Dear White Belts...below are a few tips to make your journey easier, in no particular order.
In order to make the most out of your Jiu-Jitsu experience it's important you understand some things.
1. Focus on basics. Stop trying flying arm bars and kimuras along with fancy leg locks until you have a solid base. Stick with the hierarchy of Jiu-Jitsu. Pass the guard, control position, submit. Or if on bottom if you cannot submit make sure you sweep, get on top, stay on top.
2. Work on your weaknesses as soon as you realize you have them. If you have a hard time escaping mount, work from there. Make your weaknesses stronger.
3. Listen to your Professor. If you join an academy it's important you trust the teacher. Look at your teachers history. What have they done? What has their student's done? What has their teacher done? Can they help you achieve your desired goal? If so, enroll and trust!
4. Stop competing with your teammates!! NO EGO. Do not compare yourself to others on the mats. We have different lives with different goals and we will achieve our goals in time as long as we do the above.
5. Find a way to leave the mats happy everytime. You are walking down an amazing path. Appreciate it, embrace it, the hills and valley's. Learn to love all of it.
If you are just starting out all of these are great points to focus on. Everyone who is starting something new, could be anything, so many people are too quick to try to become an expert overnight. Don't get me wrong its great to have passion and to obsess over BJJ, but take your time. Don't be in such a rush, BJJ is a marathon not sprint. If you want to obsess over something obsess over the basics. Basic submissions, Basic sweeps, basic setups, basics, basics, basics.... Fundamental Jiu Jitsu can and will take your game to the next level. You just have to trust it and the process. I am no World Champion, I have won my fair share of tournaments, but I'm positive I have earned my Black Belt and I earned it by focusing on Fundamental BJJ. My game is 95% fundamental, its what has always worked for me and continues to work for me to this day against all belts. Sure I'm always looking to add new wrinkles and learn new things to add to my game, but your fundamentals is what will always save you when you get in a sticky situation or just so damn tired you can't even see or think straight.
So if you are new to BJJ keep these points in mind. Soak up as much knowledge that you can during class time and live training. Don't be afraid to ask a more experienced teammate or your professors questions or advice on techniques, positions, or opinions. Listen to guys when they are talking about techniques or positions, even if you aren't part of the conversation, just soak it all up. You would be surprised at just how many people are more than happy to help you! And last but not least, for the love of god, for the time being don't try techniques you saw someone do on YouTube. Most of it will confuse you to no end. Trust the curriculum that your Professor has laid out for you, try to perfect it as much as you can then later on down the road you can venture out and try the YouTube route.