Inside Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Classes 2024: Tips for Your First Time

Last Updated May, 2024

Inside a brazilian jiu jitsu class
Image by Charles Smith - Flickr

It’s as real as it can get. That has made me a better person. It’s made me a better man. It’s made me understand myself, my weaknesses, my strengths, the sh*t I need to work on. Jiu-jitsu has been one of the most valuable tools I’ve ever had in my life.

Embark on an exhilarating journey of self-improvement and physical challenge with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), a martial art that not only enhances your physical fitness but also strengthens your mental resilience.

Whether you're a beginner eager to learn BJJ basics or someone looking to dive deeper into other martial arts, taking your first Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class is a decision that promises a transformative experience and is a decision you'll never regret

Here's what you can expect:

Before You Start: Arrival and Introduction

Making the First Step

Assuming you have already found your local BJJ academy:

Arriving early for your first Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class is advisable. It gives you enough time to familiarize yourself with the academy, meet your instructor, and settle in comfortably.

A warm welcome typically awaits from either a jiu-jitsu instructor or a senior student, who will assist you through the initial steps and make your first day as smooth as possible.

Registration and Preparation

Expect to fill out a registration form and sign a waiver before your first jiu jitsu class. You'll be given a tour, including where to store your belongings and the changing rooms to change into your training gear.

What should you wear?

Generally a BJJ Gi is required for fundamental class. If you don't have one yet (or if the class is No-Gi) No worries! Any athletic wear is acceptable for a start, ensuring you're ready for the physical activities ahead. Most gyms will have spare Gis to loan while you are trialing out the sport.

Remember, safety is a top priority in any martial arts class, so removing jewellery, ensuring long nails are trimmed and securing long hair is a must.

An important thing to remember is a water bottle and to wear flip-flops. Keeping the mats as clean as possible is in everyone's best interest!

Getting Started: Warm-up

The warm-up is an essential part of BJJ training, designed to prepare your body for the session ahead. Engaging in jogging, basic movements, and BJJ-specific exercises like shrimping and rolling helps activate your muscles and gets your heart pumping, setting a positive tone for the rest of the class.

Bjj practitioners shrimping during the warm up
Practitioners shrimping during the warm up

Core Training: Technique Demonstration and Practice

After warming up, the focus shifts to learning and practicing BJJ techniques. Instructors typically demonstrate a variety of moves, from guard positions and transitions to submissions and escapes.

Partnering with fellow students allows you to practice these new techniques, emphasizing detail, precision, and repetition to ensure proper execution.

Advancing Your Skills: Specific Sparring

Specific sparring sessions provide an opportunity to apply the techniques in a more dynamic setting. This phase is crucial for understanding the practical application of moves in live situations.

The starting position for specific sparring will usually be based on the drills you were doing. With your partner offering resistance this time, you'll get a taste of real-world BJJ, testing your skills in a controlled environment.

Testing Your Limits: Full Sparring (Rolling)

Full sparring, or rolling, is often the climax of a BJJ class, allowing students to engage in free-form sparring sessions. This is where you can truly test your skills and strategies against an opponent in a live setting.

Participation in full sparring varies by gym and may depend on your experience level. Some gyms may make you wait until you've earned a certain number of stripes or some may reserve full rounds of sparring for more intermediate classes.

If you do want to jump in to full sparring immediately, observing the sparring can still be beneficial for beginners, so hang around until the end.

Conclusion: Embracing the BJJ Journey

Attending your first BJJ class can be a daunting yet exciting experience. Understanding what to expect—from the initial warm-up to the intensity of live sparring—can help alleviate any nerves and enhance your overall experience.

A BJJ class offers a unique blend of physical challenge and mental stimulation, providing a supportive environment for personal growth and skill development.

Discover the World of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Embarking on your BJJ journey not only promises physical and mental growth but also introduces you to a welcoming community of practitioners.

Whether you're aiming to improve your fitness, diversify your workout, build self-confidence, learn self-defence, or looking for a path into MMA, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu offers a physically demanding and comprehensive path to achieving your goals and helps in defining new ones.

With dedication and the right guidance, you'll find that BJJ is more than just a sport — it's a lifestyle that fosters resilience, respect, and continuous learning.

So go ahead and give it a try! Join a class today and start your journey - you may just discover a new passion and community in BJJ.