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How to train Jiu Jitsu alone

Since the pandemic started over a year ago, BJJ academies were forced to close their doors. Forcing many students to train BJJ alone at home.

For newer students, they were left lost not really knowing how to train Jiu Jitsu alone. This article is here to help beginners learn how to train BJJ alone at home.

Going over the pros and cons of training Jiu Jitsu alone and listing numerous solo drills you can do alone. We’ll also give you product recommendations for you to optimize your solo training with links included.

Can you train Jiu Jitsu alone? Of course you can train Jiu Jitsu alone. When unforeseen circumstances force you to stay home, you can continue doing your Jiu Jitsu training at home. Doing numerous solo drills and mixing these movements into HIIT workouts to keep you in shape and your movements sharp.

Pros and cons of training Jiu Jitsu alone at home

Let’s start by saying that there is no replacement for training at a BJJ academy. In an academy is where you really learn Jiu Jitsu and staying in shape.

Although that doesn’t mean training alone isn’t without its positives. Here are the pros and cons of training Jiu Jitsu alone at home.

Pros

Muscle Memory

Whenever you step back on the mat from an extended period away it can feel like you’re a whitebelt again. Either your timing is off or you just plain forget how to do the movements. 

That is why one of the main positives of training alone is keeping that muscle memory. Frequently doing movements alone like elbow escapes, bridges, and hip lifts will keep your muscle memory sharp.

Once you get back on the mats with your teammates, your movements won’t be as rusty training at home.

Stay in shape

The old saying that it’s easier to stay in shape than get back into shape couldn’t be more true in BJJ. A month off the mat can feel like a year off the mat when you go back. 

This is why the big positive of training alone at home is that you’re able to stay in shape. Training at home allows you to stay active and keep your cardio up.

It’s better than nothing

The last positive we’ll mention on training alone is that honestly it is better than nothing. When you can’t make it to the gym, you have to do what you can to keep your skills somewhat sharp.

If training at home is your only option, then you need to continue your training there. You won’t be in shape like going to the gym, but it’s better than nothing.

Cons

It’s not the same

Training Jiu Jitsu alone at home is just not the same as going to the gym and training. There are aspects of training in a class that you just can’t duplicate. You can stay in shape, but you won’t get better from training alone.

No coach/instructor

BJJ is a sport/martial art where you need guidance from a more experienced coach. You can only improve so much training on your own without someone with more knowledge helping you grow your skills.

Teammates

In order to get better, you have to be frequently practicing with teammates. That is the only way that you truly develop your skills in Jiu Jitsu or any martial art for that matter.

Equipment for training alone

Before we get into explaining how to train BJJ alone, we need to go over some equipment you should consider buying. All of this gear listed below will help you get the most out of your solo training.

Mats 

Purchasing a training mat needs to be one of your first investments  for your solo training. You don’t want to get rug burn from training on carpet or wrecking your back on a hard floor.

With mats handy at home, you can roll them out or put them together and train almost like you’re at class. Here is a list of mats for training at home along with purchase recommendations.

Folding mats

One of the oldest types of mats that grappling practitioners buy to train alone are foldable mats. They are easy to pull out and store after you’re done training.

There’s many good types of folding mats, but one of the best you can buy are Z Athletic Mats. This company has been making quality mats for martial arts and gymnast schools for over 20 years. Made of high density polyethylene foam that are easy to clean and provides plenty of space to train.

Features of the Z Athletic Mats include:

  • Multifunctional: Can be used for more than just BJJ training.
  • Quality: You don’t stay around for 20 years if your product isn’t quality.
  • Thick and durable:  2 inch thick high-density cross-linked polyethylene foam covered in a high quality 18oz vinyl.

Roll out mats

These types of mats are portable and can be used in your home or wherever you have space. Roll out mats have become widely popular with BJJ practitioners that want to get extra training at home.

They are sturdy, easy to clean and easy to put away. One of the best mat companies on the market is Dollamur.

Dollamur is one of the premiere companies that make grappling mats for academies and home use. Even supplying mats for numerous combat sports and Jiu Jitsu events. If you buy a Dollamur mat, you’re getting the same quality as a competition mat.

Features of the Dollamur Flexi Roll mat include:

  • Shock Absorption: High grade shock absorption material.
  • Crack Resistant: Thick vinyl covering that won’t crack over time.
  • Competition Quality: The same quality as competition mats.

Puzzle Mats

Your cheapest option, but still a good choice are puzzle mats. Martial arts schools on a budget have been using puzzle mats for years. They’re easy to assemble and generally last for at least 5 years or so.

Amazon has numerous brands, but you might want a thicker mat for BJJ training. BalanceFrom are one of the highest rated mat brands on the site that make high quality EVA foam maA greatts.

