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10 Tips For Remembering Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Techniques

10 Tips For Remembering Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Techniques

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a submission grappling combat sport. It consists of many techniques used to submit your opponent and gain victory. Being such a diverse sport, it has so many techniques that are hard to learn altogether. Even if you try to learn, it is not necessary that you will recall them at the right time.

BJJ is all about using the right technique at the right time to gain an advantage over your opponent and converting that advantage into your victory. It requires the presence of mind and attention because recalling that one technique at the right time and its accurate execution can create the difference between victory and defeat. That is why remembering BJJ techniques is very important.

There are approximately more than 600 techniques in BJJ. Mastering all of them is near to impossible for a newbie BJJ fighter let alone remembering them.

1. 10 Tips for Remembering BJJ Techniques

It is very difficult to learn all the BJJ techniques as there are so many in number. The following tips will help you to remember the essential techniques so that you can improve your BJJ game and submit your opponent.

10 Tips for Remembering BJJ Techniques

1.1. Take Notes

  • You must take notes after your BJJ class instead of during the BJJ session.
  • It is because if you take notes during your class you can skip many points which are instructed by your teacher and then you will have to ask your fellows about those missed points. So it is better to take notes after the BJJ session.
  • When you will study your notes you will notice that during taking notes, some points are missed. It will make you more attentive in your next class. And attention is the key to learning and remembering BJJ techniques.
  • You can write your notes digitally. Being digital will help you to easily find the notes which you wrote a long time ago. You can search for keywords and will easily find your notes.
  • Take notes of all the techniques which are taught in the class.
  • It is not necessary that you will use all the techniques which are taught in the class.
  • Arrange the techniques chronologically with the order of dates, importance, and difficulty. The main purpose of noting down the techniques is to be able to review them, remember them and use them.
  • A fighter can also make notes of the BJJ techniques to help with which technique to apply first.

The following flowchart explains how to tackle the moves executed by your opponent. If your opponent starts the match with a throw, you can either apply a mount or knee on the chest/stomach. But all of this is only possible if the fighter remembers the techniques and applies them immediately.

Take Notes

Flowchart 2 describes more accurately the possible transitioning of moves and also provides other different techniques which can be applied in response to the opponent’s techniques. For example, if your opponent throws you on the mat, you can either go for mount or go into a guard position and then escape. Mount can even lead to open guard or you can strangle your opponent through that previously applied guard.

Take Notes

1.2. Video Record Yourself

  • To better remember and learn the techniques, you must record yourself while training.
  • It is good to record your instructors teaching the techniques, but not all instructors allow that.
  • So it is better to record yourself when you are practicing those techniques with your fellow students.
  • You can watch the video whenever you want to look at your flaws as well as your achievements.
  • Recording videos also helps you to remember a certain technique as BJJ techniques can be very complex.
  • You must do it right after your class when the technique is quite fresh in your mind.

1.3. Learn the Fundamentals

  • To become better at BJJ, it is very important to learn the fundamental BJJ moves.
  • BJJ consists of many moves and learning all of them is a very difficult task. So it is better to master the fundamental techniques so that even if the practitioner can not recall a complex move, he can use the basic moves which help him to gain victory over his opponent or escape out of the opponent’s applied submission.
  • Practicing those fundamental techniques will make it easier for the fighter to remember them. The shorter the number of techniques to learn, the earlier they can be part of the mental and muscle memory of the fighter.
  • These fundamental techniques involve guards, grips, basic takedowns, armbar, and arm triangles.

1.4. Drilling the Techniques

  • A BJJ practitioner can only excel in BJJ if he keeps on practicing the BJJ techniques.
  • Drilling makes the BJJ practitioner better in the execution of those techniques.
  • Drilling adds it to the muscle memory along with the neural memory and in the future, it takes less conscious effort to apply the techniques.
  • It helps you to become comfortable doing certain moves so that when you are fighting, you naturally apply techniques without thinking a lot about them.

1.5. Do not Skip Training Sessions

  • Often fighters miss their training sessions when they feel fatigued.
  • It leads to missing many important points which are told by the instructor.
  • A BJJ practitioner must drill light if he feels his muscles are strained.
  • Missing an entire training session places you way back from your fellows.
  • Mostly during training, the instructors coach the students with the key points in submitting your opponent.
  • Remembering BJJ techniques is a process that requires daily/consistent training. Skipping the sessions will not help in either improving the game or remembering the techniques.
  • By skipping those training sessions you can miss those important points which will help in improving your BJJ game.
  • A BJJ fighter will not miss his training session if his goal is to learn and remember those techniques.

