Open mat or free training is an essential part of learning Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or BJJ, it is a time where you can ask questions or simply gain some extra sparring time with your training partners. Brazilian Jiu-jitsu has a seemingly infinite level of depth to it and in order to learn as much as you possibly can about the Martial Art you need to introduce variety to your training which having an open mat allows you to do. As with any class every teacher has his or her own style of instructing (breaking down techniques) and his or her own way of structuring each class. While your instructor may prefer timed or untimed rounds, another instructor may prefer group drilling from a specific position. Each method of training will allow you to gain insight into specific aspects of BJJ, however if we only do one type of training we will fail to gain the knowledge the others have to offer.
An open mat is exactly what it sounds like, a set time at your gym where you can use the mats for whatever you would like to. At Crossroads BJJ you’ll find our two open mats being used for a variety of purposes. Some students prefer to drill techniques they saw or missed from the previous weeks class, while others drill BJJ or Catch Wresting techniques they saw on an instructional video or youtube. Open mat is the perfect time to test out something you saw online under the guidance of a black belt or upper level students who can help you with the concepts of the techniques that may have been left out of the instructional video.
At Crossroads BJJ you will also find students using the open mats for untimed sparring. This type of sparring where matches can last much longer than during class where an hour and fifteen minute class has both an instructional and sparring component to it allows you to create strategies and to see how techniques link together in a way you may not discover in a shorter set timed round where you also have the element of working against the clock. At Crossroads BJJ you will find our students working every element of Jiu-jitsu and even MMA, taking time to work both Wrestling and Judo Techniques, and striking.
The best part about the open mat at Crossroads and any good BJJ school is there are no egos, this is a great time for new guys to get to talk and get to know upper belts. All levels of students training together helps everybody get better faster. So if you have the time, make sure your making it to the gyms open mat, get another day of mat time in, another great workout to keep yourself fit and in shape and help everybody in the gym get better faster. Remember if your a new guy, the faster you get better, the faster you can help the next new guy get better.