BJJ training: The benefits of private lessons

There are many reasons why people practice Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Some students from Gracie Miranda train as a hobby, some for self-defence and some for tournament wins. No matter what your goal is, private lessons will help. 

That’s especially true after five months of lockdown!

To be clear, private lessons are not a necessity. You can develop high-level BJJ skills by regularly attending some of the dozens of classes we run each week. You don’t need private lessons to win gold medals or master self-defence skills. That said, private lessons really help. Here’s why.

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Small details, big differences

In BJJ, technique is king.

Technique is important in all martial arts, but often it’s less important than size, strength, agility and other athletic attributes. In Jiu-Jitsu, these attributes matter — just not as much as technique. If you’ve spent much time on the mats, you’ve no doubt seen talented grapplers easily outmanoeuvre much larger training partners.

But while there is great power in technique, it’s not easy being technical. There are many techniques — be they submissions, guard passes or sweeps — that can be ruined by one small, missing detail. Something as minute as the positioning of a thumb, the angle of an elbow or the position of a grip can result in hugely different results. 

There are many techniques that can be done 95% correctly but still fail. In other words, the 5% of extra detail can be the difference between success and failure.

This is one reason why private lessons are valuable. Professor Owen and Gracie Miranda’s team of coaches can dedicate time to find the details that are missing from your game. You’ll see how you can get huge results from a series of small tweaks.

Competition preparation

The benefits of competing in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournaments begin weeks before the big day. At Gracie Miranda we encourage our students to compete at least once. This is because preparing for competition means assessing your weaknesses. Turning weaknesses into strengths can in turn be a route to rapid progress.

Private lessons aid this process. Doing a set of private lessons leading up to a tournament will allow your coach to spotlight the areas of your game that need to be improved. They can then give you the tools needed to achieve this.

It’s worth noting here that this is true for both adults and kids. Private lessons are for all age groups. They’re an excellent supplement to regular training for kids and teenagers too. They’re often more helpful for younger grapplers, who benefit greatly from the extra attention that private lessons afford for. 

One or two private lessons after a competition is also a fantastic idea. This will allow your coach to go over your performance and explain what you did well and what could be better. “Win or learn” is a common saying regarding competition performance — every loss is a learning opportunity. Private lessons will ensure no learning opportunity is missed. 

Tips for Private Lessons

There are some things you should know about private lessons before you book one. 

They don’t replace group classes. For most BJJ practitioners, private lessons are a supplement. The base of your Jiu-Jitsu knowledge should be built in group classes. BJJ is first and foremost a practical martial art. You need to get experience training with people of all shapes, sizes and skill sets. 

They’re better in sets. To get the most out of private lessons, it’s better to organize a batch of them beforehand. For instance, booking 6 classes done over the course of as many weeks. This will allow your coach to organize a program specific to your needs.

Come with questions. This is especially important if you’re booking one class at a time. Private lessons are an excellent way to fill any holes in your game that you know about. If there’s a technique you can’t seem to get right, or an attack you can’t seem to defend, let your coach know!

Know that you don’t need them. This is important to reiterate. We offer nearly 30 classes each week. These are enough for anyone in the Sutherland Shire to develop an extensive skillset, especially if you practice Jiu-Jitsu mostly as a hobby. 

But while no one needs to book private lessons, everyone will benefit if they do. 

If you’re in the Sutherland Shire and are interested in learning Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, come into Gracie Miranda for a free trial class

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