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Old 01-15-2008, 09:34 AM   #1
Tom Nguyen
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BJJ first timer

Went to my first BJJ class yesterday. The whole thing was a bit overwelming being the newst guy there. Didn't really know anything. Crossfit did put me in pretty good rolling shape. I never got gassed when some of the other guys were breathing pretty hard at the end.

Unfortunately, as a 135-lb short guy with no technique, my stamina and speed was the only thing I had going for me. Will technique eventually get me to a point where I can roll with the bigger guys?

I am curious on a couple things. As a beginner, what's are some of the most important thing to work on? I find it weird that in most BJJ classes, there's really no beginner section or curriculum or anything, everyone just gets thought at the same time.

Also, what are some etiquette I should be aware of? Seems I was ****ing off the last blue belt I was rolling with because I was going too hard? After I randomly swept him from my guard to mount, he got pretty ****ed and went after me pretty hard with the submissions.

Lastly, I left class with quite a few bruises on my body and red marks on my face - that's going to be fun explaining at work!
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Old 01-15-2008, 02:07 PM   #2
Jason Ackerman
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Re: BJJ first timer

CrossFit absolutely helps BJJ. You are at a huge advantage to any other beginner.

I am also light (145lbs.), I am a blue belt, and even at a weight disadvantage technique is always a neutralizer. At some point the weight difference is too much to handle, even for someone that isn't as good. But, mostly it is just really uncomforable to have them on top. My teacher is about 170lbs. Brown Belt and he beats our 220lb. Blue Belt (power lifter) with ease.

The blue belt probably just didn't want to lose face getting swept by a newbie. More often I am annoyed by someone that goes hard but carelessly. I love to push the pace and push my partners but under control. I hate rolling with someone that has no control over their body, usually I get poked in the eye, or am at more risk for injury.

Just keep at it. Be respectful of higher belts or even white belts with more experience. BJJ guys are usually friendly and always willing to help someone with a genuine interest in their sport, much like CrossFitters.
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Old 01-15-2008, 06:20 PM   #3
michael cusi
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Re: BJJ first timer

Better technique will definitely help you over time. Size is never really a big factor in BJJ, you'll learn that as well.

In regards to what you should work on, I would suggest to check out some of the articles on royharris.com. There's a lot of helpful information to get you started.
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Old 01-16-2008, 12:10 AM   #4
Tom Nguyen
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Re: BJJ first timer

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Originally Posted by michael cusi View Post
Better technique will definitely help you over time. Size is never really a big factor in BJJ, you'll learn that as well.

In regards to what you should work on, I would suggest to check out some of the articles on royharris.com. There's a lot of helpful information to get you started.
Well, if two guys are at the same level technically, wouldn't the heavy grappler have the advantage?
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Old 01-16-2008, 12:13 AM   #5
Celio Silva
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Re: BJJ first timer

Congratulations! You've just made one of the best moves anyone can make regarding a sport. Which school did you join in Sacramento?

My suggestion is, like Crossfit and any other sport, work on the BASICS. Practice your open guard, passing the guard, 100 kilos, getting out of the 100 kilos and reposing your guard, etc... . At first, don't get carried away w/ the inumerous techniques. You'll absorb them much better w/ time once you've learned the basics well.

As far as etiquett, go w/ the flow. Usually white belts wil go hard for lack of technique and experience. There is nothing wrong w/ that and it's up to colored belts to deal w/ it (and is indeed good for them), but your best shot is to focus on technique from day one. Seasoned grapplers will allow you to develop your game while rolling and you should take full advantage of that, so take it easy and start developing your technique and game (style), thinking it through rather than battling out. Best of luck and remember to embrace it and enjoy it!
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Old 01-16-2008, 12:23 AM   #6
michael cusi
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Re: BJJ first timer

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Originally Posted by Tom Nguyen View Post
Well, if two guys are at the same level technically, wouldn't the heavy grappler have the advantage?
In that case, then the individual who was more athletic would have the advantage. Other factors can impact such as speed, flexibility, etc.

I'm small as well - 145lbs. I entered the Absolute Division at a tournament and beat a guy who was 230, but that's just one example. You might be able to find similar matches on Youtube.
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Last edited by michael cusi : 01-16-2008 at 12:41 AM.
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Old 01-16-2008, 12:28 AM   #7
michael cusi
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Re: BJJ first timer

sorry it posted again for some reason. had to delete it.
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Last edited by michael cusi : 01-16-2008 at 12:37 AM.
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Old 01-16-2008, 10:30 AM   #8
Rob Harris
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Re: BJJ first timer

Wow, they had you roll on your 1st day? Interesting.


1st off realize that when you're rolling it isn't a competition. You are both practicing (with resistance) but using all your tools in order to 'win' is the wrong mentality. They are your teammates and maybe someday friends.

If he's telling you that you're rolling too hard, you probably are. It's no big deal, all beginners do. Just try and relax and use the techniques you were taught for whatever position you're in. If you only know 1 guard pass, then every time you find yourself in someones guard use it to pass. Don't make things up on the fly or spaz out because you don't know what else to do. That is the fastest way to injure yourself or your training partners.

Hope you continue to train and enjoy it for many years to come.

Rob
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Old 01-16-2008, 04:44 PM   #9
Celio Silva
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Re: BJJ first timer

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Wow, they had you roll on your 1st day? Interesting.
My exact initial thought when I first read the thread.

Where you training at Tom?
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Old 01-16-2008, 06:45 PM   #10
Tom Nguyen
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Re: BJJ first timer

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Originally Posted by Celio Silva View Post
My exact initial thought when I first read the thread.

Where you training at Tom?
Hey Celio,

I'm training at BJJ Academy of Sacramento (in Carmichael) under Dave Terry. Dave was away during my first class and the class was taught by one of his purple belts. It got some good reviews on Sherdog and some of the other ones are a bit too far from me.

Where are you training? It's unusual to roll your first day? How's the class normally structured for beginners? Stretch, warmup, technique, drill then the beginner is done while the others spar?

Can't wait for my second class; waiting for the gi to get here.

Tom
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