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What Does Cupping Do For Athletes?

Many athletes, including BJJ and MMA fighters, use different methods to aid their recovery. One method that is becoming more popular is the cupping method.

You’ve probably seen videos of cupping being done but may not know what it is used for. That is why we’re going to do in-depth and see what cupping does for athletes.

We’ll go over all of the benefits of cupping and a little bit into the history of the practice.

What does cupping do for athletes? The process of cupping has numerous health benefits for athletes that use it. Every from fighting off inflammation, improving blood flow, reducing trigger points, and relieving pain. These benefits and many more are why more athletes are trying cupping therapy.

What is Cupping?

Cupping is a form of alternative medicine where cups are heated up and placed on a patient’s skin. The cups being heated up causes them to suction onto their skin and raise it into the cups.

This suction causes the tissue to stretch up. Increasing blood flow and activating the patient’s immune system and flushes the area, which is why the skin turns purple.

Dry and Wet Cupping

There are actually two styles of cupping that are used. Dry cupping and wet cupping.

Dry Cupping: Dry cupping is the more traditional style, where cups are heated and cause suction on your skin. A more modern form of dry cupping uses a rubber pump instead of fire to create suction.

Some therapists will use another method where they move the cups around instead of leaving them in one spot. Creating a sensation of a massage mixed with cupping. The cups are left on for three minutes in all of these dry cupping methods.

Wet Cupping: Wet cupping starts out the same as dry cupping but with a slight twist. After three minutes, the suction cups are removed, and the therapist retrieves a scalpel.

They begin to make small incisions around the suctioned skin where excess blood has risen. Basically a modern form of bloodletting where they remove toxic blood that rose to the skin’s surface. The therapist will then rubber antibiotic cream around the cut areas to prevent infections.

The History of Cupping 

It’s hard to pinpoint who developed cupping therapy because so many cultures have used the method. Everyone from ancient Egyptians, Chinese, Greek, and Islamic cultures have used cupping.

The Egyptians

Egyptians may have been the originators of cupping. One of the oldest known medical textbooks is the Egyptian Ebers Papyrus details the cupping method. 

Ancient drawings within the Temple Kom Ombo also show that cupping was used. They used cupping for everything from fevers, menstrual imbalances, pain, and vertigo.

Chinese Herbalist Ge Hong

Cupping could have possibly been developed within China like many other forms of alternative medicine. In Chinese history, this alternative medicine can be dated back to the Han Dynasty.

A famous herbalist named Ge Hong is considered the first to use cupping in China. Hong believed that the use of cupping mixed with acupuncture could cure half of a person’s ailments.

Cupping in Ancient Greece

In ancient Greece, cupping was used by Hippocrates, who is considered the father of modern medicine. Hippocrates would use cupping for menstruation irregularities and many other ailments. These cupping uses were documented in some of the medical guides he wrote. 

Cupping in Ancient Islam

In ancient Islam, the cupping method is known as “al-hijamah.” Famous ancient Islamic physicians from Al-Zahrawi, Ibn Sina, and Abu Bakr Al-Rizi all documented the cupping process within their literature.

Cupping In Europe

After cupping was innovated in the cultures noted above, the practice would be adopted within Europe during the Renaissance era. It was popular in Italy for treating arthritis and gout for many years

The Benefits of Cupping

Cupping provides numerous benefits to athletes, which is why it has rebounded in popularity. Here are some of the numerous benefits that come from cupping.

Inflammation Reduction

One of the biggest problems for BJJ athletes and MMA fighters is inflammation in their muscles. Nagging muscle inflammation is painful and can prevent them from training.

The process of cupping heats up the areas suffering from inflammation and breaks it up by increasing the blood flow. 

Release Scar Tissue

Some athletes with prior surgeries, such as on their shoulder, have built up scar tissue around the area. This scar tissue can lead to problems persisting in the area, which is why it must be released.

This is why many athletes turn to cupping or massages to help release the scar tissue to help with healing.

Pain Relief 

Constant hard training will inevitably lead to muscle pain, making it hard to continue. By doing routine cupping sessions, combat sports athletes can continue training at a high level without stopping due to pain.

Improve Circulation and Mobility

Athletes might suffer from bad circulation that causes trigger points and lack of mobility around a joint. Cupping can help improve blood circulation to release trigger points and improve an athlete’s mobility.

Better Than Anti-Pain Meds

Many athletes will take over-the-counter pain meds like Tylenol or aspirin to deal with pain. In the long run, these meds do more harm than good and mask the pain instead of removing it.

Cupping is a much better option that actually treats the pain and won’t give you future health problems. 

Possible Negative Effects of Cupping

Even though cupping may offer many benefits to athletes, it may also give them other negative effects. Here are some of the possible negative effects of cupping.

Persistent Skin Discoloration

You may feel the positive effects of cupping, but doing it too much can lead to skin discoloration. You may develop semi-permanent suction circles on your body for overdoing it with the cupping.


A therapist that is just learning the cupping method may make some errors during one of the processes. One of the biggest is getting the cups too hot, which can lead to burns on your skin.

Worsen Skin Conditions

You may need to avoid cupping if you suffer from a chronic skin condition, such as eczema or psoriasis. Your sensitive skin may become irritated and cause a flare-up of your skin condition.


Infection is less likely with the dry cupping method but is possible with the wet cupping method. If you’re prone to infections, you may need to avoid cupping altogether and stick to massages.

Does Cupping Really Work? 

Even though cupping has been used for centuries, there is no solid proof that it works. That is why cupping is categorized as “alternative medicine.”

But if something has been consistently used in numerous cultures for centuries, there may actually be something to it. This could be one of the many reasons for its resurgence in recent years.

Should Combat Sports Athletes Use Cupping?

Combat sports athletes should do any type of therapy they feel is beneficial to stay on the mat. Whether it’s cupping, massages or acupuncture. Any one or a combination of all three can help MMA fighters and BJJ athletes on the mat and training.

What’s The Difference Between Judo And Karate?


Judo and Karate are the two most known and practiced of all of the Japanese martial arts. They often get compared to one another with people wanting to know what their main differences are.

Let’s go ahead and answer that question along with facts about both Judo and Karate. We’ll also list some of the similarities between these two martial arts.

What’s the difference between Judo and Karate? The difference between Judo and Karate is that Judo is a grappling art, while Karate is a striking art. One is designed to get an opponent to the ground, while the other’s objective is to immobilize them with strikes.

The Histories of Judo and Karate

Judo and Karate may be polar opposites, but their histories do coincide with each other. Here is a quick rundown of the histories of Judo and Karate. 

The History of Judo 

Judo was created in the late 1800s by Jigoro Kanu. Jigoro Kanu was a man of small stature, who was constantly bullied as a child.

This drove him to learn jujutsu grappling styles. Throughout his time in studying in the university, Kano has learned jujutsu styles along with western wrestling techniques that he read.

After years of developing his own grappling ability, Kano would begin developing his own grappling style. One that he would decide to call Judo.

In the 1880s, Kano would open the Kodokan Judo Institute in 1882. At first, Kano had a low number of students, but Judo would quickly catch on.

