How to Breathe Properly During Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Man practicing diaphragmatic breathing yoga pose

Proper breathing technique is a critical but often overlooked skill in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Learning to breathe efficiently can dramatically improve your cardio, prevent fatigue, and even enhance your technique.

Here are some tips on breathing correctly while grappling:

Inhale Through The Nose

Always inhale through your nose, not your mouth. Nose breathing warms and humidifies the air before it enters your lungs. It also regulates the pace of your breath.

Exhale Through The Mouth

Exhale fully through your mouth in a controlled manner. Forcefully push out all stale air from your lungs. Do not hold your breath.

Deep Diaphragmatic Breathing

Breathe with your diaphragm, not your chest. Feel your belly expand as you inhale deep into your abdomen. Let your diaphragm muscle do the work.

Find Resting Points  

Look for transitions between positions or sequences to catch full, deep breaths. Don’t hold your breath during intense movements.

Slow Your Roll

As a beginner, roll light and controlled to avoid gasping for air. Allow more time to breathe properly during rolls.

Strengthen Your Core

A strong core optimizes breathing mechanics. Planks, sit ups, and yoga help build core muscles.

Practice breathing drills at home to ingrain proper technique. With dedicated work, breathing properly will become second nature during live rolls. Oxygen fuels the entire body, so make sure you breathe smart on the mats!