Questions about BJJ for Beginners

Questions about BJJ for Beginners

Questions about BJJ for Beginners


Marcelo Cavalcanti,

1. What is jiu-jitsu?

Jiu-Jitsu translates to the “Gentle Art”, this is because it utilizes leverage and balance rather than force and strength. Also the submissions are viewed as a more gentle way to striking.

2. What is the secret of passing the guard?

[bjjad][/bjjad][social][/social]You need to work with a nice, tight, accurate grip, with good posture and balance.

3.  What is the secret of sweeping your opponent?

Sweeping is all about timing and momentum.  Get your grips in a good position and use your leverage.

4. What is the secret of finishing your opponent by submission? {mosgoogleright}

Get the dominant position that’s comfortable to your game.  I like to give myself a minimum of three options from my dominant position.  Then apply and attack.

5. What are you supposed to do when you are in your opponent’s guard?



Marcelo Cavalcanti

The game from inside your opponent’s guard is to pass to a more dominant position, this allows you to set up a submission.

6. How many days of training per week is recommended for beginners?

Three days is ideal, but two days is enough and you’re on your way.

7. How do you find the “right” Jiu Jitsu instructor?

One who’s sincere and passionate about his/her love for Jiu-Jitsu.  One who expresses an interest in all his students’ progression and not just the beginners.  Interaction and training is key in order for the teacher to a real idea of your game, and teach you to progress to the next level.

8. Is lifting weights necessary? {mosgoogleright}

It’s not necessary to lift weights, but if it is something you enjoy there are obvious strengthbenefits within the sport.  I, myself, cross-train in other ways.

9. What kind of exercises are helpful for jiu-jitsu?

I love to play Footvolley.  I’d like to see the sport grow so I could play and compete more than I do today.  Running is the best for endurance.  I prefer to run in the sand to increase my workout.  I also like to use the elastic bands for resistance, for explosive power.

10. What’s the biggest difference between gi and no-gi and  how do you adjust your techniques?

[bjjad][/bjjad]The gi game is slower, but there are more options.  You have more to defend.  Training with the gi really develops your creativity, because the possibilities are endless.  No gi is a lot faster and requires a bit more athleticism.  It is important to do both because both develop your technique and timing.  I think it is a mistake to do only one.  I don’t have to adjust my technique too much, because every position works off of leverage, but I do change the grips because I don’t have the gi to grab. The goal is to stay one-step ahead of my opponent, in either sport.   Without the gi, it is harder to hold your opponent.This means you have to work on submissions that come from the transitions rather than from the static positions.

11. Do you have a message for people beginning to train BJJ?

I recommend that all Jiu-Jitsu beginners pay close attention and follow the program.  Ask questions if you don’t understand and don’t get frustrated.  Try to go a minimum of two days, but three is ideal.

Marcelo Cavalcanti
Black Belt under Rigan Machado
17 years of BJJ training


Marcelo Cavalcanti,


Academy Info –

MC Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

441 East Carson St. Unit O. Carson, CA 90745

(310)722-4999 {mosgoogleright}


Major tournament records:

  • 1st place Nationals Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu 2004
  • 1st place Grappling Games National Championships(both gi and no gi)
  • 2nd place Pan American 2007
  • 3rd place Pan-American Jiu-Jitsu Championship of Jiu-Jitsu 2006



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