By the early 1900s, Kano had thousands of students at the Kotokan. He had even gotten Judo clubs to be added into schools and universities throughout Japan.

But Kano was not satisfied with this and wanted to bring Judo to the world. He sent his best students around the world to teach the art of Judo.

Before Kano’s death, he would see his martial art be taught throughout the world.

The History of Karate

The story of the development of Karate begins on the island of Okinawa. Karate was primarily based off of martial arts styles that were developed on the island and particularly Ryukyu Kempo.

Also various styles of Chinese martial arts that were shared by Chinese fishermen that came to Okinawa. The martial art was initially called “toudi” which translates to “Chinese Hand.”

There were many martial artists that had a hand in developing Karate, but two in particular were vital in its development. Itosu Anko and Gichin Funakoshi.

Itosu Anko was a lifelong toudi practitioner who became secretary of the last king of the Ryukyu Kingdom. He would be instrumental in getting toudi(Karate) introduced into Okinawan schools in the 1900s.

Anko also wrote the 10 precepts of Karate along with the Pinan forms of Karate. Modernized versions of basic katas that he felt were easier to learn than the older forms.

Gichin Funakoshi was the person responsible for spreading Karate across Japan and later the world. His first step in marketing the martial art was changing the name toudi to Karate.

This was to remove the Chinese aspect of the name in order for the Japanese to accept it. He would also include martial arts Gis, which he took from the art of Judo.

After these changes, Funakoshi was able to hold various Karate demonstrations within Tokyo. Even holding one demonstration at the Kotokan after being invited by Master Kano.

These demonstrations would lead to Karate being widely embraced by the Japanese. It would soon be held in the same regard as Judo and be included in all Japanese schools and universities.

Later becoming one of the most practiced martial arts in the world.

The Main Differences Between Judo and Karate 

Judo and Karate have a wide range of differences between them. Here are the four main differences between Judo and Karate.

The Techniques of Each Martial Art 

The most obvious differences between Karate and Judo are the techniques of each martial art. Karate is a strictly striking martial art that is all done from standing.

Teaching a wide variety of kicks, hand strikes, and elbows. All of which are performed in 2-3 hit combos that are designed to quickly dispatch an opponent.

Judo is a strictly grappling martial art that does not teach striking. It consists of throws and submissions that are set up with grips, footwork, and leverage.

Karate is Aggressive and Judo is defensive

Karate is considered to be an aggressive style of martial art. All of the techniques are delivered with power and force, which are designed to end a fight quickly.

Judo is considered a defensive martial art, where you react to an opponent’s movements. Using technique and leverage to take an opponent to the ground.

Although, anyone that has seen a Judo competition will probably disagree with this difference.

The Gis That They Train In 

Both Judo and Karate train in martial arts Gis, but they are very different from one another. A Judo Gi is made of thicker material to withstand the grappling demands of the martial arts.

Karate Gis are more lightweight and usually made with a light cotton or cotton blend. The sleeves and lapels of the Gi tops are also noticeably shorter than those in Judo Gis.

Different Belt Systems

Both Karate and Judo use belt systems, but they are very different from one another. To show the difference we listed the belt system of Shotokan Karate and the Judo belt system used in the US.

Karate Belt System

  • White Belt
  • Yellow Belt
  • Orange Belt 
  • Green Belt
  • Blue Belt
  • Brown Belt
  • Black Belt

Judo Belt System

  • White Belt 
  • Yellow Belt
  • Orange Belt
  • Green Belt
  • Blue Belt
  • Purple Belt
  • Brown Belt 
  • Black Belt

The Similarities Between Judo and Karate

Even though Judo and Karate seem vastly different, they do share some common traits with one another. Here are the main similarities between the arts of Judo and Karate.

Judo and Karate are Both Japanese Martial Arts

Judo and Karate may have different techniques and philosophies, they are both still Japanese martial arts. Not just Japanese martial arts, but they are the most practiced and known throughout the world.

Both Styles Train In A Gi 

Judo and Karate share the similarity that both arts are practiced in Gi uniforms. They may be different, but Gichin Funakoshi was actually inspired by Judo to add Gis into Karate.

This was to show that Karate was a formal and respectful martial art. Not a fighting style practiced by thugs on the street.

Before the development of lightweight Karate Gis, early Karatekas would train in Judo Gis. Master Funakoshi even did the famous Karate demonstration at the Kodokan in a Judo Gi.

Both Use A Belt System

Even though Judo and Karate use different belt systems, the two martial arts do share the commonality of a belt system. This was another part of Judo that was adopted into Karate along with the Gi. 

Karate also initially used the original Judo ranking system before developing their own. Now each style of Karate has their own belt system.


Even though the arts of Judo and Karate are different, they hold many things in common. Both of their stories intersect and the art of Karate would look a lot different without the influence of Judo.

Both went on to become globally practiced martial arts that are practiced by millions.

How Long Does It Take To Learn Judo?


Those that want to get into Judo training often have the same question. How long does it take to learn Judo?

We’re going to give you the full answer below along with detailing the techniques that you’ll learn during this time.

How long does it take to learn Judo? It will take you about a year to learn the basics of Judo. However, to become highly skilled in Judo takes years of training and dedication.

Fundamental Judo Movements You Must Learn

The first techniques that you will learn in Judo are the basic movements. Once you get these movements down, then you can begin learning different throws and sweeps.

The fundamentals of Judo you first learn include:

  • Posture
  • Footwork
  • Body Movement
  • Falling Techniques
  • Gripping Techniques
  • Setting Up Throws


Having good posture is everything in Judo and makes it hard for an opponent to throw you. Your back must be straight and your feet planted directly under your hips.

The position of your head must  also be centered above your hips. Slightly up and Focusing your view between your opponent’s hips and chest.

Footwork(Suri ashi)

The steps you take enable you to set up your throws against your opponent. Not only to set up techniques, but also prevent techniques from being done on you.

Proper footwork for Judo will include learning how to step without lifting your leg high or putting too much. Also being able to shift your weight, while keeping your weight balanced between your feet.

Body Movement(Tai sabaki)

Body movements are important for you to move your body to set up throws. These movements include: front movement control, back movement control, and front turn movement control. 


Just like in BJJ, you must learn to break fall before learning any techniques. In Judo, they call breakfalls ukemi.

The types of ukemi you learn include:

  • Forward Falling
  • Backward Falling
  • Sideways Falling
  • Falling Rolls(Forward & Backward)

Gripping Techniques(Kumi kate)

Learning all of the basic gripping techniques are included in your first Judo classes. These grips will enable you to set up different types of throws depending on the type of grips you use.

Unbalancing Opponent(Kuzushi)

Unbalancing your opponent is the first step of your set up into your Judo throw. You’ll learn in your first classes how to force your opponent’s weight to each side to start your set ups.

Making an Opening(Tsukuri)

Tsukuri are the entry steps into opening your throws. Basic entries are  generally between 1-3 steps.

Basic Grips 

Let’s go  step further and list some of the kumi kate or basic grips that you’ll use in Judo.

