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14 Habits of An Elite Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Athlete

14 Habits of An Elite Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Athlete

These are the habits and characters of Elite athletes that make them successful in their respective sports, and the same is true for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu athletes. All elite athletes have certain specific habits that help them succeed in the sport. 

So, if you want to compete and bring medals home in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, you should be keeping your training and habits in check. You should be thinking about the bigger picture and incorporating your training accordingly to become an elite BJJ fighter. 

Here are 14 of the best habits that an elite Brazilian Jiu-jitsu fighter possesses, and learning them can help you reach higher levels in the sport.


1. Stay Consistent With Training

An elite fighter always stays consistent in their training. There is a famous saying, "without consistency, there are no champions." Consistency is the foundation of success, regardless of your sporting career. 

So, consistency is the key that can help you succeed in this sport. Training consistently always helps athletes improve their skills and techniques. Specifically, when we talk about competing in BJJ, whether in Gi BJJ or No-Gi BJJ competitions, you cannot be inconsistent in your training and fitness if you want to earn some gold. 

Therefore, to be an elite BJJ fighter, you have to develop this habit. This will not only help you achieve your goals but also set you apart from the average BJJ practitioner.

Also Read: Gi or No-Gi: That is the Question

2. Pay Attention to Every Detail

Another good habit that a good athlete should have is paying attention to every single detail that their coach or instructor provides them. BJJ is such a sport that requires you to know what you are going to execute and why you are doing it. 

To be capable of this skill, you need a massive amount of effort and diligence. You can do so by paying exclusive attention to what your instructors say during the class or training sessions. 

Developing this useful habit will not just help you learn everything about the sport, it will also help you in real life. Therefore, you should be keeping your ears on every single detail that you can collect during your training sessions.

Also Read: 7 Common Mistakes Everyone Makes In BJJ

3. Remain Self-Disciplined

No one will do anything for you to make you succeed. You have to do everything that is essential for your success, despite your field. Only you can make the best plans for your success to keep you on the right track. And this is possible when you become self-disciplined.

Self-discipline is one of the most important factors in helping people stay motivated and achieve their goals. For a successful BJJ athlete, this habit is of great importance. Though developing such habits sounds a little tough, consistency and daily practice makes it fairly easy. To develop this habit, you can start with smaller and easier steps, then progress towards more challenging ones. 

Every professional and successful BJJ athlete always works on discipline to differentiate themselves from the average grappler.

4. Have A Growth Mindset

If you have an ego, you cannot make any nameable progress in any sport as you are not willing to get your emotions hurt, even for your betterment. The go always restricts you from being objectively assessed. Therefore, to succeed in any field of life, you need to have a growth mindset. 

A growth mindset requires you to remove emotion and ego when assessing your performance and habits fairly. This will make you open-minded to listening to the instructors or other evaluators and accepting their constructive criticism and advice without feeling insulted or attacked personally. 

This will be your key to learning and progressing in jiu-jitsu in a better way. However, bringing your ego into learning aspects can limit your learning opportunities, and as a result, you will not get what you might have aimed for when you started to train jiu-jitsu. 

Every elite BJJ athlete always kills their ego to reach the highest level of the sport, and to reach that level, you also need to develop this habit of curbing ego and accepting your mistakes.

5. Set Goals

Every successful individual always starts their journey with a destination in mind, whether in sports like jiu-jitsu or in any other real-life scenario. To succeed, you must have an end goal in mind when starting your journey.

To reach the highest rank in BJJ, it is essential to go through proper planning with smaller and longer goal sets. And this is what separates average players from elite ones. 

All those BJJ fighters who have reached the highest level always train with an end in mind to stay motivated. You can do so by visualizing where you want to be in the next couple of years. Creating a mission statement for yourself is a perfect way to dictate your training. 

6. Prioritize Things

Even in the lives of the most organized individuals, responsibilities and life can cause issues, and the same can trouble you as well. You must make your training a top priority in order to progress in the sport. 

Even if you are unable to train, you should be thinking about ways to solve the problems and resume your BJJ training. If you cannot train, you can do research and watch videos to continue your learning process. Build blocks and focus on your basics more than advancing your movements to achieve your desired results in the long run.

All in all, this habit is about assessing where BJJ stands in your priorities and what aspect of it has the maximum value in your training. Everything that you see in the curriculums of different BJJ schools serves a purpose, but it is up to you to find which one will have the most impact.

7. Stay Proactive

A professional BJJ athlete always remains proactive and keeps searching for learning opportunities to improve their techniques and skills. It is a known fact that no one can learn jiu-jitsu overnight and it requires conscious thought to learn. You cannot learn BJJ by watching tutorial videos alone; you need to learn everything related to the sport. 

On top of that, to be an elite athlete, you need to build the habit of being proactive and confident in your actions. Proactive players never blame external factors for their failures, but take responsibility and strengthen their weaker areas. They also do not blame their stronger opponents, but instead, work on their skills and focus on what they can control instead of wasting time on things that they cannot change.

