Are you just starting out in BJJ? Are you unsure of what you should be focusing on during your first few weeks of training? If so, you're not alone. All white belts find themselves in a similar situation. They watch youtube videos, try to survive during sparring, and wonder how to improve faster. Here is what you should focus on during the beginning stages of your BJJ journey.
Starting Out in BJJ: Setting Reasonable Goals and Celebrating Small Wins
The guard is the most critical position in Jiu-Jitsu. It's your home base during your initial beginner phase. If you're new to grappling not a strong person, you're going to find yourself in the guard quite often. The guard is where you'll begin your offensive attacks in the future. So, let's talk about the guard.
Your first goal is to try to maintain the guard as long as you can. If you can maintain the guard, you can break your opponent's posture and prevent their offense.
Breaking their posture is first because there's no way your partner will be able to pass your guard if you break their posture. If you can hold them in your guard, you'll be the one initiating offense. Remember this is where all your sweeps and submissions will come from.
Once you can hold your guard effectively, then and only then should you start to tiptoe in the water a little bit. You should go for an armbar or scissor sweep. When you feel your opponent start to defend, lock them back up and focus on keeping your guard.
Set little goals for yourself. Make these goals reasonable. Celebrate your small successes. For example, if you were able to hold you guard for one minute last time, try to hold it for a minute and 20 seconds this time.
In the beginning, you're not going to be able to submit higher belts. Instead, focus on delaying the inevitable. You'll probably going to get submitted and swept quite often. That's okay. Just try to slow them down a little bit. Focus on your posture. Keep your hands on your opponent's body, and control the inside.
If you can maintain top position while you are inside someone's guard, then you can start to focus on breaking the guard. Then start working towards a submission or sweep. When you can break the guard effectively, you can start working on passing it.
Focus on all of these things in your first few weeks of training.
Remember, getting smashed is just what happens to all white belts. Don't fight it. Embrace it. It's not forever. Pretty soon you'll find yourself improving, and these concepts will all be second nature to you.
Good luck with your training, and have fun!