  • Sleeve & Collar Grips
  • Double Sleeve Grips
  • Double Sleeve Grips(Same Side)
  • Double Collar Grips
  • Double Collar Grips(Same Side)
  • Sleeve Grip & Head Control

Blocking & Breaking Grips

Not only do you have to know how to get grips, but also how to block and break them. Here is a list of different grip breaks that you will learn.

To prevent grips, you will practice parry blocks, where you practice swatting your opponent’s hands away.

  • Push & Pull:  Push opponent back by the collar as you pull your arm back to break their sleeve grip.
  • Roll Over/Under & Rip
  • Elbow Lift & Twist
  • C Grip Sleeve Break
  • Reverse C Grip

Here is a breakdown of some of the grip breaks in these two videos.

Basic Throws You Will Learn

After you spend your first classes learning fundamental Judo movements, you then move on to basic Judo throws. Here are 5 basic Judo throws listed below along with details for how to execute them.

Uchi gari

The uchi gari or inside trip is one of the easiest takedowns in Judo. It consists of three steps with a basic sleeve and high collar grip.

Start your set up with a cross front step, followed by a back step. Then hook your front foot behind your opponent’s foot and fall forward.

The force of your fall forward, along with your leg hook makes your opponent fall with ease.

O soto gari

The o soto gari is the sister trip of the uchi gari. Instead of an inside leg trip, the soto is an outside trip. You’re going to start with a basic collar and sleeve grip.

Use your grips to pull your opponent towards your sleeve grip to get them heavy on that leg. Next, step to that side with your mirror side foot, then take a big cross step to hook your opponent’s leg.

Hook your foot behind your opponent’s knee. Then to finish the trip, push your opponent with your collar grip as you do a back kick.

Koshi Guruma

A basic koshi guruma throw can come off a counter when your opponent has an underhook and sleeve grip. It’s a basic two step throw.

When your opponent has an underhook, you’re going to wrap their head and break their posture. At the same time, you’re grabbing your opponent’s sleeve at the elbow and lifting it up.

To go into the throw, you’re going to step in with your lead foot and do a cross step. These steps put you in position to load your opponent and take them over to complete the throw.

O goshi

The o goshi throw is the sister throw to the koshi guruma. This is where your opponent has an overhook, while you have an underhook.

Take your underhook arm and grab your opponent’s belt as you keep their arm to their hip. The steps for this throw are the exact same as the koshi.

Step in, cross step, load your opponent, and take them over to finish the throw.

Sasae tsuri komi ashi

This technique is a counter if your opponent has a strong overhook that will block the goshi throw. Instead, you’re going to go to the sasae.

Keep them the same grips as if you’re doing the goshi and do the initial entry step. But your second step is going to go right next to your opponent’s foot instead of between their legs.

Use your grips to lift your opponent  and kick out their leg with your foot to complete the technique.

Here is a visual for all 5 techniques for you to watch. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFhiz7dcEkM&ab_channel=ShintaroHigashi

How Often Do I Need to Train to Learn Judo?

If you want to learn Judo in a quicker time, then you will have to train regularly. The minimum to achieve this is training at least three times a week. 

But if you can train more than three days a week, you’ll get Judo down at a faster rate.


Judo is a great martial art that is incredibly beneficial to learn. If you’re serious about learning Judo, then it will take you about a year to learn the basic concepts of the martial art. Be sure to commit, train hard, and you will learn Judo in no time.

How Much Does A Karate Instructor Make?


Karate practitioners that are passionate about the martial art often want to become instructors. Although, some aren’t sure if they can really make a living being a karate instructor.

That’s why we’re going to answer the question, how much does a karate instructor make? Going over the median price that karate instructors annually make along with the highest and lowest salaries.

We’ll also go over how you can become a karate instructor and how you can earn the most money teaching.

How much does a karate instructor make? According to the website Zip Recruiter shares these statistics. The average annual pay for a full time karate instructor is $47,188. Other annual salaries include $115,500 for the highest salaries and the lowest salaries at $11,000.

The pay scale for a karate instructor

As noted from the data from the website Zip Recruiter, the salary of a Karate instructor is broken into three groups. The high end, median average and low end.

Lowest karate instructor salaries($11,000)

The lowest noted annual salaries of karate instructors was marked at $11,000. These numbers are most likely for instructors that work less than 20 hours a week. Most likely working at an after school program or some kind of rec center.

Median salaries of karate instructor($47,188)

This is the national average that karate instructors make across the US. It is a decent living doing something that you love to do, but won’t make you rich by any means.

Highest Karate salaries($115,500)

Karate instructors that net over $100k a year are the hustlers of the industry and likely the best at business. To earn this much, they most likely have high gym fees and over various other things along with karate.

How do you become a karate instructor?

Before worrying about how much you can make being a karate instructor, you first have to know how to become one. There are two things you need to do in order to become a karate instructor.

  • Earn your black belt in karate
  • Getting experience as an assistant instructor

Become a karate black belt

The most obvious step to become a karate instructor is to earn your black belt in karate. Potential students will only want to learn from an experienced black belt that has vast experience in the martial art. Once you earn your black belt, you can take steps to become an instructor.

Be an assistant instructor

Many karate schools have a program for students that want to become future instructors. When they are a high colored belt or young black belt, they can choose to be assistant instructors.

Any owner of a karate school at one point was an assistant instructor in their first gym. Being an assistant instructor will give you the experience needed to become a head instructor in the future.

Where can a karate instructor work? 

As a karate instructor, you have a few different options for places that you can work. There’s a variety of different places that have openings for karate instructors.

Some of these different places include:

  • Your own academy
  • Rec Centers
  • Sports Centers
  • Churches/Religious Centers
  • Freelance

Own your own academy

The dream for just about every aspiring karate instructor is to own their own school. Being their own boss and running classes the way they want in their own Karate academy. We’ll go further into how to open your own karate school in the next section.

Rec Centers

A lot of rec centers offer after school programs that include karate classes. They are always hiring, so you can definitely land a teaching job at these types of places.

Sports Centers

There are many workout gyms that are becoming sports centers. All in places, where you can work out and participate in various types of sports like karate. Gyms like LifeTime Fitness are a good example of these types of places.

Places of worship

Other places that offer karate as after school programs in places of worship like churches or mosques. If you’re a religious person or more open minded, you can find a job working in one of these places.


Thanks to this modern age of technology, you can even work as a freelance karate instructor. There are various websites and apps people use to set up private lessons to learn karate. You can teach karate from your home, travel to student’s homes, or even online.

How to open your own karate school?

The dream of anyone that wants to be a karate instructor is to own their own school. Here is what you need to know about opening your own karate school.

Choose a location

The first step in owning your own karate school is choosing a location to open your school. You are really going to have to do your research and scout out potential areas. A place that you can afford paying rent and get a lot of traffic, so people can see your school.

Buy Equipment

If you want to own a karate school, you’re going to need to buy equipment to deck it out. You’re going to need everything from:

  • Mats
  • Punching Bags
  • Kimonos
  • Sparring Gear
  • Front Desk
  • Chairs For Parents

Take out a loan

Opening a karate school is expensive and takes a lot more money than most people have. Consider going to a bank to see if you can take out a loan to open your own school. 