So, be one of them and take proactivity to the next level to succeed in accomplishing your set goals in jiu-jitsu. 

Also Read: Top Shoulder Strength Workout for BJJ Athletes  


8. Think About Winning Only

We always see people talking about win-win situations that are based on the benefits of both parties indulging in some business, but when it comes to competing, your only aim should be to turn the tables in your favor. Every pro-BJJ fighter always considers every movement in their favor and goes on the mats with a winning mindset. At all costs, you are there to win the fights and competitions and leave your opponents behind the line. 

Once you are registered for a competition, keep in mind that you are now required to give it all (100% of your efforts) to make it a win for you. Professional fighters even consider entering the competitions a win because it forces them to step outside of their comfort zone and perform in front of an audience.

Even if you are not competing, in street fights, you would not like to make your opponents look good or have the upper hand, and you would like to win at all costs for your survival. You can develop such a mindset by finding sparring partners in your academy or school with the same mindset.  

9. Adopt Changes

Evaluating plans and making changes, as needed to progress towards achieving set goals, is one of the essential habits that an elite BJJ athlete holds.

Though plans are of great importance and a great part of the process of achieving the goals, having the ability to adapt to the necessary changes as per the requirements of the time is essential for survival. You must be able to adapt to different skills and techniques to compete with opponents with different skill sets. 

BJJ is one of the most evolving sports, as evidenced by the fact that every BJJ enthusiast is developing a new technique or modifying an existing one. Therefore, you need to be able to learn newer techniques and skills. Also, changes to the jiu-jitsu rules and regulations take place from time to time, and having this ability can help you get comfortable with them.

A great way to develop this habit is to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. You can use this technique to develop both physical and mental attributes by making yourself exposed to different stressors and uncomfortable environments.

10. Seek New Challenges

Seeking new challenges might be one of the most vital habits that an elite BJJ fighter should have if they want to progress in the sport. Seeking challenges always benefits you by testing your skills and reinforcing your qualities such as mental fortitude, patience, resilience, and humility. It is not just about being competitive with others, it is also about being competitive with yourself. 

Always remain in search of new challenges as they will help you improve yourself in some ways. This will surely help you learn how to deal with your opponents on the mats and to get out of unfavorable circumstances. 

In this regard, you can put yourself into scenario-based fights with your sparring partners or even go for inter-academy challenges to prepare yourself for the actual competitions and learn from the mistakes that you or your opponents make during these challenge fights.

11. First Learn, Then Share

Elite BJJ fighters will never be selfish about keeping what they have limited to themselves but they will share it with others, even if learners become better than them. Therefore, be active and effective in your learning about the art, lifestyle, and philosophy behind the art. This will help you understand the art you are learning. 

To make your learning more effective so that you are able to share your jiu-jitsu knowledge, you can make use of a notebook to take notes. It will help you review what you have learned in the class, and you will come the next day with a deeper understanding. It will enable you to ask more insightful and meaningful questions to the instructors.

When you get a deeper understanding of the art, it will be easier for you to make it understandable for others.

Also Read: 7 Must-Know Jiu-Jitsu Fundamentals for Teachers


12. Network Effectively

Another important habit that can help you be one of the elite BJJ fighters is networking within your school and bonding with fighters from other schools and academies. The key here is to engage them in a friendly chat, sharing your knowledge of the art, and learning about their knowledge. It will help you improve your game in multiple ways.

Creating synergy with the fellows can also help you improve your art knowledge, as will be able to prototype, develop, and experiment with new techniques. Going this way will help you leave your opponents behind in the fight. 

13. Roll With All

To learn about all the possibilities in a BJJ fight, it is vital to roll with players of all ranks, from white belts to black belt holders. This will help you learn the mistakes that a lower belt holder will make as well as the effective techniques that superior belt holders use during their fights and sparring sessions to improve your jiu-jitsu skills.

Rolling with all the people in your class will also help you build stronger networks and synergies, which are also crucial for an elite BJJ fighter. 

14. Care For Cleanliness

Apart from all the other good habits, if you don't care about cleanliness, you won't be able to make a significant impact in sports. No one likes to spar with people who do not care about the cleanliness of their training clothes, Gi, and surroundings. 

You must keep everything clean and hygienic so others feel comfortable rolling with you. While sparing, make sure you are fresh and your body is not releasing any sweat odors to make others uncomfortable.

15. Takeaway

Though it is not possible to develop a habit overnight, it is possible to do so by practicing good actions over a long period of time. The aforementioned habits are quite effective. It is essential to develop this skill if you want to be an elite BJJ fighter and reach the highest ranks in this sport. They will not only help you improve your BJJ skills and techniques over time, but they will also help you project a positive image of yourself to the rest of the world.

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