Jozef Chen Reveals How He Became An Elite BJJ Athlete In Just 5 Years Of Training

Jozef Chen Reveals How He Became An Elite BJJ Athlete In Just 5 Years Of Training

Jozef Chen, just 19 years old and a brown belt in no-gi BJJ, has already carved a niche for himself in the grappling world.
His meteoric rise to the top recently culminated in a victory at the ADCC European Trials… But it’s not just about the medals, though.

It’s also about the fact that Chen started training BJJ when he was only 14 years old – which means he reached elite level status in about 5 years of training.
As he shared in a recent interview for the Grappling Insider, Chen began his BJJ journey in China – in an academy that allowed him a lot of freedom to go about self-directed learning:

It wasn’t just instructionals. I think I also came up in an environment that was very conducive to this type of improvement.

My coach was very open to me watching instructionals and very helpful in this regard…
The gym was open to me also practicing my own techniques during classes.

But how did he go about studying the instructionals?

I tend to not watch them in full blasts. The longest I’ll ever do is a volume at a time…

I’ll screen record a lot of the stuff that I want to work on. So, let’s say he goes through one volume.
Realistically, I’m not gonna be able to recall everything in, let’s say an hour and a half of instruction. I’ll just screen-record certain parts that I think are important for me to practice and keep in mind when training.

Before I go training, I’ll have, like, three, minute-long videos that I’ll go back and refer to.

Chen also explained that there’s a lot of value to training with lesser-skilled training partners:

When I train with people who are of lesser skill than me, I find that one, it’s an opportunity for me to play with new ideas.

If I’m not very good at something and I have an idea that I think may work but I’m not completely familiar with it and I try it against someone who is very good, the likelihood is that it’s gonna fail pretty badly.