How to make more as a karate instructor? 

Your goal should not only be a karate instructor, but also how to be a successful one. Here are three things you can do to make more as a karate instructor.

Choose a good location

We touched on this in the previous section, but we’re going to expand on the importance of a good location. A good location will decide if your school will succeed or fail. 

You need to choose a good location, where there’s a dense population and one that is more affluent. This will help you get more students and earn more for running classes.

Learn how to be a sales person 

Teaching karate isn’t your only job as an instructor. You also have to be a good sales person to potential clients.

Being able to confidently talk to potential clients and make them want to learn from you. If you aren’t a good communicator, then you may not make much as a karate instructor.

Be a mentor

Making a good living from being a karate instructor is more than just teaching the martial art. You also have to be a mentor to your students.

Be someone that can help them with something in their personal life and better them as a person. Having a good reputation can definitely factor into growth in your teaching salary.

Offer different programs

Many karate schools don’t just offer karate in their schools, but a variety of other types of programs. Successful karate schools offer everything from:

  • Weapons classes
  • Adult Fitness Classes
  • Grappling Classes
  • After School programs

Offering any one of these programs along with karate can help you earn more as an instructor.

Go follow your dream of being a karate instructor

Being a karate instructor is a lot of work, but it is a fulfilling job. You can make a good living being one and even get paid well to do what you love. All you need to do is put in the work and you can make a living being a karate instructor.

How is Judo Scored in the Olympics?


If you’re a combat sports enthusiast, you‘ve probably tuned into the Olympics to watch the Judo matches. For those that have never practiced or competed in Judo, the scoring may be a little confusing.

That’s why we’ve put together this article to explain how Judo is scored in the Olympics. We’ll go over how an Olympic Judo match is won and how points are scored.

How is Judo scored in the Olympics? There are three different types of scores in Olympic Judo that include ippon, waza-ari, and yuko. An ippon wins the match, a waza-ari scores 10 points, and a yuko scores 1 point.

The ways to score in Olympic Judo

Competitors in Olympic Judo can score in three different ways. The three ways that they can score include:

  1. Ippon
  2. Waza-ari
  3. Yuko


An ippon is when a Judoka lands a perfect technique on their opponent. The Olympics’ definition of an ippon is a full throw that is done with considerable force and speed.

To be awarded an ippon, the opponent must land directly or largely on their back. Landing a perfect throw will result in an automatic win for the Judoka athlete.

There is another way that an ippon can be awarded within the Olympics. That is when an athlete is held down on the ground in a submission hold for 20 seconds.

Ippons are also awarded if the opponent submits or gets put to sleep from a Gi choke. Whenever an ippon occurs, the official will raise their arm straight up declaring the match over.

Example of an ippon by technique 

An example of an award by technique would be if a Judoka lands a perfect osoto-gari on their opponent. The opponent is tripped and falls flat on their back. Resulting in a win for the competitor that scored.

Example of a grounded ippon

An example of a grounded ippon could be where an opponent defended a takedown, but fell to the ground. The competitor that ends up on type locks in a Canto choke that puts their opponent to sleep. As a result, they are awarded an ippon and win the match.


A waza-ari is where a successful throw or sweep was landed, but the opponent did not land on their back. Also because the throw did not have the speed or force to be considered an ippon.

Another way to earn a waza-ari is by controlling an opponent on the ground for at least 15 seconds. But the opponent did not submit or get put to sleep within this time frame.

Landing a waza-ari will result in a competitor earning 10 points. If they score 2 waza-aris in their match, this will result in the match ending.

The referee will signal a win by waza-ari by raising their arm at shoulder level and straightening it to the side.

Example of a waza-ari by technique

An example of earning a waza-ari from a throwing technique could be successfully landing a seoi-nage. But the opponent did not land on their back or the throw wasn’t powerful enough to be considered an ippon. This will result in 10 points for the competitor.

Example of a waza-ari on the ground

A grounded waza-ari could be that an opponent fell to the ground and you ended up on top of them. You either held them down for less than 20 seconds or applied a submission, but they didn’t submit and escaped.


A yuko is considered an almost waza-ari. This is when a competitor lands a throw or sweep, but it wasn’t technical, nor done with speed or force.

The opponent also did not land on their back. On the ground, a yuko is awarded when a submission is held for less than 15 seconds.

A number of yukos do not equal a waza-ari or an ippon. The referee will put their arm out at a 45 degree angle to signal a point for a yuko.

An example of a yuko by technique

An example of earning a yuko could be by landing a sloppy uchi-mata throw, where the opponent fell on their side. The referee will award you one point for landing this technique.

An example of a yuko on the ground

When an opponent falls to the ground and the competitor secures an armbar. They have the submission, but their opponent escapes before the 15 second mark.


There are two different penalties that can be handed down by a referee in a Judo competition. They could either be a hansoku-make or a shido.


A hansoku-make is the negative equivalent of an ippon that results in an immediate disqualification of a competitor. Basically a competitor is sighted for unsportsmanlike conduct and loses the match.

Hansoku-makes can be handed down with one bad infringement or the rules or multiple small infringements. Either way, this results in the offending competitor losing the match.


Shidos are smaller infringements of the rules of competition that do not result in a disqualification. Although if a competitor receives 4 shidos, that equals a hansoku-make and results in them losing the match.

Types of shidos include:

  • Non-combativity
  • Intentionally stepping out of bounds
  • Playing defensively
  • Hands to an opponent’s face

Ways to win in Olympic Judo

A Judo match in the Olympics is won by 5 different ways.

  • Ippon
  • 2 waza-aris scored
  • Opponent receives a hansoku penalty
  • Opponent receives 4 shido penalties(adding up to a hansoku penalty)
  • Opponent gets injured and cannot continue.

An Olympic Judo match that goes the distance without an ippon or 2 waza-aris scored, the quality of scores are assessed. If both competitors have one waza-ari each, but one has more yukos, that competitor is declared the winner.

If both competitors have the same score, the winner will be who was given less shido penalties.

The golden score

When a match ends with competitors having the same score of yukos and shidos, the match goes to a golden score. A golden score is basically a sudden death round.

The clocks are reset and whoever scores the first point will be declared the winner. Anything from a yuko or a shido penalty will give a competitor the win.

Is Olympic Judo scored the same as in sport judo?

Yes, Olympic Judo goes by the rules of sport that were implemented by the International Judo Federation.(IJF) They are the main governing body that has worked together with the Olympics ever since Judo became an Olympic sport.

This includes the point system that both governing bodies use.

Also, anytime the IJF makes alterations to the rules of sport Judo, the Olympics adopts those rules into their competitions. For example, if a throw is banned in IJF competition, the Olympics also ban

Kano Judo vs Sport Judo

Olympic Judo in itself is sport Judo, which the founder of Judo, Jigoro Kano was strictly against. He wanted Judo to be seen as a martial art and not a sport.

