A Well-Rounded BJJ Plan

Whether you are a seasoned practitioner or a newbie off the streets without any martial arts background, if you are enrolled in Jiu Jitsu chances are you have fallen in love with it and are always looking at ways to improve your game.

There are many articles out there that discuss how Jiu Jitsu is a lifestyle not a just a sport.  Exactly how it becomes a lifestyle is a bit of an interesting phenomenon as it invariably ends up touching on each the following areas.  Dietary, Mental Health, Stretching, Time Management, BJJ Curriculum, Supplemental Physical Training. 

Over the next few posts there will be discussion on each area in more depth with key experts.  Keep in mind that we are all different, each of us unique in our own way.  The contents of each post are neither a ‘must-do’ to improve your Jiu Jitsu game nor an expectation before you start Jiujitsu but more of suggestions that have worked for at least one person.  They may work for you?




With Spring here, fresh Ontario grown fruits and vegetables will soon stock our shelves. 


Jumping on the scale after the winter season tends to give us one general feeling …. ugh, I need to go on a diet.  You go all out, cutting out sweets and alcohol, purchase the latest in protein shakes and stock up on all sorts of latest craze supplements.  After all, beach season is just around the corner!  Only that after a week, you get on the scale and realize that you have not lost any weight and you become disillusioned, possibly give up.


This happens because we want immediate results, instant gratification.  We are in an era where text messages force us to receive a response in under 30 seconds and if we want to know what our social circle is up to, Facebook or Instagram gives us that answer the nanosecond we log in.  Unfortunately, our bodies do not work that way.  It takes time to alter the way our mind and body react to food.


It is the same with Jiu Jitsu - it takes a lot of time and dedication to see a difference in your game, being rewarded by receiving a stripe or upgrade a belt as we improve.  Perseverance is key.  Mindset is mandatory.  Realistic goals necessary.  Habits must be altered.


We spend all our lives eating but not all of us have spent all our lives doing Jiu Jitsu.  As humans, we are creatures of habit and changing a habit is not as easy as it looks.  Judson Brewer: A Simple Way to Break a Habit,  from TedTalks, brings a little light on this very topic.  Judson speaks of apps that have been developed that aid in mindfulness training – one such app that has this feature is MyFitnessPal – a great little app for tracking food intake, for free.


Everyone has heard that abs are made in the kitchen, yet if you’re anything like me, I hate grocery shopping.  My solution to this is Grocery Gateway – the food is fresh and they bring the food right into your kitchen all for a low delivery cost of $10!  Plan while you’re sitting in the dentist waiting room or can’t focus on yet another spreadsheet at work, take a moment out and decide what you need in your kitchen ahead of time with a click of a button.  You’ll save on impulse purchases or more importantly, you’ll have healthy food in the house making the decision to call in for pizza or Swiss Chalet a harder one.   It also gives you another hour where you can be on the mat training instead of in the cookie aisle.


Are you a calorie counter and are curious to how many calories you burn doing Jiu Jitsu?  Tim Bruce, a 2nd Degree Blackbelt in BJJ explains how to calculate drilling, rolling and competition rolling calories burned while training.


So much to learn about.


As you can see, even at a high-level introduction, there is a lot to discuss in each of the areas of your BJJ plan.  Breathe. Take inventory of where you are now, where you could improve upon and take it all one day at a time. 


Remember, you are not alone in this, turn to your team mates.  Find support in them.  Trust in that they want you to be healthy and happy. 


Together we are stronger.


Yours Truly, Yolanda (Girl in a Gi)