BJJ / Grappling / MMA tips: getting back into jiujitsu

What's the best way to get back into Jiujitsu?

Jiujitsu is an integral part of my life, but, as a part time grappler, there are times when I cannot train for a couple of weeks, or even more. Obviously if I can sneak in a session here or there I will but that's not always a possibility. 

Some may have to take a shorter or longer break from training. This could be due to work, family, moving home or even an injury. Hopefully, these obstacles subside and we find our way back to the mat, but people are often too eager for their own good when getting back into training and it's not uncommon for them to burn out within the first month or so. I know this because I have been that person. 

Here are 5 pieces of advice I've gathered over the years that I hope may be of value to you:

1. Start from the beginning and work your way up:

As much as you'd like to, you're not at the same level of conditioning, strength, agility or even technical awareness after a break. Give yourself at least 2-3 weeks where you build up the frequency and intensity of your training to its previous levels. A good rule of thumb is to take twice the length of time you were off to ease yourself back into training (e.g. Take 4 weeks to ease yourself into Jiujitsu training after a 2 week break)

2. Pay attention and re-learn to focus:

If you're practicing a sweep you already know, really pay attention to the details and try to discover something new about it (angle, set-up, weight distribution...etc). Similarly, if you're working your CV conditioning or strength really pay attention to what you're doing. 

"If it's worth doing, it's worth doing right!"

3. Aim to be more well-rounded - work on your weak areas:

If you're already strong, work on your flexibility. If you're both, introduce some cardio / recovery training into your routine. 

The same goes for Jiujitsu. Have you always been more of a top-game player (guard passing, takedowns, side and mount attacks) start focusing on your bottom game (open and closed guard, half guard, sweeps  and attacks from the bottom) or even your escape game. Here's some homework: for two weeks start EVERY single round from a disadvantageous position like side or mount bottom and work your defence, survival and escapes. 

4. Are you an aspiring beginner? Start doing some extra work at the gym:

Nothing crazy. A well planned 30 minute strength programme that focuses on the basics (body weight exercises, kettlebell swings & Turkish get ups, for instance, is my cup of tea) done once or twice a week is plenty. 

5. Make improving your recovery a priority:

Mentally, you might think you're where you left off, but the truth is you are suddenly placing demands on your body that you hadn't for a while so be very careful not to overlook the role of recovery. Click here for some good advice on how to improve your recovery from gruelling BJJ sessions.



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