This difference caused a split within the Judo community. Now, there are Judo schools that are traditional Kano Judo or sport Judo. The type of Judo that you see done within the Olympics.

Go watch Judo matches now with clearer eyes

Judo’s scoring system is rather simple to understand and makes watching a match easy to follow. Now that you have a better understanding of the scoring system, you’ll be able to watch Olympic Judo with clearer eyes!

Is Jiu Jitsu A Sport? Everything you need to know

The sport of Jiu Jitsu is growing at a fast rate with more athletes now than ever. Even though BJJ is growing, there are still naysayers that don’t consider Jiu Jitsu a sport.

That’s why we’re going to go in depth and show why Jiu Jitsu is a sport. Going through every facet of BJJ competition to show the naysayers why they’re wrong.

Is Just Jitsu a sport? Yes, Jiu Jitsu meets all of the pre-requisites for being considered a sport. Being an activity between two individuals or teams that go through physical exertion to determine a winner. It is also a form of entertainment, where fans pay to watch BJJ athletes compete.

What’s the definition of a sport? 

Before we get into the debate of Jiu Jitsu being a sport, we need to know the definition of a sport. According to the Oxford dictionary, the definition of a sport is as follows:

“An activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or a team competes against another team for entertainment.”

Reasons why Jiu Jitsu is a sport 

Now that you know the definition of a sport, we can now go through why Jiu Jitsu is a sport. Here are the biggest arguments for Jiu Jitsu being a sport.

Jiu Jitsu is a battle between two opposing forces 

BJJ perfectly meets the definition of a sport. A Jiu Jitsu match is a battle between two athletes competing to see who is the better grappler.

This is exactly the same as fighters in a boxing or MMA match do in their forms of competitions. Battling to see who is the better fighter.

Jiu Jitsu is a competition of skill

A Jiu Jitsu match is more than just a battle of two opposing wills, but a competition of skill. The two athletes in a BJJ match are highly skilled martial artists.

One competitor could be an expert at guard passing, while the other is a guard specialist. For ten minutes, they will have a tactical battle to see who can submit the other or win on points.

A Jiu Jitsu match involves physical exertion 

Since a Jiu Jitsu match is a form of fighting, this means that it involves physical exertion. Just like any other type of combat sport, where athletes are fighting against each other.

Those that have competed in BJJ know just how exhausting it is to compete. You’ve never felt more tired in your life than how you feel after you get done competing in a match.

It’s a form of entertainment

The last reason for Jiu Jitsu being a sport is that it is a form of entertainment. Numerous people stream the big matches to be entertained and see who will come out on top. Just like how fans of football or MMA tune in to every event.

Arguments against Jiu Jitsu being a sport 

There is a small faction of naysayers that feel Jiu Jitsu is not a sport. Here are some of their arguments against Jiu Jitsu being a sport.

Jiu Jitsu is a martial art(not a sport)

Some critics don’t see Jiu Jitsu as a sport, but more as a martial art. Having the opinion that BJJ was created as a self defense martial art and cannot or should not be viewed as a sport.

It’s boring

It’s hard to admit, but sometimes watching Jiu Jitsu matches can be really hard to watch. Especially when there’s a stalemate, where one athlete can’t pass their opponent’s guard and the opponent can’t defend them. For a casual viewer this can be as boring as watching paint dry.

Why those arguments against Jiu Jitsu not being a sport are wrong

People that feel BJJ isn’t a sport are entitled to their opinion even though they’re wrong. Here are why those arguments against Jiu Jitsu being a sport are wrong.

Jiu Jitsu can be both a martial art and sport

There are no guidelines that say BJJ has to be a martial art or a sport. It can easily be both simultaneously. Just like how Muay Thai is both a martial art and a sport.

Saying Jiu Jitsu is boring is an opinion (not fact)

Saying that Jiu Jitsu is boring is more of an opinion than an actual fact. Admittingly, there are boring matches from time to time, but there’s also boring MMA matches or baseball games. 

How Jiu Jitsu has grown as a sport

BJJ has really come into its own as a legitimate sport over the years. Here is how the sport of Jiu Jitsu has grown.

The BJJ audience is bigger than ever

Today, there are more fans of Jiu Jitsu than ever before that tune into every major match or competition. Also going to watch events live

This year’s ADCC championship sold out in record time with over 10k tickets purchased 

There’s more ways to watch 

What has helped the BJJ audience grow is wider access to watching BJJ competitions. There are now more websites that stream the biggest competitions and pro shows than ever before.

Thanks in part to streaming websites like flograppling that were created specifically to bring those matches to the masses. YouTube has been the other website most used to stream competitions.

These websites have given BJJ fans across the world to watch all of the major championships and events at home.

Athletes are making a living off of competing 

To further cement the growth of the sport of Jiu Jitsu, BJJ athletes are now paid more than ever. Just a decade ago it was unheard of to make a living in Jiu Jitsu competing. But now top Jiu Jitsu athletes are now making a comfortable living off of just competing.

How to make BJJ a more legitimate sport

Even though BJJ is growing as a sport, there are improvements needed to make it better. Here are some ways to make BJJ a more legitimate sport. 

Make BJJ competitions more fan friendly 

Big tournaments like the IBJJF put on are not the most fan friendly to casual viewers. Most arenas that hold these competitions are only half filled with die hard fans and teammates of the competitors.

You seldom see BJJ fans go to these competitions unless they know somebody competing. That is why the first step in making BJJ a more legitimate sport is making competitions more fan friendly.

Jiu Jitsu organizations need to make fans want to come watch a competition. Do more marketing towards BJJ fans rather than just getting competitors to pay to compete.

Penalize stalling

One problem that has plagued sport BJJ for years is the act of stalling. Some Jiu Jitsu athletes will strategically go up on points or advantages and just coast.

For spectators, that is incredibly boring to match and takes the enjoyment out of watching a match. That is why competitors that do this must be penalized anytime they stall in a match.

Jiu Jitsu matches need to be more fast paced with athletes constantly going for points and submissions. Doing this will make matches more entertaining and attract more fans.

Educate non BJJ practitioners

The biggest thing that needs to be done to make BJJ a more legitimate sport is to educate non BJJ practitioners. Jiu Jitsu is a verniche sport that is only viewed by those that practice the martial art.

There are no casual fans that watch Jiu Jitsu competitions and don’t train. If we educate non practitioners, then BJJ will be seen the same as MMA or boxing.

Let’s continue growing the sport of Jiu Jitsu!

The sport of Jiu Jitsu has come a long way, but it can be even better. We in the BJJ community can do our part to continue the growth of the sport we love.

Is BJJ Dangerous? What you need to know

One thing that keeps some people from getting into BJJ is that the martial art can be dangerous. This is an opinion held by some that honestly don’t know much about the art of Jiu Jitsu.

Let’s break down this claim and answer the question, is BJJ dangerous? We’ll also go over the reasons why some people would consider BJJ as a dangerous martial art.

Is BJJ dangerous? BJJ is only as dangerous as you want to make it. As long as you don’t go 100% all the time and train with good training partners, you should be fine.

