The coronavirus pandemic has brought the jiu-jitsu world to a halt as most events are cancelled and gyms across the world are closed. While most people understand that refraining from training for a while can help slow the spread of COVID-19, there’s no shame in wanting to keep training, and thankfully, our community has responded to that want by coming up with great resources that can help you improve your game while still practicing social distancing.
Try these tips if you’re not sure where to begin:
Look for deals on your favourite BJJ instructional websites
Many popular online instructional stores are releasing amazing deals in the midst of the pandemic as a gesture to help out the jiu-jitsu community. DVD and download giant BJJ Fanatics has released multiple free instructionals since the virus started to affect the sport, and the Grapplers Guide site is also offering serious discounts. Plus, supporting these companies also supports athletes who use jiu-jitsu to make a living.
While these downloads are obviously pricier than the free videos you can find all over YouTube and Facebook, they offer great value for the cost. You can spend hours studying them, and once social distancing recommendations are lifted, you can pass on your knowledge to your teammates as well.
Local Academies are Offering Online Classes
In an effort to retain members despite being closed, many BJJ academies are sharing techniques or workouts online. If your own gym hasn’t been doing this, suggest the idea to your coach. Ideally, you’ll continue learning from your own instructor and at least be familiar with a few new concepts and techniques by the time the gym opens up again.
If your gym isn’t offering this right now, ask around. While some academies may require you to be a member before you get access to what they’re sharing during the outbreak, there are many others that are sharing their content publicly, regardless of membership status. This could be a great opportunity to learn more about different styles of jiu-jitsu that you haven’t yet been exposed to. If you then give back by sharing the videos that have helped you, you can also give that academy an exposure boost that could help them recruit new students when things calm down
Check out YouTube
There are a lot of jokes that float around about the jiu-jitsu students that use free YouTube instructionals to learn crazy techniques that would never actually work in live rolling, but there are actually a lot of high-quality BJJ technique videos that you can access anytime, anywhere, for free. Elite-level coaches and small academy owners alike are capitalizing on YouTube’s reach to promote their teaching services, and right now is the perfect time to look around and see what works for you.
Another bonus to finding BJJ videos on YouTube is that it’s easy to search for specific techniques you’ve been struggling with. And of course, there’s truly no risk or sacrifice involved – if you don’t like the technique you just saw, you’ve wasted no money and can easily find something else to suit your preferences on the same website.
Try Supplementary Workouts
Your resources don’t have to have “BJJ” stamped on them in order to improve your jiu-jitsu. Any movement you’re doing now will help you when you return to the mats, especially when it’s much easier to sit on the couch and do nothing. If you don’t learn jiu-jitsu well when you’re not physically on the mats in class, consider doing other workouts that will help you build or maintain muscle mass and stay flexible.
As with the BJJ-centric instructionals, other exercise videos are also found as paid and free resources. Yoga For BJJ, for example, is a popular site that offers an affordable monthly subscription for a yoga program that’s catered directly to jiu-jitsu athletes. If learning jiu-jitsu at home by yourself isn’t an appealing option right now for you, just stay moving through whatever platform gets you going.
Use Your Own Brain
If you haven’t been keeping a BJJ journal, now may be the time to start. Some say that the best way to learn is to teach, and “teaching” or reminding yourself of what you already know can help cement techniques and details into your mind. Write down your favourite submission chains, taking care to include everything that makes each move so effective for you. Imagine yourself in a match with the toughest opponent you’ve faced and create a flowchart that envisions different scenarios of how you might use your best techniques to defeat them. Go over the techniques you struggle with and take notes about the questions you want to ask your coach when classes resume. Even if you haven’t been training that long, you probably remember more than you think, and you can use that knowledge to your advantage while in quarantine.
The BJJ world is getting creative to combat boredom while combating the coronavirus. The gym will be open again before we know it, but until then, make the most of your time at home to heal from your injuries and learn as much as you can from other top minds in the jiu-jitsu world.