Posted By: Rob-Kassy
Posted On: 08 May, 2023

The Dos and Don’ts of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Sparring

Sparring in Jiu-Jitsu is a full-contact move that requires forcing the opponent to submit using grappling techniques instead of striking. Martial artists know all too well that sparring is one of the first moves you train in your Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instruction, along with learning valuable self-defense techniques to apply to everyday life. However, as with any sport, there are guidelines to practice the art of sparring correctly. Let’s lay down some of the dos and don’ts so that we can all honor Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu safely and authentically.


Stay Consistent

Mastering any skill requires consistent practice. That means attending classes regularly to progress your skills, refine your BJJ sparring techniques, and bounce back from mistakes. If sparring is done incorrectly, the intensity level can be too little or too much for the opponent. Remember, great change doesn’t happen overnight!  

Master Your Technique

BJJ teaches us to overcome brute strength with calculated techniques. Focus on strategic thinking and quick movements to lock your opponent into submission rather than relying squarely on forcing your way through. 

Stay Relaxed 

The secret to perfecting your BJJ sparring technique is to relax your body before taking action. If you’re too stiff, your movements become more rigid rather than fluid.


Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is by any means not a silent sport. If you have any injuries or medical conditions, you must let your instructor and teammates know so they can modify specific sparring techniques. Internalizing your concerns can aggravate your condition or, worse, cause a debilitating injury. Also, communication is a show of respect when facing your opponent. Do not use excessive force, disrespect their skill level, or make derogatory comments.

Tap Out When Necessary

Sparring in Jiu-Jitsu requires you to tap out when driven to submission. Don’t let pride get in the way—tap out when you’re in an unshakeable position, shake it off, and reset the sparring session.


Use Excessive Force

In Jiu Jitsu, we overcome, not overpower. Excessive force during sparring can injure yourself and others and will not benefit your progress.

Ignore Safety Protocols

Safety should be your top priority. Make sure to follow the protocols and instructions set by your instructor, like tapping out and wearing the proper gear (like a mouthguard and rashguard). The rules are set for your own well-being.

Make Winning Your Ultimate Goal

Sure, victory is one of the primary rewards of competitive Jiu-Jitsu, but it should not come at the cost of your partner’s safety. The true path to success is achieved through following a moral code, respecting others, and honest hard work. Don’t be a poor sport.

Use BJJ Sparring to Harm Others

When it comes to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, with great power comes great responsibility. Being a martial artist means using your practice for self-defense or other dangerous situations—not for intimidation, bullying, or domination.

Focus Solely on Submissions

Sparring is not all about submissions. Incorporate various techniques into your BJJ sparring session, like sweeps, transitions, and escapes.

Sparring is one of the core essentials of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training. With the correct training, you can learn how to practice safe sparring with impressive mastery. Call Breakaway Jiu Jitsu today at (757) 223-0373 to kickstart your BJJ training in Hampton, Virginia.