Making a Training Plan For Jiujitsu at White and Blue Belt

Planning for the worst-case scenarios is the best way to ensure those scenarios don’t happen.

When you’re dealing with something as complex as jiujitsu, the possibilities for what might happen in a given sparring session or competition are almost literally limitless. Preparing as best we can, physically and mentally, is the best way to be prepared. How do we prepare to succeed, though, when the material we need to know is so vast?

The answers slightly vary based on experience level and belt level — and vary greatly from person to person, because we all have individualized needs — but I’m going to give you my best general answers for how to make a three-month plan dedicated to improving your jiujitsu. These would vary based on people’s goals, of course, and particular needs. A young woman focused intently on winning competition jiujitsu matches would have different needs from an older man focused on weight loss and self defense, for example.


Having a plan doesn’t guarantee that you’ll hit your goal, but it’s the best way I know for structured improvement. Plus, if you miss your goal, you’ll know you did everything you could to get there, which is some solace.

Originally, this post was going to be how to make a training plan at every belt level. It got very long very fast, though, so I’m splitting it in two. This post will cover how to make a training plan for white and early blue belts. If you’re a mid-level blue belt and up (say, you’ve been a blue belt more than two years, or have two stripes or more), a post is coming for you soon (EDIT: that post is here).

And here’s an idea — what if, instead of just offering private lessons, gym owners offered personalized training plan packages for one, three, or six months that included tailored improvement plans for that specific student? Just a thought for you gym owners. Continue reading

PODCAST: The Kekoa Collective

We spoke with Kekoa Collective founders Dewey Doan and business partners Aubrey Koenig and Jeffrey Huang about Kekoa’s vision, it’s innovative revenue sharing model designed to help other jiujitsu academies grow, how they actually open their store space for community projects,  the real story behind an iconic brand photo and much more. Also, see some photos below the fold of their new space under construction.


Continue reading

How to Roll During BJJ Sparring: Five Principles

Mat time is the best time. You should — and almost always will — feel better about everything after a solid night of training. In order to get the most out of mat time, it helps to think about your approach.

One of the rarest but smartest questions I get from newer people is, phrased one way or another, “How do I roll?” Sometimes people are looking for a technique to start a sparring session with, just to get the game going. Sometimes people don’t want to be jerk people complain about having to roll with. Often, people want to know how to maximize the value they get from rolling sessions.

All of these are great reasons, and they hint at an important meta-principle about jiujitsu: don’t be afraid to ask questions! People want to help you progress. Besides, we’ve all seen problems created when someone erroneously assumes they know the rolling culture of their gym without having to ask.

Here are five principles that should help, especially for newer people.

Continue reading