Starting a new sport means that you have to adapt and learn. I started BJJ one year ago and now I can see myself in other new students. I notice some mistakes that I did when I was a one-month new student. So, if you are new at this sport, I will give you some tips that I wish someone had given to me when I just started.
Breath, breath and breath!!! Do not waste your energy doing nothing. Seriously, there are some guys who are trying too hard and they are wrecked after one round of sparring. When you are a new student and you barely know one or two techniques, don’t spar like if you were in a final match. Just breath and try your techniques. You will be tapped million of times, that is a fact, but if you are calm and relaxed you can notice your mistakes and learn from them. Whereas if you are in beast mode, you will just get exhausted.
Don’t unnecessary squiz your partner. I am guilty on this one and I am not proud of it. I remember that years ago a friend showed me how you can squiz someone while their on your closed guard. Also, how to dig your elbows while you are on someone’s closed guard. Then I learnt that those are jerk moves. Why? They are not real techniques, and you are only hurting your training partner. It is true that that could help you to escape a position or set up some submission, but in a higher level that is not going to work. At least that is what I was told. Doing those kind of moves is only to hurt your partner and you are not going to improve. Just don’t do that.
You are drilling, not fighting your partner. Drilling is different to sparring. It sounds obvious, isn’t it? But I have seen some guys that when they are drilling, they don’t allow their partner to do anything. I am not saying that you have to be like a dead body (which is also very bad), but let your partner practice the technique. If you are not sure if your resistance is enough or too much, just ask them and you will have an answer. Adapt to your partner.
Don’t be “that” guy Be careful with your partner. When you just start BJJ you don’t really know how far you have to go with a submission. If you get an arm bar for example, apply it slowly and give your partner plenty time to tap. You don’t want to be the guy who is always injuring people. With the time you will know exactly when to stop (I am still very careful when I attempt a submission). Take care of your partner.
These are some mistakes I did or I have seen in others. Now I realized I was doing wrong. I hope they are helpful for you. But the most important, enjoy being the newest in the gym, that is always a great feeling and you are going to learn lots of things every single day.