Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu doesn’t end when you line up for the end of class. Nor is it over when you finally make yourself stop rolling and head to the changing rooms. Let’s face it, most people do not want BJJ classes to end anyway. Henceforth, people are still in a BJJ mindset long after a class ends. This is a perfect time to keep working on your Jiu-Jitsu even though the Academy is closed and you’re not physically on the mats. There are plenty of things to do after a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class that are still BJJ related. When we can, of course, because life doesn’t always allow for much extra time. When you can find, though, why not use that time to keep doing your favorite thing in the world?
There are plenty of things that are great for people after a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class. Of course, you can just Netflix and chill, but let’s face it, your mind is still going to be processing things that happened in class. Using that time to arrange your impressions or try to make sense of what happened in class is going to yield incredible results. While information is still fresh in your mind, you can focus on making things click in a way that suits you best. Moreover, you can spend that time working on the physical side of things. You can work on recovering or try to improve certain athletic abilities. One of my favorite things is to socialize with my teammates right after class – so many good things come out of those simple interactions.
The Aftermath Of A Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Class
From the viewpoint of someone who teaches BJJ classes almost daily, organizing a class is not an easy thing to do. However, an even harder thing to do is end a class. BJJ folks never seem to have enough of Jiu-Jitsu. For coaches, a class does not end when people line up for that final “Oss”, or whatever it si you do in your Academy. A Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class is done when you put the key in the lock to close the facility. Even then, people are usually still around, trying to figure things out. Personally, I love it, and I keep the academy open as long as I can. This provides people as much time on the mats as possible.
Still, everyone has a different thing they do after class. Of course, after a tough rolling session, going for a hot shower, a good meal and as many hours of sleep as possible is by far the best possible thing to do. However, there are some things you can do after a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class that can actually be very beneficial to your game. Everyone has a different approach, so I tried to talk with as many people as I could to figure out what they love doing after a class. Of course, some things are highly individual, while others apply to almost everyone.
Right after class when you pack your Gi and head out is the perfect time to process things that happened. Your mind and your body are still in BJJ mode, and training doesn’t have to stop there. You can focus on different things after different classes, or have a favorite routine you do. Options are plentiful, ranging from recovery to physical training, trying to understand what happened in class to talking and socializing with teammates that share the same passion.
Things You Can Do After Class
I don’t know if it as a blessing or a curse that we can’t rest our minds (and bodies) from BJJ even when we’re not actually training. I choose to look at it as the former, as I’d presume most of us do. That said, some of the best periods of my day, are actually right after a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class. I tend to go for “different things every time” approach. It is based on how I’m feeling or what my goals are at the time. However, there are three main categories of things you can do, as far as I can see.
For most people, recovery after training is key. This becomes progressively more important with age, but it is beyond discussion that everyone would be focusing on it. While recovery includes stretching, it extends to much more than just that, as we’ll discuss in a minute.
For those who are feeling fresh and energized, training more is also a popular option. Whether it is conditioning, strength, CrossFit or whatever, training after a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class is actually one of the best times to do some strength and conditioning.
Finally, there’s the category of understanding BJJ or engaging your mind. In other words, some much needed “BJJ theory” studying, as I like to say. That’s when you use whatever is at your disposal, from talking to teammates to watching different types of instructionals, reading books, etc. The goal, of course, is to try and organize everything in a meaningful fashion. Or, to prepare for the next class, if you’re the instructor.
This is a highly popular option, particularly among BJJ competitors. I do think everyone needs to supplement their BJJ training with some physical work. It can take place after class or on days when there’s no BJJ training. The thing to remember is that it is way better to train BJJ fresh, and then finish off with a conditioning session rather than the other way around. To that extent, most academies do have kettlebells, weights and other basic equipment right next to the mats. That makes things easy as you can immediately jump to doing your swings, rope climbs or sprints after class ends.
Remember not to overdo things, though, as overtraining is something that creeps up on you without you being aware. If you overdo conditioning, your BJJ will suffer as well, as training tired is the perfect formula to get injured. Still, if you can’t do conditioning on another day, and still have the energy after a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class, get your Gi off and get down to business.
