When BJJ Gets Easier (Plus 3 Ways To Improve)

When does BJJ get easier

Its natural for a new student in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to question their progress and ask when will BJJ get easier.

BJJ will start to get easier and start to click after 6-12 months of consistent training with a schedule of around 2-3 training days per week. BJJ will also feel easier when you improve your defenses and escapes; and when you focus on mastering a select few techniques as your ‘go to moves’.

With that being said, the rest of this article will look at the key factors involved in making BJJ start to click and feel easier.

Plus stick around for 3 ways to get better and to improve your Jiu-Jitsu game.

When Does BJJ Get Easier?

There are two key factors that will affect how good you get at Jiu-Jitsu, and therefore how easy BJJ will be for you.

They are:

  1. Your training consistency (Plus how many days you train per week)
  2. Knowing your defenses, escapes, and your ‘go to moves’

1. BJJ Training Consistency & How Many Days To Train Per Week

The amount of time you dedicate to your Jiu-Jitsu training each week, and how consistent you are with your training routine, will both play a massive part in when your BJJ starts to click and get easier.

You will start to recognise your BJJ is becoming slightly easier when you’re able to instinctually react to certain moves and positions.

Your BJJ will also get easier after you have drilled the correct technical responses enough times so that they are beginning to become habitual responses (becoming a habit).

Meaning they require less mental energy and less time to think, meaning it’s becoming easier – and giving you a competitive advantage when you roll.

How quickly you’re able to learn and implement the correct instinctual reactions and habitual responses in live Jiu-Jitsu rolling, will depend on how often you train per week.

Most Jiu-Jitsu students train anywhere from 1 to 3 days per week.

The more often you train per week, the quicker your Jiu-Jitsu will start to click and get easier.

Likewise, the less often you train per week, the longer it’ll take and you may feel you’re making very little progress and Jiu-Jitsu is still really hard and not clicking for you.

Here’s an overview of what you can expect from each weekly training schedule, from 1-4+ days a week:

BJJ: 1 Day A Week

If you’re a complete beginner just starting out in Jiu-Jitsu, then training only once a week is okay.

However, after a couple of months of training (or whenever you decide you want to improve your Jiu-Jitsu), it would be more beneficial to step it up and train more often than once a week.

Training once a week will enable you to start learning the basics of BJJ, including:

  • Some Jiu-Jitsu terminology
  • Jiu-Jitsu etiquette (do’s and don’ts)  
  • And some basic movements and positions
Good for beginnersWon’t form habits
Easy to commit toLonger to learn
Start learning the basicsForget between lessons
Pick up terminology 
Learn do’s & don’ts 

“Training once a week will enable you to start learning the basics of BJJ”

BJJ: 2-3 Days A Week [Most Recommended]

Training 2-3 days per week is recommended by most people and is a popular option for a lot of Jiu-Jitsu students around the world.

Although not everyone can commit to 2-3 days per week, it is easy enough for most people to commit to each week.

It also gives you enough time on the mats to see good improvements.

Training 2-3 times a week will enable you to increase your rate of learning because you’re attending more lessons during the week, meaning you’ll learn more techniques, defenses, escapes and submissions.

Meaning, your BJJ will get easier and start to click sooner.

2-3 times a week also gives you more time on the mat to maintain and improve the techniques you’ve previously learned, and will increase your sharpness and response times.

See good improvementsTougher commitment
Increased rate of learningHarder on the body
More time on mats 
Learn more techniques 
Increased sharpness 
Quicker responses 

“2-3 days a week gives you enough time on the mats to see good improvements”

BJJ: 4+ Days A Week

Training Jiu-Jitsu 4 or more times a week will further increase your rate of learning because, by attending more classes, you’ll be learning more techniques each week.

At this rate you will cover the BJJ fundamentals core curriculum much faster.

Meaning, from then on you will be covering and re-learning techniques you’ve already previously learned and will be able to refine, improve, and memorize each technique.

With consistent repetition of BJJ’s core fundamental techniques, you will begin to form sharp, fast, and habitual responses with the correct techniques against your training partners.

However, sometimes BJJ training can be very hard on your body and so it is important to give yourself enough time to rest and recover in between training to avoid injuries.

Therefore, training Jiu-Jitsu 4 or more times a week may lead to over training yourself and may potentially lead to you burning out, or even quitting.

Cover basics, quickerTough commitment
Form habitual responsesHard on the body
Refine techniquesOver training
Faster learning rate 

“You will begin to form sharp, fast, and habitual responses with the correct techniques”

2. Knowing Your Defenses, Escapes & ‘Go To Moves’

Once you have a consistent weekly training schedule that you’re able to stick to, it’s now time to focus on improving your defenses, escapes, and mastering your ‘go to moves’.

By having solid defenses and escapes, and a handful of moves and techniques which you know inside out, you will notice your BJJ will start to become easier.

Let’s look at each one a little more.

Your Defenses & Escapes

In BJJ, you’ll likely hear the saying “position before submission” – meaning to focus on securing a dominate position, before trying to lock in a submission.

This same mentality can be used for helping to make your BJJ easier.

By first focusing on defending and escaping from bad positions, you’re able to last longer in the roll and find it easier to survive than if you’re always trying to finish with submissions.

I am not saying you shouldn’t try to set up and finish submissions – you should.