How can BJJ be dangerous

Even though BJJ is one of the least dangerous martial arts, there are still risks that make people think it’s dangerous. Here are some reasons that make some people think that BJJ is dangerous.

The UFC 

Many people that perceive BJJ as dangerous, generally associate the martial art with the UFC. The most known MMA promotion in the world that is watched by millions around the world.

Someone that doesn’t really know anything about Jiu Jitsu will see a UFC fight and lump it together with MMA. Not knowing that MMA fights are a mix of various different fighting disciplines.

BJJ is aggressive

BJJ can definitely be perceived as dangerous if you show someone a high level Jiu Jitsu match. High level BJJ athletes are so fast and aggressive that it can make Jiu Jitsu look like a dangerous sport.


Unfortunately one thing that is unavoidable in Jiu Jitsu are the injuries. You are bound to get bruised or banged up if you train long enough.

At worst, you can get a really debilitating injury like a torn tendon that will put you on the shelf. That is always a risk that will come with BJJ training no matter how many precautions you take.

White Belts

If you ask anybody that is high ranked about their injuries, there’s a good chance a white belt was involved. White belts are known to be spazzy and try to do everything 100%.

This commonly leads to them getting injured or worse, injuring their training partner. BJJ isn’t dangerous, but training with an untrained white belt can be dangerous.

Why isn’t BJJ dangerous

If you participate in BJJ training, then you know that it is an incredibly safe martial art to practice. Here are the reasons why BJJ isn’t a dangerous martial art.

No striking BJJ

By far the biggest reason why BJJ isn’t a dangerous martial art, because striking is not allowed. Striking is not taught within the martial art and is not allowed in traditional Jiu Jitsu class. You may catch an accidental knee or elbow, but you won’t be intentionally hurt with a strike.

It’s scientifically proven to be safe

If you want more proof that BJJ is safe, there have been multiple studies done confirming that it’s a safe martial art. One of the biggest and most known studies was done by the University of Hawaii at Manoa.(Study here)

In a study that was done over a few years, researchers watched over 2500 different Jiu Jitsu matches. Out of all of those Jiu Jitsu matches, less than one percent of competitors were injured in competition.

The only competitors that normally got hurt were novices that moved incorrectly. This doesn’t show the statistics for injuries in training that are far more common, but does show competing is fairly safe.

You can choose the intensity

One thing that makes BJJ one of the safest martial arts is that you can choose the intensity of your training. People generally get hurt in training when they go too hard. 

In BJJ training, you can choose how hard or light you go. Having this option makes BJJ training incredibly safe.

Good community

One big reason that BJJ isn’t dangerous is that the Jiu Jitsu community is full of great people. 99.9% of those that participate in BJJ training are great people that are not out to seriously hurt you. They are there to practice safely and learn the martial art just like you.

How to make BJJ training less dangerous?

There are some dangers that come from BJJ training, but it’s only as dangerous as you make it. Here are some steps you can take to make BJJ less dangerous and less likely to get hurt.

Warm up 

The warm up is something many BJJ practitioners neglect to do. Not warming up increases the danger of you getting hurt while you’re training due to cold joints and muscles.

Make sure that you take 5-10 minutes before every class and really do a warm up. You’ll get your blood flowing and cut the risk of injury in half.

Choose good training partners

The best thing you can do to make BJJ less dangerous for you is to choose good training partners. Choose more skilled partners that train safely and won’t hurt you. 

Always try to avoid beginners that go 100% on everything and train too hard. This will drastically cut the danger of you getting hurt while you’re training. 

Drill More

If you want to make BJJ even less dangerous and lower the risk of getting injured, you should drill more. When you drill, the pace is controlled and your partner isn’t trying to defend your attacks.

Choosing to drill more will not only make BJJ less dangerous, but also make your game sharper.

Don’t overtrain

Overtraining will definitely increase the danger of injuring yourself. When your body is tired, you are more likely to get hurt than when you’re well rested. That is why you need to listen to your body and rest when you need it.

Slow down 

To make BJJ training less dangerous and stay on the mat, there is one thing all black belts will tell you. Slow down!

Every time you get hurt in Jiu Jitsu, it is generally from going too fast. When you go too fast, your body can’t keep up and that is how you get bad injuries like ligament tears.

That is why it’s better to slow the pace down and lower the risk of injuring yourself.

Tap Early

Then of course, one of the best things that you can do to make BJJ less dangerous is tap early. An absurd number of Injuries occur from late taps, which makes BJJ look dangerous.

The real danger is being a stubborn teammate that won’t tap when they’re beat. That is why you need to swallow your pride and tap quickly whenever you get caught.

Is BJJ really dangerous?

BJJ is a scientifically tested and studied martial art that has been shown to be incredibly safe. It is only as dangerous as you make it.

That is why you should always train smart and be mindful of the risks of training. When you do this, you’ll be safe and stay on the mat training and developing your skills.

How long should you be a BJJ white belt?

One common question that BJJ white belts often ask is how long they should be a BJJ white belt?

Let’s dive in and answer, how long should you be a BJJ white belt? Going over the average the average time period if being a white belt and what could shorten or lengthen the time.

How long should you be a BJJ white belt? The average time at the rank of BJJ white belt is around a year to two years. To graduate to a BJJ blue belt in this time frame, you will have to regularly attend Jiu Jitsu class

Why is this the average time for being a BJJ white belt? 

This average time frame was made by BJJ instructors with years of teaching experience. After training so many students, most veteran instructors will agree that one to two years is the correct time frame. In this time span, you should meet all of the requirements to be promoted to blue belt.

Is there a minimum time to be a BJJ white belt?

No, there is no minimum time that you could be a BJJ white belt. It could be 1 years or it could be ten years. The time totally depends on you and the work that you put into earning your blue belt.

Things that factor into your time as a BJJ white belt

There are a few things that factor into how long you will be a BJJ white. Those are: your consistency training, your progression, timing, and your character.

Training consistency 

The first thing that will factor into how long you’ll be a BJJ white is your training consistency. To put it simply, if you train more often, then you will more than likely get your blue belt sooner.

But if you don’t train consistently, then you can expect to wait a little longer to be promoted to blue belt. This factor all depends on you if you’re dedicated to BJJ and train often.

Your progression 

You not only have to train consistently, but you also have to be progressing. Continuing to develop your skills and improve as a grappler. 

If you’re consistently training, but not progressing, your instructor will factor this into their decision.


One factor that you will have no control over is the timing of when you’re promoted. The only person that will decide when you’re ready to be promoted to blue belt is your instructor.

Before all of the promotions, the head black belts evaluate all of their students. Going through which they feel deserve to be promoted.

If they feel you’re ready, you’ll be promoted. But if not, you’ll just have to wait a little longer before you get your blue belt.

Your character

One thing that you may not realize that weighs into you being promoted is the content of your character. You have to show that you have the character of an upper belt if you wish to be promoted. If your instructor sees that your character is good, then this will help in their decision to promote you.

Is this average the same for all BJJ white belt students?