1.6. Train with Fellow Students

  • You must train with your fellow students. It helps to improve your BJJ game even if you missed any point from the instructor as your fellows can guide you.
  • Your fellow students have shared interests in learning and remembering BJJ techniques. It makes mutual training and partnering more desirable and beneficial.
  • There are many techniques that can be learned best with your fellow trainers by sheer practice and drilling.
  • As you both are going through a similar process, training together helps you in achieving your goals.
  • Training with fellow students helps you to improve your BJJ game as your fellows might have different abilities, styles, dimensions, strengths, and sizes.

1.7. Naming the Techniques

  • Often BJJ practitioners forget the techniques due to their difficult names.
  • To minimize this problem, the fighters name the techniques according to their own understanding of the technique.
  • It helps in easy learning and remembering the techniques. For example, many practitioners use “answering the phone” against an “Arm Triangle” due to the movements of hands in a specific direction.
  • Being creative in naming the techniques not only helps in remembering the name of the technique but also speeds up the learning process.
  • Giving weird names to the techniques is not necessary as remembering them by their own name, that is why fighters name the technique according to their own understanding. The goal is to recognize the situation and application of the right technique. It is because remembering the technique and its execution is important, not its correct name.

1.8. Visualization

  • Visualization of BJJ techniques can maximize the effectiveness, efficiency, and memory of the fighter in terms of which techniques to apply and when.
  • Visualization is another way to help you in remembering BJJ techniques besides taking notes and recording yourself.
  • You can picture yourself in your mind while applying certain BJJ techniques.
  • Even though the physical application of BJJ moves is very necessary, still visualization of the moves can help.
  • By visualizing your techniques, you are experiencing a first-person view. This view helps you in learning as well as remembering those BJJ techniques.

1.9. Put Yourself in the Worst Situations

  • By putting yourself in bad positions, you will allow your mind to think of the escapes which are necessary to get out of the dangerous position.
  • Being in the worst situations, your mind will consider itself in a fight or flight situation, and mostly in these situations, the mind works in mysterious ways.
  • You will apply those submissions which you consciously never think of just because of your muscle memory.
  • You should practice this first with your trainers and then with your fellow students.
  • Even if you are losing, do not worry because it will only help you to remember the BJJ techniques faster.
  • You will surely improve in a shorter span of time.

1.10. Practice Outside of Your Institute

  • If you are not able to instantly remember the BJJ techniques that do not mean that you will never be able to recall them.
  • Taking notes and practicing your techniques will aid you in remembering them.
  • You can become better at remembering the BJJ techniques if you sometimes practice them outside of your institute.
  • No doubt, a fighter trains a lot in the institute, but to become a master at remembering the BJJ techniques he needs to practice them even outside of his training institute. Training with other BJJ fighters in open mat sessions can be one example.
  • As you know the famous saying “Practice makes a man perfect”. So the same goes for remembering the BJJ techniques.
  • The more the fighter practices the techniques, the more the techniques add to the muscle memory of the fighter.
  • When the BJJ techniques are added to the muscle memory of the fighter, he will be able to easily apply those techniques without thinking twice.

In the Video given below, Professor Andre Galvao talks about some of the ways through which a BJJ practitioner remembers the techniques.

2. FAQs

2.1. Is BJJ Difficult to Learn?

Learning BJJ is a complex and long process. It requires years of training to become an expert at it. It requires almost 10 to 15 years to become a Black Belt in BJJ. But continuous and effective practice can make the fighter an excellent one.

2.2. Why is it Hard to Remember BJJ Techniques?

There are hundreds of BJJ techniques. Even mastering the basic techniques takes an extended amount of time. When the BJJ technique is not part of the muscle and the mental memory of the fighter, a very hard conscious effort is required to submit your opponent.
A thorough practice of BJJ techniques makes it easy to remember and execute the right techniques.

2.3. How do you Take Notes in BJJ?

Many fighters used to write notes with their hands but now they have become digital. Fighters often use abbreviations in their notes for different techniques, for example, “DLR” for “de la Riva”. It is better to add dates to the notes. A fighter must not make notes during the training session as he may miss any point taught by the instructor.

3. Conclusion

For a beginner, learning and remembering BJJ techniques can be very hard at first. Applying those techniques in and out of the institute will make the fighter better in the execution. Practicing the BJJ technique more and more, adds to the neural and muscle memory of the fighter, thus making it easier for him to remember the technique when needed.

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