Number 1 Mistake Of A Beginner | Icon Jiu Jitsu Team Belfast

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Number 1 Mistake Of A Beginner

Hey, it’s Dave at Icon jujitsu in Belfast, I’m enjoying another day in the heat wave in Belfast, and I’m having to think about some of the problems beginners might have when they come in or perceive problems and the number one problem is using strength.


This is the number one mistake beginners make, they use strength, now why do they use strength? Because they really want the technique to work!! I noticed something as well in jujitsu, the smaller lighter people, maybe who aren’t the strongest, generally learn a little bit quicker than the people who have gym muscles or they’re strong and they come in because they can’t get away with that.


Now when you get to a certain level you won’t get away with using strength anyway, not against someone your own size and weight, but the biggest mistake people make is to use strength because they really want that technique to work that bit isn’t making that technique work.


You just muscling through a poor technique on somebody maybe that doesn’t quite understand how to defend yet or how to work around that technique.  But this goes a little bit deeper. Why, why do people use strength? The answer is: PRESSURE!!


People will put pressure on themselves and they have insecurities.  They think “I need to make this work, I’ve got to make everything work straight away and I’ve got to be really good, I’ve got to show everyone I’m good.”   So it’s this ‘perceived pressure’ people put on themselves and this is also a reason why people quit, in fact, it’s a reason why people never start in the first place!! Because of perceived pressure.


So every beginner uses strength to start because that’s all they’ve got. The lighter guy generally doesn’t because he doesn’t have access to that strength.  The smaller people who aren’t as strong, generally learn a little bit quicker because they’ve only got that technique to fall back on.


Eventually everyone only has a technique to fall back on because you go against someone who’s more experienced or your own size and weight. So if you haven’t got strength to start with or a lot of strength in comparison to others then don’t worry. It’ll probably stop you making the number one mistake people make!


So the number one mistake beginners make is to use strength through all the techniques, or speed, and they rush stuff. You don’t need to use strength.  Sure, that will work in the early days for a small amount of time against a certain amount of people, but the reason you find that beginners use strength is because they put pressure on themselves.


When I get them to slow down and try the technique and it doesn’t work the first few times and they try to muscle it. It’s pressure, don’t put that pressure on yourself, you won’t make the techniques work for a little while when you first start training them.  That period of time when you can’t make them work is the period of time when you figure it out, how it works for you.

So, the biggest mistake beginners make is using strength.  Why do people use strength?  Because they put pressure on themselves to feel like they need to make everything work straight away and this is why the smaller, lighter person, generally, gets more technical, a lot quicker, because they don’t have that strength to fall back on. So if you don’t have the strength to fall back on, you’ll probably get technically good quite quick. If you do, you’re going to have to work a little bit harder to switch it off for a while and try and focus on the technique and there’s some smaller guys in the gym, some bigger guys in the gym, and eventually everyone learns to just slow down and focus, so take the pressure away and you’ll stop making that number one mistake quickly.


I hope that’s helped a few guys out there who’ve just started whether it’s with me or another team. Don’t use the strength!  It will only last for so long when you get tired, then you don’t have it anymore. Okay hope that’s helped.



Head Coach

Icon Jiu Jitsu Belfat