No, not every BJJ white belt earns their blue belt within the same time frame. The average time frame for each BJJ white belt student varies greatly. It really depends on what BJJ school you’re attending.

Different schools, different rules

 Every BJJ school has different time frames when they promote their white belts to blue belts. Some BJJ schools will promote white belts in around a year and others may wait up to two years. 

Factors that make your time at white belt longer

There are two specific factors that can extend your time as a BJJ white belt. Either not being dedicated to the train, injury, or something coming up in your personal life.

Not dedicated 

If you just aren’t that dedicated to your BJJ training, then you’ll obviously have a longer time at white belt. White belts that only show up to train one day a week or less are definitely going to wait longer. 

Injuries/personal life

Then there are other circumstances that will force you to have a longer time at white belt. Either you get injured or something in your personal life can force you out of training.

These factors are unfortunate, but do happen often to grapplers of all levels. You’ll just have to deal with them and get back 

How can I get a BJJ white belt in a shorter time span?

If you want to try to get a blue belt in a shorter time frame, there are ways to do this. Specifically two ways that you can do this.

Past experience in grappling 

Having past experience in a form of grappling will definitely play into getting you a blue belt sooner. Either past experience in either Judo or wrestling.

If you are a brown belt or black belt or Judo, the rules are usually different for you. You will usually automatically get promoted to a BJJ blue belt with this experience.

This could also possibly apply for past experience in wrestling. But you’ll probably need to have excelled at wrestling in order to be awarded a blue belt earlier.


Some instructors will make special exemptions for white belt students that are exceptionally talented. Maybe you’re winning every competition you enter or easily beating your more experienced teammates.

What should I do during my time as a white belt? 

This is a better question rather than wondering how long you should be a BJJ white belt. It’s not the length of time, but what you do as a white belt that is the important thing.


The most important thing that you should be focusing on as a white belt is your training. You have to consistently go to class every week and dedicate yourself to your training.

If you’d like to know how often you should train as a white belt, check out this article.(link here)

Understand BJJ

Not only do you have to train consistently, but also develop a basic understanding of Jiu Jitsu. It’s not enough to know how to do a technique, but why you do them a certain way. 

When you understand the basics of BJJ, you will be ready to be promoted.


Competing isn’t a prerequisite for all BJJ schools, but it will definitely help in your development. Going against other white belts at the same skill level as you and rolling full speed. Actively competing will definitely help improve your skills.

What is the time frame of being a BJJ white belt compared to other martial arts?

You may also wonder what the time frame as a BJJ white belt is compared to other martial arts. Here is the average of being a white belt in other martial arts.

  • Karate White Belt: 3 months
  • Taekwondo White Belt: 2-3 months
  • Judo: 6 months to a year

The time as a white belt in a BJJ is a bit longer compared to other martial arts. But that is generally because there are more prerequisites for becoming a BJJ blue belt.

Should I worry about how long I will be a white belt?

No, the last thing you should worry about is how long you will be a white belt.  What you should be focusing on is what you do in training during this time.

Really dive into the martial art and dedicate yourself to the training. When you do this, you will develop your skills and show that you’re worried about being promoted.

How Often Should I Train As A BJJ White Belt?

Next up on our list of common questions BJJ white belts ask is about training volume. How often should I train as a BJJ white belt?

We’ll go over exactly how often you should be training as a BJJ white belt. Also asking some of the other common questions that BJJ white belts ask about training volume.

How often should I train as a BJJ white belt? As a BJJ white belt, you should try to train at least 3 days a week if not more. If you’re healthy and can train more than 3 days, then feel free to do so. The important thing is that you train every week.

Why should a BJJ white belt aim to train 3 days a week? 

The reason why training three days a week is a good average for BJJ white belts for a number of reasons. Here are some of the best reasons why training three days a week is a good average for BJJ white belts.

You won’t get overloaded

Sometimes overload can happen if they train too much. They receive so much information from training that they have trouble remembering details of the techniques they learned.

Three days of training is a good average for white belts, because they’re more likely to retain the information from training. You won’t get overloaded with information and remember everything that you learned.

Gives you time to rest 

BJJ training can be really taxing on white belts that aren’t in shape. Especially if you are an older white belt that needs more time to recover.

That is why three days is a good number of training sessions to hit every week. You’ll get in shape and give yourself enough time to recover from training.

Avoid burnout from over training

Burnout isn’t really something that white belts go through, but it can happen. Sometimes they jump into Jiu Jitsu too fast and they burn themselves out on training and realize it isn’t for them.

Training three days a week is a good number to avoid burnout. You can get a good amount of training in, while still being able to have a life.

What type of training schedule should I keep?

Training schedule is a great question that BJJ white belts often ask. If you’re going to train three days a week you do have a couple training schedules that you can choose from.

One day on/one day off 

If you train Monday through Friday, doing the one day on and off schedule is probably the best training schedule. That way you can get a good amount of training in, while still being able to rest and recover.

Three days on/four days off 

Another type of BJJ training schedule that you can keep is going three days on and four days off. Training Monday through Wednesday and then taking the last four days off of the week if you need to.

Do what your work/life schedule permits

Then of course you may have a hectic work life and personal life that will of course come before training. If that’s the case, you’ll just have to train when your work and personal life allows you to.

Would it be beneficial for a BJJ white belt train for more than 3 days?

Yes, the more you can train, the more skills and knowledge you will require. If you decide to be a gym rat and train everyday, you’ll definitely advance at a higher rate than normal.  

Is it okay to train multiple times a day? 

If you’re a BJJ white belt that wants to train multiple times a day and can, that is totally fine. You’d have to be really dedicated to BJJ if you want to do this and we approve.

 Many of us would love to train multiple times a day if our work schedule allowed us to. You will definitely improve quickly and get in amazing shape training twice a day or more.

Is it okay to miss training? 

Yes, if you don’t hit your three days of training a week or even miss a week entirely, don’t worry. Things happen in your life that’ll affect you being able to train Jiu Jitsu. The important thing is to get back in the gym and get your routine going again.

Faster track to BJJ blue belt

Another reason to attend at least 3 BJJ classes or more a week is to earn your blue belt faster. The average time it takes to earn a BJJ blue belt is about a year if you train consistently.  

Training at least three days will put you on track to get your blue belt within a year.

Should you attend open mats?

As we stated in the last edition in our series of answering BJJ white belt questions, you should attend open mats. If you are able to go to open mat training, they will be very beneficial to you improving your skill.

Not only will you be getting more mat time, but you can also use the time to ask higher belts questions. Asking them to help you out with any places you get stuck at or how to do techniques properly.

Which classes should I attend as a BJJ white belt?

If you’re at a larger BJJ school, then they probably offer more than just regular BJJ classes. That leads many BJJ white belts to ask, which would be the best ones to attend?

Regular BJJ class 

Attending normal BJJ classes would be your obvious first choice as a BJJ white belt. In regular Jiu Jitsu classes, you’ll get to train and learn from more experienced teammates. Getting to drill and roll with more experienced teammates is the best way to learn as a white belt.

