The answer to this question really depends on your situation and goals. There are many important benefits training Jiu-Jitsu can bring. Finding an amount of training that fits your goals and lifestyle for the long run is what is best. That doesn’t mean that more is better. Consistency is the main ingredient to growth as a Martial Artist. When you are starting out, go slow and then dial up your training to meet your goals.
Types of Jiu-Jitsu Practioners
-Train 1-3x a week
-Balance it with other activities you enjoy like Yoga, Rock Climbing, hiking
-Train 3-4x a week and
-Potentially add strength and conditioning (4-6 total session a week)
-Train 4-6x a week
-Add strength and conditioning work on the side as well (8-10 total practices a week)
If your main goals for Jiu-Jitsu are to get in shape, learn self-defense, enjoy community and have fun, then you are probably a recreational practitioner. That is great! My goal for my children is to be recreational practitioners, if they chose to do more that is a choice I want them to make.
For people looking to branch out and compete in local or regional tournaments, you will need to be training more consistently. The level of Jiu-Jitsu has come up a lot over the years and even local tournaments present quite a challenge. You will need to be training consistently and potentially adding a session or two of cardio/strength training to your regime.
People who want to compete at the regional, National, or International level need to be much more committed and center their lives around training. This is involves being at virtually every team practice and also being dedicated to a strength and conditioning program off the mats.
I found very early on in my journey that I wanted to be a competitor. This has meant training 2-3 times a day 5-6 days a week for over 15 years. This path is not for everyone and for good reason. The people who are competing at the highest levels of Jiu-Jitsu have to make it a major focus of their lives to be competitive.
Remember not matter your path in Jiu-Jitsu and Martial Arts there is no “right” path for everyone. If you want advice on training or what path is right for you, please reach out. We are here to support you no matter what type of practitioner you are.
What about for older athletes
I usually think that older athletes could probably take off a session a week per 10 years. So if they are 30-40, maybe they are doing 8 sessions a week when they used to do 9 sessions a week as a younger international competitor. Obviously this is going to vary tremendously by athletes and I trust older athletes to listen to their bodies more than younger athletes.
What is the breakdown between Strength and Conditioning and BJJ Training
This will depend on the experience level of the athlete. In the beginning, mat time with Jiu-Jitsu is much more important than extra time in the gym. It is the age old story that a blue belt loses their first competition and decides that CrossFit will give them the edge they need to win the next one. Like if you were to give me a white belt to blue belt recreational competitor I would say 5 of 6 six sessions should be at the academy, then as they go up the belt ranks would could shift a bit more to the gym. As an international competitor would think more like 6 sessions would be on the mat and 3-4 would be in the gym. With most of the gym workouts going to strength and sprint work with 1 day to aerobic conditioning to build a base.