How to Improve Your Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Technique While off The Mat?

Brazilian jiu jitsu for beginners

Being thrown into situations that mimic real life fighting scenarios and fighting it out (or trying) is at the core of Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ). Therefore, it is a given that the BJJ is best practiced on mats and not off them. However, there are times when getting to the gym may be impossible for any number of reasons and we have to take time off from training. Sometimes, it could be important family commitments that keep us from going to the gym, while at other times work might get in the way or you might have an injury forcing you to stay away from training. Therefore, it is okay to take off from hitting the gym to train for BJJ for a while when the circumstances necessitate it, but this shouldn’t mean that you have to cut it off completely from your life. There are still some ways in which you can improve your technique while you’re physically off the mats. 

We shall go over some of the most practical ways in which you can still improve your Brazilian jiu jitsu technique while you’re not training. Whether you are away for an extensive period of time or just want to learn some things between your training sessions, the following tips will help you improve your game while you’re off the mat.  

Read Books

Reading a good book on the subject can really help you develop a thorough understanding of the principles and the philosophy of the martial art and even help you enhance your technique.

One of the books that you will learn tremendously from is Jiu-Jitsu University by Saulo Ribeiro. Another highly recommended book is The Black Belt Blueprint by Nicolas Gregoriades. After all, what better way to learn and understand the martial art than to take it from people who have spent a lifetime studying and understanding it? 

Make the Most of Youtube

YouTube tutorials on BJJ training are underrated. The free content out there is pure gold when it comes to learning a few new things about the martial art. Watching these tutorials will improve your understanding of some of the moves that you already know and you can also add new moves to your arsenal right off of YouTube tutorials. 

The tremendous wealth of knowledge available on YouTube should be utilized to your advantage. You will be able to find everything from move-specific tutorials and strength workout tutorials to diet and conditioning guides. In fact, there’s so much content out there that the sheer amount of information available can be overwhelming at times. Therefore, focus on a single aspect of the game at one time. Pick a specific move that you plan to learn and stick to it until you have reasonably internalized the knowledge. 

Practice any new moves you learn from the internet at home and try to perfect it before moving on to something else. You can also find the best practitioners and their advice and step by step guides on certain moves that can be extremely handy for a more thorough understanding. Although it is best to practice these techniques with a partner, studying and analyzing the art has its own place in learning the martial art. 

Keep a Training Journal

This might seem like an obvious one, but has to be reiterated nonetheless. A training journal can come in handy in helping you retain all that you learn on the mats. There is so much going on every day at the training session and it can be difficult to memorize and digest all of it in one go. A training journal will help you note down your observations so you can quickly go through them before the next session and try to incorporate the lessons into your game. Furthermore, it is the process of recalling and pondering over lessons that actually solidifies all those crucial lessons and helps you internalize them. 

Analyze Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Analyzing your strengths and weaknesses is an essential part of the game. Resort to introspection and ponder over your weak areas as well as your strong areas in the game while you’re still taking notes. Carry out an honest self appraisal and rank yourself in the following areas. 


  • Defenses and escapes
  • Takedowns and defense from it
  • Pass passing 
  • Submissions
  • Leg locks
  • Guard 
  • Back attacks


  • Power
  • Endurance
  • Strength
  • Durability
  • Flexibility


  • Focus
  • Determination and grit
  • Confidence
  • Learning ability and knowledge retention
  • Composure

You ego may hurt a little after you are done with an honest self appraisal, but the insights will be extremely beneficial to your development as a BJJ practitioner. 

Work On Your Health and Strengthening Your Body

BJJ is a physically demanding activity and it leaves you devastated and exhausted after arduous sessions. Over time, BJJ can take a toll on your body— and particularly on the bones and the joints that can sustain injuries. However, you can undo much of the damage if you incorporate a sound strength and conditioning regime into your daily life. 

The above tips will help you to build your game in between the training sessions or even if you are away from the mats for a long period of time. If you feel the need to know more about the subject, you can visit our website to find out everything Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu related, from trainings and strength and conditioning guides to diets.

John Porter

John is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Blue Belt and founder of Livermore Supply Co. When not training and competing in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournaments, John enjoys learning languages, traveling to the warm parts of the world, and photography. Outside of Livermore Supply Co., John has a career in the technology field.

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