However, a lot of the times when we try to set up a submission in the heat of a roll, it often leads to us being countered or losing our position.

This is why improving your defenses and escapes is so important, but also it helps to make it easier for you to try new things because you know you can regain, or recover from losing a position.

Think about which positions you struggle the most in and make a list of some defenses and escapes which will help you in those positions.

Some popular defenses and escapes to focus on are:

  • Side control defenses
  • Guard regains
  • Guard defenses and escapes
  • And my personal favourite, mount escapes

Once you have a list of 2-3 defenses and escapes for each of your weakest positions – add them to your ‘Go To Moves’ – and drill them.

Your ‘Go To Moves’

After the first 6-12 months of consistent training your BJJ basics should have started to click.

At this point, to help make your BJJ feel easier, it is a good idea to select a handful of techniques which you want to master as your ‘go to moves’.

The reason this will make your BJJ easier is because many new BJJ students experience something called information overload.

This is when the input of information we receive is too much for us to think about, remember, and act on – when needed in the heat of a roll.

However, by mastering your ‘go to moves’, it will make your Jiu-Jitsu easier because you’ll have these moves and techniques memorized and ready to use at a moment’s notice – as soon as you need them.

Because you’ve focused on and practiced these moves over and over again, you’ll need less time to think about what you’re doing in the heat of the action.

Meaning, with each new ‘go to move’ you add to your arsenal, you will find BJJ starts to become slightly easier when rolling with your training partners.

Let’s say for example, you’re rolling with a training partner and find yourself in a potential triangle setup.

If you’ve drilled triangle chokes to the point where it’s one of your ‘go to’ submissions, you’ll find it much easier to lock it in and finish the choke – without needing to take your time to think about each step required.

Over time, you can add more techniques to your ‘go to moves’ and find that your BJJ is getting easier and easier.

“Having your ‘Go To Moves’ means you’ll need less time to think about what you’re doing in the heat of the action”

Side Note: When Jiu-Jitsu Gets Harder Again

As you improve and get better at Jiu-Jitsu, you will notice it’s becoming easier to complete certain techniques or moves that you were unable to do before.

Or as you get better, you’ll notice you’re able to hang for longer in a roll with people who previously used to tap you every few seconds.

These are good signals that you’re improving and getting better at Jiu-Jitsu.

However, as you move up in Jiu-Jitsu, so does the skill level of your opponents.

For example, as you move up, you will be invited into the advanced classes where now you’ll be learning new, more advanced techniques, and rolling with more experienced higher belts.

This all means that you’ll become the lesser experienced person in the class, you’ll feel like the ‘new guy’ again, and at the bottom of a new steep learning curve.

Now BJJ will feel harder again.

But this is a good thing, this means you are pushing yourself forward and making real improvements in your Jiu-Jitsu, and if you were to roll with newer guys again, you’ll be able to handle them like you previously wouldn’t of been able to.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is one of the most real and effective martial arts you can learn – and anything that is real takes time to get good at.

But, by sticking to a consistent weekly training schedule, focusing onyour defenses and escapes, and by mastering your ‘go to moves’ – you should start to progress and see your Jiu-Jitsu begin to click and become easier.

3 Ways to Improve Your Jiu-Jitsu

Now let’s look at 3 ways you can improve your Jiu-Jitsu game to help make your BJJ start to click and feel easier.

These 3 useful tips were taken from our other article, BJJ: 12 Ways To Improve & Progress Faster

1. Video Record Yourself

What mistakes do you make while you roll? What bad habits do you have which cause you to lose your position or get tapped?

It’s not always easy to know where you’re going wrong while you’re caught in the heat of a roll.

However, by pulling out your phone and setting it to record while you’re training, you’re able to have an accurate record of how you’re performing each move and technique.

You can prop your phone up against the padded walls, or ask a friend to hold it for you – and be sure to record yourself both while you’re drilling, and while you’re rolling.

2. Drill Your Weaknesses

Now that you have clear footage of which areas you need to improve in your Jiu-Jitsu game, it’s time to drill those weaknesses.

Drilling is when you do the same technique over and over again with a training partner, one-for-one, you do the technique on your partner, then switch and they do it to you.

The most effective way to drill your weaknesses is by keeping track of how many repetitions you’re doing, and to monitor your progression as you go.

Monitoring your progress has been proven to have psychological benefits to keeping us motivated as we learn new skills.

For more details on tracking and monitoring your Jiu-Jitsu progress and how to do it best: check out our article: BJJ: 12 Ways To Improve & Progress Faster.

3. Flow Roll & Hard Roll

It’s very common when we start rolling at the end of a class, we want to ‘win the roll’ and so we go hard – at 100%.

However, this normally means we stick to what we know we’re good at and can actually lead to us not trying new techniques and moves which we’ve previously learnt in class.

Flow rolling, with a learning mindset rather than a winning mindset though, can open up new opportunities for you to learn because you’re more likely to implement new things in your roll.

By having a learning mindset, you remove the fear of losing your position or being tapped out because you’re less bothered about ‘losing the roll’.

If you get tapped or reversed or swept, it doesn’t matter because you’ll learn from that mistake and ‘fail forward’ – helping to make you better and your Jiu-Jitsu easier in the long run.

Don’t miss out on the other 9 ways you can improve your Jiu-Jitsu game, check out our article: BJJ: 12 Ways To Improve & Progress Faster

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