Sweep from Guard (BJJ T&T pg. 228)
12. Kick over Sweep (Balloon) (BJJ T&T pg. 188)
13. Sweep from Guard (Spider Guard) (BJJ T&T pg. 240)???
14. Star Sweep (BJJ T&T pg. 252)
15. Sweep from Guard (Holding the Knee)
16. Sweep from Guard (Stand in Base-Holding the Belt)
17. Sweep from Guard (Stand in Base-Holding the Collar)
18. Sweep from Guard (Hand on Knee)
19. Half Guard to Half Mount (Leg Straight)
20. Half Guard to Half Mount (Leg Bent)
21. Half Guard to Half Mount (Holding Belt)
22. Sweep to Mount and Choke
23. Shoulder Grab (Bent Arm)
24. Shoulder Grab (Straight Arm)
25. Lapel Grab With Both Hands
26. Defense Against Front Thrust Kick
27. Standing Guillotine Defense
28. Both Hands Grab from Behind
29. Standing Head Lock Defense (Taken to Ground)
30. Two Hands Against Wall Defense
31. Under Arm Collar Choke from Guard
32. Mount to Back
33. Achilles Ankle Lock (Passing Guard)
34. Omo Plata
35. Kimura from Cross Body
36. Choke from Cross Body
37. Cross Body to Knee on the Stomach
38. Escape Knee on Stomach (Going to Knees)
39. Armlock from Knee on Stomach
40. Triangle Choke to Armbar (BJJ T&T pg. 176)
41. Ankle lock When Passing Guard (Stacking)
42. Knee Bar from Guard
43. North South Foot Lock
44. Ankle Lock from Open Guard
45. Knife Stab Defense
46. Overhead Knife Stab Defense
47. Knee Bar from Cross Body
48. Neck Crank from Cross Body
49. Choke from Knee on Stomach
50. Straight Armlock from Cross Body (Both Knees Up)
51. Guard to Back
52. Foot Lock from Back Mount (Feet Crossed)
53. Helicopter Armbar
54. Half Guard to Cross Body
55. Escape from North South (Knees Under Armpits)
56. Pass Half Guard to Mount
57. Head & Arm Choke from Guard
58. Choke from Half Mount
59. Knee Bar from Passing Guard
60. Choke from Guard (Holding your Elbow)
61. Double Armlock
62. Arm Trapped Armlock (Hand on Lapel)
63. Squeeze the Bread (Both Hands)
64. Shoulder Lock from Guard
65. Escape Knee on Stomach by Making Hook
66. Escape Knee on Stomach (Using Knees)
67. Escape Knee on Stomach (Holding Belt)
68. Choke from Knee on Stomach (Crossing Hands)
69. Pass Guard & Defend Recompense
70. Counter to Kimura
71. Helio Gracie Choke from Mount
72. Escape from Mount (Two Hands on Belt)
73. Cross Body to Mount (Foot Between Legs)
74. Cross Body to Mount (Holding Your Foot)
75. Cross Body to Mount (Holding Opponent’s Legs)
76. Defense Against UPA (Locking Legs)
77. Mount by Pushing Opponent’s Legs
78. Lapel Choke (Mount Going to North South)
79. Defense Against Lapel Choke
80. Squeeze the Bread from Mount (Nutcracker)
81. Lapel Choke from Cross Body
82. Counter Elbow Escape
83. North South Escape to Choke
84. North South Escape (Foot in Belt)
85. North South to Back
86. North South Escape to Armlock
87. North South Position Fishing to Half Guard
88. Choke from Guard (Using Gi)
Keeping a journal for you BJJ, Judo, MMA, or any martial art is a great way to improve your technique, document your progress, and understand your art. I’ll talk a little about each of the 3 and give some hopefully helpful ideas to help you start or improve on your own journal. But first some basics on journal writing.
Your journal can be a note book, a digital text file, a blog, or anything you feel the most comfortable with. Just make sure it is something that you can keep a copy of or that is durable in some fashion. Why? Lets say you just received your black belt. For years you have compiled your knowledge and history of your labors. It would be a crying shame to lose it all to a hard drive failure or because you left somewhere and it disappeared.
Figure out a recording style you like. This for you only, after all, so experiment until you are satisfied. Don’t get discourage when you don’t feel its not formatted correctly. Try different formats. In time you will work out a style or system that is pleasing to your thoughts and eyes.
Now what should I write in my journal? As you start working on it your journal will be come rich with information. You will start to have ideas and see how you could record information you would like to keep. Read over your journal often to help you get the big picture. Don’t be to critical of previous entries, use them in a constructive manner to create a better style in future entries. Your skills will not only increase in your martial art but in your journaling.
According to a poll conducted on, The Fight Works Podcast, 52% of the 273 people who responded to the poll said they keep a notebook, diary, or journal for Jiu-Jitsu.
Improving Your Technique
The old saying “Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it” still rings true. The mistakes you made at your last tournament or in your last class need to be recorded so you can set goal to correct them. You don’t want to keep repeating them.
We can also alter the saying to be “Those who forget the technique may never repeat it”. In other words, if you went to that great seminar by Andre Galvao but didn’t journal about the new things you learned you might as well have never gone. You won’t remember that sweet submission, escape, or sweep unless you record it in your journal and ponder on it.
Knowing your history helps you direct the future.
Document Your Progress
My Jiu-Jitsu instructor wrote a excellent post that applies to documenting your progress. I will summarize it for you and you can read the full post later called “The Dip and Jiu-Jitsu”. What it boils down to is you have to go through a learning curve on anything. While you are in the “dip” or learning you become depressed or unhappy about your progress. When you reach the top you have learned and now you feel like you are on top of the world. By documenting your progress you understand when you’re in the dip, you can also look back on other times when you were in the dip and remember what it was like to get out of it. This will help give you strength to go on and succeed.
Seeing your success over time drives you onward to new heights.
Understanding Your Art
Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, MMA, or what ever it may be isn’t just a series of moves to be memorized. I’ve often heard people say “Jiu-Jitsu is life. Life is Jiu-Jitsu”. The philosophy of your chosen art can change your outlook on life as it did for a friend of mine. He explains it in his post “My name is Miles and I am a meat head”. Write in your journal what impresses you and how you feel it changes you as you assimilate it into your life. When you go back and read your journal you might be surprised how over time you have evolved.
Internalizing correct concepts creates a greater whole.
When all is said and done the point of a journal or diary is to help you as a person and practitioner of your chosen martial art to grow, progress, and enjoy it along the way. I know it does. That is why I created my blog JiuJitsuMap.com and why I keep a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) journal.
Please share with me your success stories.