Common Mistakes to Avoid in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Training

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) is a martial art that focuses on ground fighting techniques that involve chokes, joint locks, and submissions. It is one of the most popular martial arts in the world because of its practical application in self-defense situations and its effectiveness in mixed martial arts competitions. However, like all martial arts, BJJ requires proper training and technique to be effective. In this article, we will discuss common mistakes made by BJJ practitioners and how to avoid them.

What is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) and Why is it Popular?

Understanding the Basics of BJJ

BJJ is essentially a grappling martial art that emphasizes submissions and positional dominance, with the goal being to submit an opponent through the use of chokes or joint locks. Unlike many other martial arts, BJJ is not reliant on striking techniques but rather focuses on taking an opponent to the ground and controlling them through ground fighting.

Popular Techniques Used in BJJ

Some of the most popular techniques used in BJJ include the triangle choke, armbar, and various joint locks. However, in recent years leg locks have become increasingly popular. These techniques are effective when executed properly and require a strong understanding of leverage and body positioning.

Benefits of Practicing BJJ

Practising BJJ can lead to a number of physical and mental benefits such as increased flexibility, improved cardiovascular health, and enhanced focus and discipline.

common mistakes to avoid in brazilian jiu jitsu training - BJJ mistakes and common bjj problems to avoid.

Common Mistakes Made by BJJ Beginners

Poor Posture

One of the most common mistakes made by BJJ beginners is poor posture. Good posture is essential in BJJ because it allows a practitioner to maintain balance and avoid being taken down, swept or submitted. Keeping your back straight and your elbows close to your body (in like a T-REx not like flappy Chicken wings) is a good way to maintain good posture.

Overemphasizing Strength Over Technique

Another common mistake made by BJJ beginners is overemphasizing strength over technique. It is important to realise that technique is often more important than physical strength in BJJ, and relying solely on strength can lead to exhaustion and ineffective techniques. However, as you progress in BJJ, strength becomes key when technique and technical ability cancel each other’s skills out.

Unwillingness to Tap Out

Finally, beginners often have an unwillingness to tap out. To prove themselves, to show how tough they are!  It is important to remember that tapping out is not a sign of weakness, but rather a necessary safety measure to prevent injury and allow you to learn and progress and continue to train injury free. It is better to tap out and live to fight another day.

Mistakes Made During Sparring Sessions

Not Focusing on Fundamentals

One of the biggest mistakes made during sparring sessions is not focusing on fundamentals. It is important to remember that fundamentals such as good posture, maintaining position, and understanding body positioning are essential in BJJ, and neglecting them can lead to ineffective techniques and getting submitted.

Overreliance on Chokes and Submissions

Overreliance on your favourite chokes and submissions is another mistake made during sparring sessions. It is important to remember that there are other techniques that can be used to control and submit your opponent and that overreliance on your favourite chokes and submissions can lead to predictable and easily avoidable attacks.

Making the Same Mistakes Over and Over Again

Another common mistake made during sparring sessions is making the same mistakes over and over again. It is important to observe mistakes and learn from them, rather than repeating them and making the same mistakes repeatedly.

This is why we recommend a BJJ Training Journal. Learn, note it down and skyrocket your training progress.

White BJJ Journal

Biggest Mistakes to Avoid in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Training

Ignoring the Importance of Proper Elbow Placement

Ignoring the importance of proper elbow placement is a big mistake in BJJ training. A common mistake is keeping your arms too far away from your body, which can make it easier for an opponent to control your arm and submit you.

Poor Understanding of Choke Defense

Another big mistake is having a poor understanding of choke defense. It is important to understand the mechanics of chokes and how to defend against them properly to avoid being submitted.

Ignoring the Importance of Mat Time

Ignoring the importance of mat time is another big mistake in BJJ training. It is important to regularly practice and train to improve your skills and develop muscle memory.

