SWOT Test in BJJ

SWOT Test in BJJ
I’ve just nabbed this off the UK BJJ Underground Forum. Richard, the guy who runs the BJJ website/blog Attack The Back uses this, with the guidance of his coach, Gary Davies at Somerset Jiu Jitsu Alliance, to help self evaluate his Jiu Jitsu.

I’m a massive believer in setting goals to achieve things. Specific goals, not general goals. The best way to progress in anything in life is to assess your current situation, and work out what you need to do to improve. Which is why I get a little annoyed when I read posts from experienced people in the Jiu Jitsu community telling newer people to “just train” in order to get better.                        
 “You need matt time”. “Just train”. “Shut up and train”. 
 Well, no. Not really. If you’re doing something shit, you’re going to continue doing it shit if you use that approach. Yes, you figure a hell of a lot of Jiu Jitsu out for yourself. It’s a massive game of trial and error. You work out what techniques work best for your body type, height, strength, flexibility etc. But for people to achieve their potential in anything (not only Jiu Jitsu), they need targeted, specific, individual guidance. S’what we do in the education system, innit.

SWOT stands for Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Here’s how the guys at Somerset Jiu Jitsu Alliance use it;
“We were all given print outs that our instructor had made specifically for members of the club and asked to fill it out in our spare time, he would then spend some time with our answers, roll with us and write out a personalised analysis about our game and how we can improve.”- Taken from Richards blog which can be found –> here
So Imma have a go. But I’m going to make 2. Because I’m going to be off the mats for a few months, I’m going to do a physical SWOT test (for when I can train again) and a mental SWOT test, for now. To keep me sane.

So, let’s do this;

Physical SWOT 


  • Knee slide pass
  • Regaining half guard
  • Movement when on top (always moving to maintain a strong position in side control)


  • Speed. I’m slllllllllow.
  • Attacking mentality- I lack it. Too often I find myself on the defensive rather than pushing forward and being offensive.
  • Passing/sweeping on my “bad side”. 


  • Bestest coaches and training partners. Ranging from monsters to tiny little people, white belts to black belts.
  • An ego less atmosphere to train in.
  • A coach who encourages you to try new things, not be afraid of getting smashed, and to develop your own style of Jiu Jitsu.


  • I’M CRIIPPPLLLLEEEEEEEDDDDDDD. Stupid freakin’ knees.
  • I might forget, EVERYTHING. By the time I get back on the mat I’ll have forgotten how to shrimp, and will think a peruvian necktie is an item of clothing.
  • I’ll be super paranoid about my knee when I train. Might make me hesitate and slow down any progression until I build back my confidence.

Mental SWOT


  • PMA. (It’s fizzling out by the hour..)
  • I have plenty of cool stuff to do; edit videos, take photos, write for Jiu Jitsu Style magazine, bore people I don’t know to death with my blog.
  • Goal setting. I’ve set myself some things I’m going to achieve next year. And imma do it.


  • I miss training alreaaadddyyyy. ‘Obsession’ might be an understatement. I’m waiting for the shakes to kick in and I can’t imagine not rolling hard for 9 months. If I don’t think about it, then it’s not real. Right?
  • I like food. I manage to maintain weight quite nicely when training. But that’s 3 x Jiu Jitsu classes, and 4 strength and conditioning classes a week. I will might get fat/ter.
  • Uuuuhhhhh… I’m cranky when I can’t train. Which means I might make those around me cranky. Crankiness for everyone!


  • I’m moving into a new house. A house with 2 spare rooms. I have permission to make one a Jiu Jitsu room. I have the mats and everything already. A FREAKIN’ MATTED ROOM. Myself and Flavio are going to live in there. 
  • Spend more time with significant other/family/friends. Time to remind them all that Jiu Jitsu isn’t my only love.
  • My coach wants to help keep me sane by coaching the junior class, helping out in classes, as well as doing the odd bit of reffing. More stuff to help keep me in the loop.


  • Falling behind at Jiu Jitsu. Stupid ego. 
  • Becoming frustrated at myself for not being able to train, or not progressing in rehab as fast as I want to.
  • Did I mention I like food? Food is a threat. A sweet, sweet, tasty threat.

The physical SWOT is something I will give to my coach Darren when I’m back training again. I guess the mental SWOT is for my own reference. 

Fightworx guys and visiting Somerset Jiu Jitsu Alliance guys

So, in order to progress, self assess yourself. You know what you’re good at and what you suck at. Tell your instructor those things, and along with them monitoring you at training, they will be able to see where/how you’re going wrong and will be able to recommend how you can improve. THIS is how you get better at Jiu Jitsu. As well as lots of trial and error..

Massive thanks to Richard for introducing me to the idea of using this strategy.Give it a go! And check out his website here.



2 thoughts on “SWOT Test in BJJ”

  • I had 8 months out once (shoulder). I wouldn’t worry about weight gain… I went up to almost 86kg at one point (normally maintain 77kg pretty easily) but it came off quickly as soon as I started back training.

    You can do plenty of upper body lifting while you’re out 🙂

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