Open Mat Jiu Jitsu
Open Mat Jiu Jitsu near St. Charles County, MO. Good Brazilian jiu jitsu players shouldn’t limit their time practicing martial arts to classes or competition. Time spent testing out new techniques, positional and situational drills, and live rolling greatly increases not only your ability as a martial artist, but also your personal health and enjoyment of jiu jitsu. It’s also a great way to meet new friends and help them along their martial arts journey, as well.
At Gracie Barra O’Fallon, our mission has always been to make Brazilian jiu jitsu accessible and rewarding to all who practice it. In addition to our full schedule of jiu jitsu classes for all ages and abilities, we offer multiple open mat sessions every week for adult Gracie Barra BJJ players at the blue belt level or above looking to drop in, roll with other Gracie Barra grapplers, and improve their skills in an unstructured, enjoyable setting. Conveniently located off Interstate 64 and Highway 364, our O’Fallon Brazilian jiu jitsu gym is easily accessible for Greater St. Louis and St. Charles County BJJ players who want to sharpen their game. Check our schedule for weekly dates and times, or give us a call at 636-544-3655 for more information about open mat jiu jitsu sessions at Gracie Barra O’Fallon.
Why Come To Open Mat Jiu Jitsu?
Since the beginnings of recorded martial arts, it has long been recognized that structured drills and practice under a teacher, while important, are simply not enough to become a well-rounded martial arts practitioner. Different martial arts have different terms for free sparring or the practice of new techniques. Judo, for instance, calls these sessions randori, karate practitioners often speak of kumite, while in Brazilian jiu jitsu the sparring at open mat sessions is referred to as rolling.
The benefits of open mat jiu jitsu sessions are numerous and wide-ranging, and include:
- Getting to experiment with new moves you may have seen in instructionals, while watching MMA or submission grappling matches, or seen performed by higher-ranking students
- Allowing other students to improve their skills alongside yourself
- Receiving advice from higher-ranking students about your technique
- Preparing for competitions
- Meeting other jiu-jitsu players and getting to know them both on the mat and off
- Every session is different — one week could allow you to focus on situational grappling or work from bottom position, while another week may have a black belt from another city in town and wanting to roll
What To Expect At An Open Mat Jiu Jitsu Session
Coming to an open mat jiu jitsu session may seem fairly intimidating, especially if you’re a newly-promoted student or someone only in town for a few days and not a regular at one particular Gracie Barra gym. However, most open mats are welcoming and accessible. Keep these tips in mind when heading to open mat:
- Expect to roll. Many people at any given open mat are there to get good, solid grappling time in. There will usually be some small-group drilling or instructional sessions, but one-on-one grappling is most common.
- Don’t forget the importance of drilling. Although a large amount of people at any given open mat just want to roll, being able to work with a partner on sweeps or moves from guard pays dividends, especially for those with less experience.
- Don’t be afraid of rolling with a higher level belt. Even if you are a blue belt and get asked to roll with a black belt, go ahead and do it. You’ll be surprised what you can learn from one-on-one sparring or drilling with a more experienced BJJ player.
- Use your time wisely. Especially if you are preparing for an upcoming BJJ tournament or other competition, simply coming to an open mat to roll is not the smartest decision. Takedown drills, working on guard passes, and situational exercises are all important things you can do at open mat.
- Adjust what you’re doing based on your partner. It’s good practice not only for higher-level belts to roll with many of the lesser-experienced students at an open mat, but also to use that time wisely. Higher belts should look to practice newly acquired skills or experiment with different techniques against lower belts, mastering those skills, and then put them to use against equally skilled or superior partners.
- Have fun and enjoy the atmosphere! Open mat is a great chance to hang out with other martial artists, talk about BJJ, MMA, or anything else, and sharpen your skills in a relaxed setting. It’s not uncommon for a group of people to go out and grab a bite to eat or a few beverages after an open mat session to build camaraderie and team spirit.
Open Mat Jiu Jitsu in St. Charles County, MO | Gracie Barra O’Fallon
Gracie Barra O’Fallon strives to offer the best in martial arts instruction as well as fellowship and camaraderie, regardless of your experience or current skill level. In addition to Brazilian jiu jitsu, we offer kickboxing and self-defense classes, as well as Barra Fit, which combines high-intensity interval training with martial arts fundamentals.
Since Carlos Gracie, Jr. opened the first Gracie Barra gym more than 30 years ago in Rio de Janeiro, the Gracie Barra philosophy has always been to make Brazilian jiu jitsu accessible to anyone who wants to learn it, as well as teaching them positive values like honor, discipline, and respect for oneself and others. Gracie Barra O’Fallon has brought this mission to thousands of people from all around St. Louis and St. Charles, supporting the new student while improving the veteran. Our open mat jiu jitsu sessions are designed for serious Brazilian jiu jitsu players who are looking to further their mastery of martial arts, and as such they are open only to Gracie Barra BJJ practitioners at the blue belt level or above. If you are interested in stopping by for an open mat jiu jitsu session at Gracie Barra O’Fallon, or for more information on any one of our programs, call us at 636-544-3655 or contact us online.