Food And Hydration
The most obvious thing to do is usually the hardest for most people. Eating clean really does help BJJ performance, but there’s the most important time for proper nutrition is immediately after training. Whatever your diet option might be, Carnivore or Vegan, High carb or Paleo, you need to get some food right after Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class. The keyword here is food, rather than the food-like products that are easy to pick up. Geroge Lockhart has some great advice along with great ideas about what to eat right after training.
If here’s one thing that’ more important than food, or anything else for that matter, it is hydration. I can’t stress this enough – drink water. It doesn’t matter how much water you drank throughout the day, or before training. After going through a class and a few tough rolls everyone gets dehydrated. Drinking nearly enough water during rolling is impossible, meaning you need to make up for the liquids lost afterward. Water is your best bet, although shakes, electrolyte drinks, and other similar stuff might help. Watch out for the sugar content in some of the sports drinks. They might end up dehydrating you more, rather than helping you.
This is the one thing most people try and do after training. It also the one thing almost everyone fails to do right, at least when grapplers are in question. Stretching is one of the best things to do when done correctly. Moreover, you can do it on the mats, or at home. There are a whole bunch of stretching routines you can do which are perfect for people that train BJJ. They’ll both help you recover, and improve your flexibility at the same time.
Yoga is the most popular option among grapplers, and for a good reason. A good Yoga routine is incredible in helping you recover, achieve flexibility, balance and even develop strength. Doing Yoga right after a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class is perfect, particularly done right there on the mats. Some academies include short Yoga sessions to wrap up classes, which I think is a great idea.
While stretching is often seen as the main recovery method among grapplers, there are different ways to recover. For those looking to free up tension in their bodies, foam rolling is an invaluable method of recovery. There are different tools and different methods out there, but it can make a huge difference in whether you leave a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class sore and tired, or fresh regardless of how much rolling you’ve done.
An option I really, really recommend is the sauna. While this might be a bit tricky, as academies usually don’t have a sauna. However, finding one nearby is not hard at all. Saunas are all over the place and the benefits they have to offer are nothing short of incredible. A short session in a sauna right after training Jiu-Jitsu will help not only your body but also your mind. Hydration becomes even more important if you choose this method though. Make sure you’ve drunk double the amount of water you’d usually drink.
Write Things Down
In all honesty, the period right after a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class is the best time to work on Jiu-Jitsu related stuff. This is when you can organize all then formation in a way that helps you retain as much of it, or simply make sense of things. You don’t’ really actually learn much during a class, but rather absorb information that you’ll make sense of later on. Having a BJJ notebook is an awesome way of organizing what you learn in class. And by notebook, I don’t mean a physical one if you’re dead set on doing things electronically.
Whether you write stuff down, draw things, make diagrams and mind maps for your game, writing down is one of the best ways of speeding up your Jiu-Jitsu progress. Notebooks are extremely helpful and have become one of my favorite tools to use on a daily basis.
This one is huge. It is a trait of modern Jiu-Jitsu, but one that is very welcome. The amount of BJJ-related video material out there is immense. Online videos on YouTube,, online instructionals on dedicated websites, BJJ DVDs, footage of matches or rolls… Whatever you can think of, you can find online. Looking up certain techniques or movements right after a Brazilian Jiu-JItsu class can rally help you understand what was taught in class. Moreover, you can find out what questions to ask the next class in order to understand the move(s) better.
For competitors, analyzing footage of matches is an invaluable tool in their preparation. From analyzing opponents to trying to figure out what the best grapplers do, there are countless ways to use the material out there to improve your own game. For most, the period right after class is the best time to connect what you learn in class and what you can use in competition. Watching matches helps immensely.
Another one of my personal favorites. The best part about socializing is that you can still do most of the activities above, just surrounded by likeminded people rather than alone. Talking with people, whether it is your instructors or teammates. These talks can go on for hours, and often times end up bringing people to very important conclusions. Another great benefit is that the team grows stronger when people get to know each other outside of the mats, even if BJJ is till the main subject. If I had to choose one thing I’d recommend everyone in BJJ does at least once a week after class, it is to socialize with your teammates. The larger the group, the better.
A class might end up at a scheduled time, but BJJ never ends. Since almost everyone that trains BJJ keeps on thinking about it after a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class, why not make the most out of it? Read, watch videos, train some more, write things down and contemplate, go to a sauna to unwind or just hang out with your BJJ buddies. There are plenty of productive things to do instead of just crashing on a sofa and hating yourself for tapping out so many times in rolling.