How to Avoid Common Mistakes in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Training

Develop a Strong Foundation in the Basics

To avoid common mistakes in BJJ training, it is important to develop a strong foundation in the basics of the martial art. This includes good posture, maintaining position, and understanding fundamental techniques and then trilling those techniques until they are automatic. When rolling, sparring or competing, you will not have time to think about techniques or chains of techniques, this is why we drill!

Foster a Willingness to Tap Out

To avoid injury and prevent mistakes, it is important to foster a willingness to tap out. This can help prevent injury and allow for proper learning and growth.

Regularly Spar with More Experienced Practitioners

To improve your skills and learn from mistakes, it is important to regularly spar with more experienced practitioners. This can help you learn from their techniques and mistakes and develop new strategies and techniques. However, respect their game and don’t be a dick.


Stay Committed to Improving Your Skills

BJJ requires dedication and commitment to become proficient. It is important to stay committed to improving your skills and practising regularly. Grab one of our journals and keep a record of your progress, also it will help you keep yourself accountable to yourself.

Make Time for Regular Practice and Training

Regular practice and training are essential in BJJ. Make time in your schedule to train regularly and focus on improving your skills.

Compare Your Progress with that of Your Peers

Finally, compare your progress with that of your peers to see where you stand and where you need to improve. This can help you set goals and focus on specific areas of improvement.


Q: What is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

A: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a grappling-based martial art that focuses on ground fighting techniques. It emphasizes leverage and technique over size and strength, making it an effective martial art for people of all sizes and physical abilities.

Q: What are some common mistakes to avoid in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training?

A: Some common BJJ mistakes include not focusing on posture, not protecting your neck for chokes, not defending against armbar submissions, and making unnecessary movements that can tire you out. It’s important to focus on technique and avoid relying solely on strength.

Q: How important is posture in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

A: Posture is essential in BJJ as it helps to prevent your opponent from controlling you on the ground. Keeping your back straight and your head up makes it harder for your opponent to take advantage of you and allows you to move more freely.

Q: What are some common BJJ submissions to be aware of?

A: Some common BJJ submissions include armbars, chokes (such as rear naked chokes and guillotine chokes), and joint locks (such as kimuras and americana locks). It’s important to be aware of these submissions and how to defend against them, as well as how to execute them properly.

Q: Why are making mistakes in BJJ training inevitable?

A: Making mistakes in BJJ training is inevitable because it’s a complex martial art that takes time to master. As a beginner, you’re bound to make mistakes as you learn new techniques and become more comfortable on the ground. However, making mistakes is an important part of the learning process and can help you improve your technique over time.

Q: How can you avoid making mistakes in BJJ training?

A: While it’s impossible to avoid making mistakes entirely in BJJ training, you can minimize them by focusing on technique, paying attention to your training partner’s movements, and staying calm under pressure. Additionally, working with an experienced coach or training partner can help you identify and correct any mistakes you might be making. That is why keeping a BJJ journal is key.

Q: Why is it important to keep your elbows tight during BJJ training?

A: Keeping your elbows tight during BJJ training helps to prevent your opponent from taking advantage of your arms and shoulders. It also helps to minimize the risk of injury and allows you to maintain better control over your movements on the ground.

Q: Is it better to be inside or outside your opponent’s guard in BJJ?

A: It’s generally better to be inside your opponent’s guard in BJJ, as it allows you to control your opponent’s movements and makes it easier to execute submissions and transitions. However, being outside your opponent’s guard can also be advantageous in certain situations, such as when you’re looking to pass their guard or transition to a different position.

Q: How can you relieve pressure when trapped in side control or mount?

A: To relieve pressure when trapped in side control or mount, you can try bridging or shrimping to create space between yourself and your opponent. You can also try framing with your hands or using your legs to create leverage and improve your position on the ground.

Q: What should beginners focus on at the start of their BJJ training?

A: As a beginner in BJJ, it’s important to focus on developing a strong foundation of basic techniques and movements. This might include learning how to maintain good posture, execute basic submissions like armbars, and defend against common attacks. It’s also important to stay patient and continue to practice and refine your technique over time.

BJJ Tees to inspire success.