BJJ Progress Review: 4 Months

Progress is felt. With my first submission under my (now-one-striped) white belt, things are getting interesting.


📆April 15, 2024

Overall Training:

🎓Number of Classes Attended: 40

⌛️Total Training Hours: 45

🥋Belt: white + 1 stripe

🏋🏽‍♂️Training Focus: sweeps and guard passing

Learnings & Accomplishments:

Top 5 Techniques:
1. D’arce

2. Anaconda

3. Scissor sweep (Danaher variation)

4. Hatchet choke

5. Granby roll

  • Biggest Aha Moment: controlling my balance better when in side control position to avoid being swept.
  • Improvement Noticed: being comfortable on bottom and waiting for my opponent to try and pass my guard.

Struggles & Challenges:

Top 3 Frustrations:

1. Sweeping in no-gi

2. Remembering attacks from the closed guard position (such as the Kimura)

3. Takedowns other than single/double legs

Injury Update:

Wrist: finally back to what seems about 90%. Pushups still cause a bit of pain and I would hate to have someone wrist lock me.
Lower back: seems to improve with exercises done in the transverse plane (twisting core exercises)

Overcoming a Challenge:

Since my last update I’ve definitely gotten better at passing people’s guard. A great annoyance of mine is when people simply pull guard but that’s been a good opportunity to work guard passing.


  • Short-Term Goal: get a Kimora or Omoplata submission
  • Long-Term Goal: improve takedowns to incorporate more Judo

Things I Like:

  • Favorite Technique/Concept: a buddy (also with a wrestling background) refreshed my memory on the usefulness of sit-outs, Granbys, and the peek-a-boo “system” of escaping from the bottom. Although escapes aren’t awarded points in BJJ, the usefulness of working to an opponent’s back is obvious.

Free Thinking:

The common advice of practicing BJJ until you get your first submission cannot be overstated. Between my first month and now, lots has changed and it’s hard to believe how much I’ve improved. I’m now at a level where any given night I roll, there is the possibility of submitting any other white belt. This is certainly a positive for the dopamine reward system since it’s a lot harder to keep showing up to class just to get choked out by a white belt weighing 50 pounds less than you. Been there.

I occasionally roll no-gi with one of my training partners and have realized just how difficult it is to execute sweeps when you train and become dependent on the use of a gi. A lot translates between the two but no-gi seems to require more thoughtfulness regarding how to make use of the tools available. I do wish my current gym offered no-gi classes.

Finally, I have earned my first stripe, which is not a great accomplishment by any means, other than the fact that it’s a way to tangibly track progress. I think my first big accomplishment will be earning a blue belt but the stripes are the pathway to that goal.

My YouTube timeline is largely BJJ content so it’s safe to say I’m fully bought-in to the addiction.

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