Can you really learn jiu-jitsu at home?
If you have a training partner, you can absolutely learn jiu-jitsu at home.
However, if you don’t have a training partner, you can’t truly learn jiu-jitsu at home.
Jiu-jitsu is learned by drilling, positional sparring, and rolling with another human.
So if you don’t have someone who is giving you real resistance, you’re not truly “learning” jiu-jitsu.
That being said, if you don’t have a training partner, you might not be able to “learn” jiu-jitsu — but you can certainly practice aspects of it.
By the end of this article, you’ll know what you need to learn jiu-jitsu at home.
How To Learn Jiu-Jitsu At Home: Quick Links
- How I Learned Jiu-Jitsu At Home
- 5 Things You Need To Learn Jiu-Jitsu At Home
- 1. Training Partner
- 2. BJJ Gear
- 3. BJJ Mats
- 4. BJJ Instructionals
- 5. BJJ Dummy (Optional)
- How to Learn Jiu-Jitsu At Home Without A Training Partner
- How To Learn Jiu-Jitsu At Home: Conclusion
How I Learned Jiu-Jitsu At Home
I had been training for around 8 months before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Our gym had announced that they were shutting down. And that meant no more jiu-jitsu classes.
I was itching to continue training. And so was one of my main training partners from the gym, Gio.
So, I asked Gio if he wanted to train a few times a week, and he was on board.
We invested in some high-quality gymnastics/BJJ mats and set them up in his apartment.
And then 2-3 times per week, we would practice jiu-jitsu at home.
For 45 minutes, we would go through our instructor’s white belt curriculum, repping out each move.
After that, we would do 5-minute rounds of rolling — for 4 rounds.
Our jiu-jitsu improved dramatically.
This period was essential to me in learning the basic BJJ moves and techniques.
Gio was much better than me when we started training jiu-jitsu at home. But after training with him, I was able to close that gap.
And when the gym was back open, our games had advanced leaps and bounds past those who did nothing.
With this setup, it became clear to me that I could learn jiu-jitsu at home.
However, you do need the right BJJ gear and equipment to make it work.
5 Things You Need To Learn Jiu-Jitsu At Home
If you want to learn jiu-jitsu at home, you’ll need 5 things.
1. Training Partner
To actually learn jiu-jitsu at home, you need a training partner.
Learning Jiu-jitsu requires another human being.
You can’t practice a mounted armbar on the air.
So, go out and find a training partner.
How do you find a training partner?
If you’re already training at the gym, ask another student if they would like to get some extra training time with you at home. That’s what I did.
If you’re not already training at a gym, ask some of your friends if they would like to learn and practice jiu-jitsu with you.
I’ve found that my friends who are already into the gym, martial arts, sports, or fitness are the easiest to convert into jiujiteiros.
And if you need more help to get some of your friends to try jiu-jitsu, send them this video:
2. BJJ Gear
Once you’ve found a training partner, you’ll both need BJJ gear.
To train in the Gi, you’ll need:
- Gi Jacket
- Gi Pants
To train no-gi, you’ll need:
- BJJ Shorts
(See my article on jiu-jitsu costs for a breakdown)
And of course, you’ll need a mouthguard if you’re going to be positional sparring and rolling.
With this BJJ gear, you’ll be able to learn both gi and no-gi jiu-jitsu — and keep your teeth safe.
3. Jiu-Jitsu Mats
For your home jiu-jitsu gym, you’ll need some jiu-jitsu mats.
My training partner and I split the cost of 2 Soozier 4’x10’x2” folding gymnastics tumbling mats.
These are excellent mats that are portable, sturdy, and comfortable to roll on. They’re perfect for a home jiu-jitsu gym.
At first, we tried puzzle mats, but they were too thin, rough, and came apart too easily.
Find some mats that are at least 2″ thick. They will be much more comfortable to train on than thin mats.
4. BJJ Instructionals
At a BJJ gym, you’ll have an instructor to guide your learning.
But, if you want to learn jiu-jitsu at home, you won’t have that.
So, you’ll need a BJJ instructional to learn from.
Me and my training partner Gio used our instructor’s free white belt curriculum.
We also found techniques on YouTube to practice. We supplemented our learning with BJJ podcasts.
Learning jiu-jitsu at home from an instructional isn’t as effective as having an instructor there with you. But it certainly still works.
5. BJJ Dummy (Optional)
A BJJ dummy is an optional piece of equipment for your home jiu-jitsu gym.
But, if you don’t have a training partner, investing in a BJJ dummy is essential.
Although not as realistic as training with a human, you can practice certain techniques on a BJJ dummy.
When I was a white belt, I found it very helpful to rep out techniques from mount and side control on a BJJ dummy.
Doing so helped me train my muscle memory of what it felt like to apply an armbar and kimura.
For learning jiu-jitsu at home, nothing replaces a real human. But a BJJ dummy is a nice supplemental piece of equipment that will help you learn and practice.
How to Learn Jiu-Jitsu At Home Without A Training Partner
What if you can’t find a training partner? Can you still learn jiu-jitsu at home?
You can’t truly learn jiu-jitsu without a training partner — but you can practice it.
Here are 3 things you can do to learn jiu-jitsu at home if you don’t have a training partner.
1. Solo BJJ Drills
Solo BJJ drills are movements specific to jiu-jitsu, like…
- Shadow wrestling
These are the movements you use when you’re doing jiu-jitsu.
If you don’t have a training partner, you can still practice them.
Practicing solo BJJ drills will make your jiu-jitsu better.
Your technique will be sharper and smoother once you’ve committed them to muscle memory.
2. Practice Techniques On A BJJ Dummy
Although you can’t practice every technique on a BJJ dummy, you can practice some of them.
If you have a BJJ dummy, you can practice jiu-jitsu techniques like…
- Armbar from mount
- Triangle from mount
- Kimura from side mount
- Armbar from side mount
- Triangle from close guard
- Armbar from close guard
These are basic techniques that work against real training partners.
Practicing them on a BJJ dummy will sharpen your technique.
3. Watch BJJ Instructionals & Videos
Jiu-jitsu is learned by doing.
However, watching BJJ instructions and videos are a powerful way to supplement your learning.
Thinking and visualizing about jiu-jitsu will help you learn jiu-jitsu.
BJJ instructional and videos will provide new techniques, counters, insights, and ideas for you to try.
There’s an endless amount of free BJJ content on YouTube. There are also some great BJJ podcasts that will help you learn jiu-jitsu more conceptually than visually.
With BJJ instructional and videos, you can learn jiu-jitsu at home from the best in the world.
How To Learn Jiu-Jitsu At Home: Conclusion
With a training partner and the right BJJ equipment and gear, you can learn jiu-jitsu at home.
Training and practicing BJJ at home is a great way to speed up your improvement.
And creating a home jiu-jitsu gym is a great way to make sure that you can continue training if your gym isn’t available.
But remember: jiu-jitsu is a community sport. To truly learn and master it, you must train with real people.
If you’re nervous about signing up for a BJJ gym, read my article: Your First Jiu-Jitsu Class: Everything You Need To Know.
Joining a gym, practicing with other people, and learning & growing with your training partners are the most rewarding parts of jiu-jitsu.
What do you think? How do you practice and learn jiu-jitsu at home?
Leave a comment in the section below!
Tsavo is the founder of BJJ Equipment and BJJ blue belt who started training in 2019. He’s a passionate hobbyist and BJJ gear/equipment aficionado who wanted to share his favorite pickups with other jiujiteiros. He launched BJJ Equipment in 2022 to make it easy for jiu-jitsu practitioners to find the best BJJ gear so they look, feel, and perform at their best on the mats.