The top 10 BJJ White Belt Mistakes Everyone Makes and How To Fix Them

BJJ White Belt Mistakes
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Regardless of where you are in your Jiu-Jitsu journey, everyone has made these BJJ White belt mistakes at one time or another. Today we are going to go over 10 of the most common mistakes white belts make and how to fix them.

The top 10 BJJ white belt mistakes everyone makes:

1. Trying to attack inside someone’s guard:

This is one of the most common mistakes beginners make. When you’re in the closed guard you would think it’s a good idea to try and choke someone or go for an Americana arm lock. After all, you are in the top position. but when you try that you end up getting your back taken or in an armbar every time.

You need to remember that BJJ is known for using the closed guard to attack from the back. So if you’re in someone’s guard your only concern should be to get out of it and pass your opponent’s legs. There is a common trope in Jiu-Jitsu that goes:

Position before submission.

Before you try and submit someone you should make sure you’re in a good position to do so, also you should focus on improving your position before you even think of attacking.

2. Extending or reaching with the arms:

There are very few instances in Jiu-Jitsu where extending your arms fully is a good idea. When you are trying to pass an extended arm can become a way to knock you off balance and when you’re on the bottom, extended arms tend to mean free armbars and kimuras.

If you’re finding yourself getting into armbars a lot, you may be making this common BJJ white belt mistake.

Do you know how they say? Keep your friends close, but keep your elbows closer.

If you are be mindful of keeping your arms close to your body at all times and never reaching out with your hands when you’re in a bad position.

3. Giving up your back:

This one is a bit weird since everyone knows you shouldn’t turn your back on someone. We intellectually know not to do it but inevitably we may make this mistake without meaning to.

We will talk more about how that happens in other BJJ white belt mistakes.

But the most common way white belts give up their back is while someone is trying to pass their guard so they try to turn and run away or get up, giving up their back. The other common way white belts give up the back is while in the bottom of the mount, some guys will get frustrated and start to turn giving up their back.

While it’s not necessarily wrong to turn your back to the opponent as there are many ways you can retain your guard with rolls, turtle, and stuff like that, it’s highly suggested that at the start of your BJJ journey, you keep your back away from your opponent.

4. Keeping the hips too high while passing

One of the biggest BJJ white belt mistakes that everyone has made at least once and even some blue belts make is keeping their hips too high while passing. When you pass and you keep your hips high it becomes really easy to sweep you.

If you find yourself getting swept every time you try to pass someone’s guard and you don’t even know why. Try lowering your hips.

Keeping your hips low while passing will give you a better base and will help you pass the guard without giving up position to your partner. However, you can still make this mistake after passing…

Many white belts make the mistake of keeping their hips too high in side control. Then they will face the same problem. It becomes really easy to sweep them and push them off balance.

So remember: Always keep your hips as low to the ground as possible.

5. Driving your forearm in your partner’s neck!

This is not only a mistake it is also what is known as a dick move. You won’t win any friends while doing this but you will also make it easy on your partners and opponents to submit you with an armbar or an arm triangle. When it comes to this one it’s really easy to fix.

Just don’t do it, focus on improving your position and finding other ways to submit your opponents that are more effective and won’t make your training partners hate rolling with you.

This brings us to one of the biggest dick moves and BJJ white belt mistakes of all time…

6. Digging your elbows in your partner’s thighs!

Again, this will not win you any friends but it is also a mistake. Personally, I love going for triangles when guys try to dig their elbows into my legs. It also leaves you exposed to collar chokes and sweeps.

So once again the solution to this is very simple. Don’t do it!

Learn to open and pass the guard, you’ll find that it is more effective and you’ll have an easier time making friends at your gym.

7. Not using underhooks:

Some of you might be wondering what undercooks are. When you hook your arm under your partner’s armpit that’s called an under-hook. If you’re trying to pass someone’s guard or improve your position you need to use under-hooks or your partner will take your back. This also happens a lot in half-guard.

You don’t even fight for the under-hook and you make it really easy for your partner to control you, so always try to fight for the under-hook and you will make controlling your partner much easier.

8. Adjusting a triangle by pulling on your foot:

Sometimes we go for a triangle choke but we don’t get our legs in the right placement right away. So you may feel inclined to go in there and adjust the triangle so you finish your submission.

Then you pull on your foot while your partner is struggling to get out and you are twisting your ankle in all sorts of dangerous ways. Not to mention that even if you do adjust it with your foot all bent, the triangle won’t be as effective as it should be because of your bent foot.

If you have to adjust your triangle you should always do so by grabbing your shin and not the foot.

It is safer this way and more effective, so avoid making this BJJ white belt mistake.

9. Treating every roll like its a life-or-death situation

You’ll often hear that white belts are dangerous. But why would white belts be considered dangerous with other Jiu-Jitsu belt ranks around?

Well, it’s because they tend to treat every roll like the other guy is trying to kill their family.

I personally had a situation not so long ago where I was rolling with a white belt and we landed in full guard. I was on the bottom and this guy for frustrated, so he then decides it would be a good idea to throw his entire body weight at my head as hard as he can.

Thankfully I reacted in time and rolled backward landing in mount. But if I hadn’t, I could have gotten seriously injured.

Many people have similar stories and battle scars from spastic white belts.

So, in order to avoid these common BJJ white belt mistakes, just relax and understand that it’s not the end of the world. If you get submitted learn from your mistakes and try again, don’t worry if you lose because you’re going to lose a lot before you get good.

10. Not tapping:

This is the most dangerous BJJ white belt mistake on the entire list…

Sometimes (especially with the guys though women also make this mistake) white belts may get too prideful and not tap to a submission. The one result of this is injury…

You either get your legs, elbows, or shoulders injured or, best-case scenario, you are put to sleep (which is not good for your brain at all).

Regardless of whether it is in training or competition, tap as soon as you get caught and tap often. It is always better to lose and get right back to training than to get injured and be off the mats for a long time.

In conclusion:

If you are a white belt and you found this helpful, just remember that everyone has committed all 10 of these BJJ white belt mistakes at least once in their BJJ journey. Keep learning and keep growing because the more you do it the better you will get at this amazing sport and martial art.


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