They’re easily interlocking double sided puzzle mats that come in thicknesses of ½”, ¾”, and 1 inch. Great for a  martial arts school or your home gym.

Features of the BalanceFrom puzzle mats include: 

  • Strong Material: Made of high grade EVA foam that is durable and will last.
  • Easy Assembly: You can connect your pack of mats in under 5 minutes.
  • Moisture Resistant: Doesn’t absorb sweat like lower grade puzzle mats and is easy to clean.

Grappling Dummy

When you don’t have a training partner to work with, the next best thing is having a grappling dummy. A grappling dummy gives you the opportunity to do numerous drills when training from home.

With this one piece of equipment you can do numerous drills to keep your game sharp. Everything from transitions, submissions, Judo throws, or ground and pound drills.

Generally there are two different types of grappling dummies. Those that either come with limbs or are just a grappling bag.

A great choice for a dummy with limbs is the CBC Grappling Dummy. This high grade grappling dummy is complete with 4 flexible limbs made of durable canvas material.

It is easy to feel and it would be recommended that you fill it with a soft substance such as cotton.

Features of the CBC Grappling Dummy include: 

  • 4 Opposable Limbs: Complete with all 4 opposable limbs that you can practice submissions on.
  • Durable Material: Made of tough canvas material that is sturdy and difficult to tear.
  • Quality Stitching: High grade stitching that won’t come apart.

How to train BJJ alone

How you can train Jiu Jitsu alone is basically just doing the solo movements you would in warm ups. These movements make up the core of Jiu Jitsu and it’s important that you continually drill them.

Here is a list of the movements you can do to train alone. Also including drills involving the grappling dummies..

Solo drills

Here are 54 BJJ solo drills with short descriptions and a video demonstrating them all.

1. Sit Outs

2. Sit Out Arounds 

3.Push Up Low Sit Throughs 

4. High Kick Sit Outs 

5. Bridges Side To Side 

6. Bridges To Knees

7. Egg Beaters 

8. Hip Ups 

9. Hip Up Triangles 

10. Shin Roll Ups 

11. Shin Roll Up Shots 

12. Hip Bumps 

13. S-Turn 

14. S-Turn Hip Ups

15. Compass Drill 

16. Shrimp In Place 

17. Circle Shrimps 

18. Half Circle Hops 

19. Up Downs 

20. Alligator Push Ups 

21. Scorpions 

22. Explosive Hips 

23. Plank Hops 

24. Long Steps 

25. Bottom Crazy Legs 

26. One Leg Toe Hops With Knee Cut 

27. Shoulder Drops 

28. Circle Scoots 

29. Head Stand Jumps 

30. Forward Flat Rolls 

31. Backward Flat Rolls 

32. Shrimps Backward 

33. Shrimps Forward 

34. Shoulder Walks Backward 

35. Shoulder Walks Forward 

36. Granby’s 

37. Half Granby’s 

38. Side Shrimp Backwards 

39. Side Shrimp Forward 

40. Elbow Drags 

41. Seal Walks 

42. Backward Bear Crawls 

43 Forward Bear Crawls 

44. Backward Crab Walks 

45. Forward Crab Walks

46. Breakfall 

47. Technical Stand Up  

48. Shots

49. High Knee Sprawls

50. Scoot Forward 

51. Scoots Backward 

52. Scoots Sideways 

53. Imaginary Rope Pulls 

54. Heel Pushes Back 

55. Forward Roll 

56. Backward Roll

Solo drills with grappling dummy

Here is a list of drills to do with a grappling dummy along with an accompanying video included.

  1. Knee on belly
  2. Hip slide pass
  3. Side mount to north/south
  4.  Kesa Gatame to reverse kesa
  5. Side mount to mount
  6. Side mount to mount variation
  7. Hop over
  8. Butterfly pass 
  9. Americana
  10. S mount
  11. Armbars
  12. Triangles
  13. Reverse triangle
  14. Guard pass
  15. Turn around 1
  16. Turn around 2 
  17. Turn around 3
  18. Chimp pass
  19. Kimura
  20. Slide choke
  21. Knee slide pass
  22. Reverse kanu mount
  23. Violin 
  24. Cross collar choke
  25. Baseball choke
  26. Back step
  27. Spider
  28. Omoplata
  29. Change side
  30. Roll and roll
  31. Scissor sweep 
  32. Cartwheel

Author: Let's Roll BJJ

Let's Roll BJJ aims to be the leading source of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Grappling information and news on the web. Dorian, the owner and editor of Let's Roll BJJ is a purple belt in Jiu Jitsu and has been training and competing for over 6 years. Apart from being a BJJ geek, Dorian is a software developer by trade, a husband, and a father of two wonderful kids who he's recently began teaching Jiu Jitsu. When he's not training, coding, or writing, you can find him hiking, camping or occasionally binging on video games.

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