I still vividly remember one of my first days of training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu as a wide-eyed white belt. After getting submitted what felt like 500 times in five minutes during sparring, I stumbled onto Reddit later that night wondering if I was the only one struggling so badly…
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What I found on subreddits like r/bjj and r/jiujitsu was an enormous, incredibly supportive community of grapplers that helped me through those punishing early days. I learned so much about correct techniques, common mistakes, gym recommendations, and all the little tips and tricks that accelerated my learning curve tremendously.
Now, over 100 agonizing but rewarding classes later, I can firmly say that Reddit played a huge role in allowing me to progress so much faster than I could have on my own. The thriving BJJ subculture on the platform is an invaluable resource for grapplers of all levels.
In this comprehensive guide, I’ll highlight exactly how you can use Reddit to fast-track your Brazilian jiu-jitsu skills as well.
Join Relevant Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Subreddits
Reddit has many forums dedicated to BJJ and grappling arts, including:
- r/bjj – With over 300,000 members, this is the largest and most active subreddit where you’ll find the full range of discussions from memes to serious technique debates. It’s the core community you should join.
- r/jiujitsu – Smaller subreddit with around 30,000 members but is more focused on training discussions.
- r/judo – As a foundational grappling art, judo has a lot of carryover submission holds to enhance your BJJ. Well worth browsing.
- r/wrestling – Helpful for takedowns that set up BJJ groundwork. Study your shot setups!
- r/flexibility – Want to nail an advanced rubber guard? Flexibility training is key. Stretch it out!
And various smaller communities dedicated to specific niches like self-defense applications, MMA combinations, no-gi grappling, etc:
- r/bjj_guards – Focused discussions on the nuances of different guards
- r/bjj_gear – The latest reviews and recommendations for GIs, rash guards, and accessories
- r/bjj_nutrition – Ideal diet for grappling performance and recovery
Finding subreddits aligned to your specific interests will yield the most value. While r/bjj is the most active forum, the discussion level greatly benefits from more focused communities.
Get Familiar with Reddit to Maximize your Experience
Before diving into BJJ subreddits, it pays to understand Reddit etiquette and functionality to properly leverage the platform:
Sign Up – You can browse without an account but won’t be able to post/comment. Get a handle to preserve anonymity if you prefer.
Flair – Set a flair on BJJ forums to display your belt rank. Provides helpful context.
Vote – Upvote posts and comments you find useful to improve visibility. Quality bubbles to the top.
Search – Finding answers quickly is easy with a robust search. See if your question has already been answered.
Wiki – Many subreddits have curated wikis expanding on commonly discussed topics to better inform users. Check them out!
Actively participating by voting and posting good questions will contribute to sustaining a thriving community culture that benefits all members.
Get Feedback on Your Technique
One of the most valuable ways beginners and advanced students alike can use Reddit is to post videos of themselves training and ask for feedback.
You can upload clips of your sparring sessions, demonstrations of a particular submission you are struggling with, or just general footage of your movement and form. The Reddit BJJ community will scrutinize it and leave incredibly detailed feedback highlighting areas you need to improve.
I cannot count the number of bad habits I ingrained early on that were immediately spotted and corrected when I worked up the courage to post videos months into my journey.
It can be intimidating to put yourself out there to be judged, but the community overwhelmingly gives constructive criticism. The key is to develop a growth mindset – be willing to accept every critique with gratitude knowing it will accelerate your development.
Sort through the feedback, implement tweaks slowly, and then post follow-up videos. This cycle shaves years off your learning curve. Don’t get defensive, stay hungry!
Study Tutorials and Matches
In addition to getting personalized feedback, leverage the massive amounts of educational material already on Reddit:
Tutorials from Elite Grapplers
There are essentially endless amounts of free instruction from big-name competitors and coaches across every BJJ discipline – from John Danaher breaking down the nitty-gritty details of leg locks to Emily Kwok demonstrating the finer points of open guard recovery.
Drinking from the firehose of knowledge these luminaries offer will bring context to the techniques you learn at your local gym. Broaden your perspective!
Play-By-Plays of Matches
You can also find expert-level analysis on Reddit of matches from EBI, ADCC, and other professional grappling promotions. Both champions break down their own matches and black belt hobbyist grapplers offer informed opinions.
Seeing Daigo submit Texeira from the back mount at ADCC 2022 and then watching a post-match interview where Daigo details his grip-fighting strategies that ultimately secured the choke will embed crucial context to a move your coach shows later.
All this supplemental education will vastly accelerate broadening your knowledge outside of just your gym’s style.
Avoid Information Overload
With a firehose of content at your fingertips, it’s easy to lose focus trying to absorb everything at once. Stay diligent in your training regimen first and foremost. Use Reddit to supplement, not replace!
Research Lifestyle Topics
Beyond improving your game, Reddit is your friend for all lifestyle and accessory questions that come up as well over your BJJ journey:
Moving cities and need to find the best gym in your area that isn’t just sport BJJ focused? Ask in your city’s subreddit and get insider opinions from local grapplers on the culture of different programs.
Confused between the 20 different BJJ gis on sale? Ask what the consensus is on if that brand runs large or small before you buy. Can’t decide between Bad Boy vs Tatami Rash guards? Reddit will give you the breakdown. Lots of money saved here.
What should someone brand new to training expect? How can I avoid cauliflower ears? When am I ready for my first competition? Any question you have, don’t be shy to post. Veterans are always willing to help newcomers out.
Engage with the Community Mindfully
As with any public forum with relative anonymity, Reddit has struggled with harassment and negativity at times. But the vast majority of BJJ subreddits shut down trolling rapidly. Still, mindfully engage:
- Don’t Feed the Trolls – Rise above and ignore ultra-critical comments
- Stay Positive – Promote constructive dialogue always
- Respect Rank – Higher belts have proven experience over time
Positivity breeds more positivity. Lead by example to better the community.
While there are no shortcuts to grappling proficiency, using Reddit properly will help accelerate you along faster. The knowledge concentration and willingness to share amongst the BJJ subreddit are unparalleled.
I hope this comprehensive guide has illuminated the immense value the community provides. Now get out there, create your r/bjj username, set your belt rank flair, and dive into the discussions! OSS!