I was describing today how I felt three types of people walk through that door and onto the mat as a beginner….. and some continue that way even years down the road

1/ The naturally talented at learning, can understand what you’re showing and saying. Their body moves accordingly. Rare breed 10%
2/ Soft and timid, wants to build confidence and maybe has heard that BJJ can make you tough because it’s used in MMA
3/ The animal that wants to win, their ego lets them face the mirror in the morning, usually needs to take selfies too.

Now all three of those people can hit roadblocks and will need different approaches to overcome plateaus and low points in their training

1/ Most of these guys give up. Whilst everyone else is struggling, it all seems common sense and easy. They need to put less effort in, so when number 2 and 3 start to surpass them because 2 & 3 are putting in 200% more effort, they don’t get it and think this can’t be for them.

2/ Soft and timid will eventually become stronger or die, not literally, of course, but they will get tougher or leave. Some clubs create a safe haven for those who don’t want to face people who spar hard.

3/ Eventually, or sometimes very quickly the brute can’t cope with his ego being bruised day in day out by some scrawny midget who looks like he couldn’t even lift a bar. Of course, they’ll always be able to intimidate the soft and timid, but that won’t satisfy that need to dominate someone they think they should. They often admire the guy whose stronger and bigger because it’s the best excuse they have for losing to them.


1/ Everyone has heard talent can only take you so far, and that consistent effort is what you need.
But for me, you need to enjoy the challenge. Number 1, I think will leave because BJJ is not a challenge enough for them. Number 1’s need to see the bigger picture and be patient. You can also take more control of your learning, analyzing fight footage and be spending more time honing or improving the skills you want. And if you’re at a good club, you’ll have people there to support your need for more.

2/ BJJ is tough, and if you are weak either mentally or physically, you need to get tougher. With this group, I would advise everything in moderation. Having just gone head to head with Cory in the daytime class, I am ready for rest.
All people who come to the club should be ready to go head to head with someone who’s going to want to put it on you. Not every session or for some of you not even once a week. But once in while if you don’t have that cheeky grin and that buzz from defeating someone who’s going all out to get you, then knitting is probably better.
Don’t get me wrong – moderation is the key. I don’t want our under 70kg team sparring with a 90kg knobhead number 3 guy unless they are buzzing that day and want to prove a point.

3/ Even if the number 3 manages to stay the distance, it can be problematic. Common signs of these people stopping are wear and tear, and unlikely to see these guys rolling in their 50’s because they’ve destroyed their body, or they have lost what little technique they had and anyone who is stronger is going to revenge batter them.
For me the biggest problem is mental. The number 3’s most common line is, I wasn’t using my strength. No one cares whether you are or not using strength. The fact that you are breathing really heavy, have lost feeling in your forearms and can’t fight another round really says it all.
The best cure for number 3 is to roll with people who are as strong as themselves and roll endurance. Six rounds minimum should teach you to be more efficient.
And get over losing, it’s no big deal if you learnt something.