Staring BJJ and getting killed


White Belt
Aug 10, 2008
Reaction score
Ok guys I finally started classes and I do love it but obviously I am getting killed right now because I am horribly out of shape and new.If I attend classes at least 3 times a week how long before my conditioning improves so I don't feel like I'm going to throw up after every class?
you probably need to work on some cardio outside of class as well.
the more you do exercise wise, the faster you will adapt to the strains that BJJ puts on your body.
i was 300 lbs, and now weigh 195. i do the mma classes, the cardio kickboxing, and the BJJ classes.

getting your cardio up helps a lot
No matter how good of shape you get in, you should always push yourself to exhaustion.
And getting killed doesn't have much to do with being out of shape, and more to do with being new to BJJ.
Get used to it, you will be taking your lumps for a while my friend. But keep at it and you will get better.
I started about a month ago. I would feel dead tired after the warmups, and I'd be panting like a dog after a few minutes of rolling.

Yesterday I did about 25 minutes of rolling with some resistance drilling before hand, and was fine at the end of class. When I play my guard in particular, I don't breathe heavy at all.

Part of it is being in better condition, but more importantly it's learning how to relax while rolling.

I weigh 212 pounds, and could stand to lose another 20 pounds. Not a small guy, and not in amazing shape.

I still work up a good sweat though. My gi is soaked by the the time class is over, and I'm definitely tired. It's just that I don't blow everything I have all at once.
believe me when i say learning a technique for almost every encounter able situation will take a long time but when you have (like a guard pass -> fav side control pin) technique you don't waste time using strength. it's amazing.

but yeah, running and lifting weights helps. get flexible too. can't emphasis that enough. stretching > weight lifting if you have to choose between the two
Try doing sprints on a treadmill like 2 minutes of sprinting then 1 minute rest then 2 more minutes and repeat this 4 or 5 times then ull see a big difference when you go roll.
If you have the free time to do extra conditioning, it's probably best for you to use that time to do more BJJ classes. If you get tired doing BJJ, that means doing BJJ will make your cardio better. Plus you will learn more BJJ specific skills by doing BJJ instead of running.
Keep getting killed until you don't get killed anymore.

Have fun!
I think that getting killed is part of the learning process. I've started BJJ probably a month ago. First class I felt completely dumb and dazed. I didnt' know anything about BJJ, warm up routine, etc. Put it in quality time...and do your best.

Be patient and warm up before the class.

Don't try to go hard or you will get hurt really bad and you'll get discouraged quickly.

Enjoy "rolling" with others, don't treat it like a fight.
Last edited:
Just think of it this way.

Do you really want to learn an art that you can walk in and be able to hang with people after a couple of weeks?

I wouldn't. The more you get killed, the more you learn.
Its not all cardio. Right now you are probably getting owned with people taking your back and side control. Once you start playing guard half the time and able to advance on people you will see them wearing down instead of you all the time.
Happened to all of us... just keep going, in a couple weeks you'll feel better. In a few years you'll get less killed, and in a decade you'll be crushing people :)