Fundamental BJJ class 

If you train at a BJJ class that offers fundamental classes, you should definitely consider attending those classes. In fundamental classes, you spend an hour or more drilling Jiu Jitsu basics. Attending these classes will help you learn the basics faster and make you good at them.

Advanced/Competition classes

As a BJJ white belt you may not be allowed to attend advanced classes, but maybe competition classes. But be warned that these classes move fast and you may get lost in what’s being taught.

Train as often as you’d like!

Honestly, there really isn’t a right answer for how often you should train as a BJJ white belt. You should train as often as you’d like and train when you want.

The most important thing is consistency and training every week. BJJ is a commitment and you have to train every week, no matter how many times you can make it. That is the only way that you’re going to progress and improve your skills.

What Should I Focus On As A BJJ White Belt?

Here is the second installment of our advice for BJJ white belts. In this write up, we’re going to answer, what should I focus on as a BJJ white belt?

Going in depth and listing all of the things that you will need to focus on as a BJJ white belt. Everything from basic movements, techniques, and how to train properly.

What should I focus on as a BJJ white belt? As a BJJ white belt, you should focus on basic movements and fundamental techniques. You should also focus on trying to be more methodical when you’re learning different techniques.

Basic Movements

When you’re a BJJ white belt, the first thing you should learn is mastering the basic movements of Jiu Jitsu. Once you grasp and understand basic BJJ movements, you can then begin to develop your own game.


A breakfall is how you technically fall without hurting yourself. The key details of a breakfall to your back are:

  • Tuck your chin, so your head doesn’t whiplash back.
  • Hit the mat with your entire back to disperse the impact.
  • Slap the mat with both hands.

Side Breakfall 

The side breakfall is where you technically fall onto your side without getting hurt. Key details for how to properly execute a side breakfall include:

  • Kicking your leg up along with your arm to begin the side breakfall.
  • Hit the mat with your entire side to properly disperse the impact.
  • Slap the mat with your hand outstretched.

Front Breakfall 

The front breakfall is where you technically fall on your stomach without hurting your face. The key details of a front breakfall include:

  • Turning your head to the side, so you don’t fall flat on your face.
  • Stretch your arms out and do a controlled fall to your stomach.
  • Slap the mat with both hands.

Technical Stand Up

A technical stand up is how you properly get to your feet without getting hit as you stand up. Some of the key details that you will need to remember include:

  • Plant your base hand behind your back.
  • Keep your front hand in front of your face for self defense purposes to defend against strikes.
  • Put your front foot on the mat and lay your other leg flat.
  • Lift the leg on the mat and shoot it behind you as you stand straight up.

Front Roll 

Front rolling is another basic movement that BJJ white belts will need to learn how to properly execute. Here are the details for how to properly execute a front roll.

  • Start on your knees and come up to one foot and keep your other knee on the mat.
  • Tuck your shoulder and head between the space between your legs.
  • Just go with the motion of your body and follow through with the roll.

Back Roll 

Along with a front roll, you’re also going to need to know how to execute a back roll as a BJJ white belt. Read these details for how to properly execute a back roll.

  • Starting from your butt, you’re going to pick a shoulder.
  • You’re then going to tuck your chin and throw your legs to that side as you go to your back.
  • Just keep your momentum going to finish the roll and finish in the position that you started in.

Side Roll/Granby Roll 

As a BJJ white belt, you’re even going to need to know how to do side rolls of granbys. Here are the details you must remember for executing a perfect granby roll.

  • Starting from your butt, you’re going to put one arm behind your back and tuck your chin.
  • You’re then going to roll over that shoulder.(Do not roll on your head or neck.)
  • Keep the momentum of your roll going and end it where you started on your butt.

Elbow Escape/Shrimp

Elbow escapes or shrimps may be the most important basic movement that you learn as a BJJ white belt. Here are the details that you must know for executing elbow escapes/shrimps.

  • Start with your back flat on the mat and turn to your side.
  • Keep your opposite foot on the mat, lay your leg on the mat to the side.
  • Crunch your body towards your knee and push off the mat with your foot and hands.

Basic Techniques

After a BJJ white belt gets down the basic movements of Jiu Jitsu, they will then move to basic techniques. Everything from basic submissions, submission defenses, positional escapes, sweeps, takedowns, and guard passes.

Positional Escapes

The most important thing that you’ll first learn as a BJJ white belt is how to defend yourself on the ground. This means knowing how to escape from dominant positions. You will need to focus on:

  • Side-Control Escapes
  • Mount Escapes
  • Back Mount Escapes

Controlling Positions

As a BJJ white belt, you should try to focus on staying on top and how to keep control in dominant positions. Some of the concepts that you need to learn are.

  • Chest On Chest Or Chest On Back
  • Heavy Pressure
  • Closing Space
  • Weight Placement
  • Having Good Balance

Submission Defense 

Along with knowing how to escape from dominant positions, you will also need to know defense against basic submissions. Some of the basic submission that you will need to drill include:

  • RNC Defenses
  • Guillotine Choke Defenses
  • Armbar Defenses
  • Kimura Defenses
  • Triangle Choke Defenses
  • Omoplata Defenses
  • Basic Gi Choke Defenses
  • Ankle Lock Defenses

Basic Submissions 

Once you learn how to defend against attacks as a BJJ white belt, you can learn to start attacking. Here are some of the basic submissions that you should be constantly drilling.

  • RNC
  • Guillotine Choke
  • Armbar
  • Kimura
  • Triangle Choke
  • Omoplata
  • Basic Gi Chokes

Basic Sweeps

Learning the basic concepts of the guard are critical for BJJ white belts. This includes knowing how to execute basic sweeps from your guard.

Some of the basic sweep that you should drill include:

  • Scissor Sweep
  • Hip Bump Sweep
  • Basic Butterfly Sweep
  • Knee Push Sweep
  • Feet On Hips Sweep 

Basic Takedowns 

You will also have to learn to get your opponent to the ground as a BJJ white belt. This includes knowing how to execute basic takedowns and throws.

Some of those basic takedowns include:

  • Single Leg Takedown Variations
  • Double Leg Takedown Variations
  • Seoi Nage/Drop Seoi Nage
  • O Soto Gari
  • Ouchi Gari

Basic Guard Passes

BJJ white belts will also need to focus on how to perform basic guard passes. Keeping proper posture and grips as they execute must know guard passes.

A BJJ white belt will need to know:

  • How To Open Opponent’s Closed Guard
  • Double Under Pass
  • Over/Under Pass
  • Standing Pass
  • Half Guard Passes
  • Butterfly Guard Pass
  • De La Riva Pass
  • Spider Guard Pass

Try to be methodical

Probably the best piece of advice that you can give a BJJ white belt is to be methodical with their training. You need to go through every detail of a technique and drill it until it is perfect. As Bruce Lee said, “I do not fear the man that trained 10,000 kicks once. But the man that trained one kick 10,000 times.”

Show up and train

At the end of the day, the best thing that a BJJ white belt can do is show up and train. You have to put your time in on the mat and learn through experience. If you’re at a good BJJ school, they will be there to help you and guide you through the ranks.