White Belt BJJ Mistakes: Overemphasis on Strength

Pure Martial Arts & Fitness - Professor Jodey Ingalls

In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), it’s common for beginners, especially those with a white belt, to make various mistakes as they learn the art. Overemphasis on strength is a common error that can hinder progress and lead to frustration. Why relying too much on strength can be a mistake in BJJ.


BJJ is a technical martial art that emphasizes leverage, timing, and technique over raw strength. Relying solely on strength can make movements less efficient and tire you out quickly, especially during longer sparring sessions.

Limited Development

Depending too much on strength might hinder your development of essential BJJ skills and techniques. You may miss the opportunity to refine your understanding of positions, transitions, and submissions.


BJJ matches can be physically demanding, and relying solely on strength can lead to faster fatigue. If your strength runs out, you might find yourself vulnerable to opponents who focus on technique and strategy.

Vulnerability to Technique

BJJ is designed to enable smaller and weaker individuals to defend themselves against larger and stronger opponents. When you rely on strength, you may not focus on learning and applying proper technique, making you more susceptible to being caught by a technically skilled opponent.


Relying on strength can make you one-dimensional in your approach to BJJ. As you progress, you’ll face opponents with varying skill levels and body types. A reliance on strength alone may not be effective against all types of opponents.

Injury Risk

Depending too heavily on strength increases the risk of injuries. BJJ places stress on joints and muscles, and using excessive force can lead to strains, sprains, and other injuries. 

To avoid the overemphasis on strength, focus on the following:

Technical Training

Invest time in learning and refining your BJJ techniques. Understand the principles behind movements and positions.

Positional Awareness

Work on your positional awareness and strategy. Being in the right place at the right time can often be more effective than relying on strength.

Flow and Relaxation

Practice flowing and rolling with a relaxed mindset. This can help conserve energy and improve your ability to respond to your opponent’s movements.

Cardio and Conditioning

Develop your cardiovascular fitness and overall conditioning to complement your technical skills. This will help you maintain endurance during sparring sessions.

Final Thoughts

Remember, BJJ is a journey that involves continuous learning and improvement. While strength can be an asset, it should complement, not replace, proper technique and strategy.


Contact Professor Jodey Ingalls if you have any questions or would like to know more.

Pure Martial Arts & Fitness - Professor Jodey Ingalls

Pure Martial Arts & Fitness – Professor Jodey Ingalls