So, you’ve found the right Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gym for you and now you’re ready to start? Excellent! Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is an enormous journey, and there’s a lot of new information to take on, particularly during your first class. If you’re looking to get ahead early, then do like any top student would do and come prepared.
Luckily, we’ve done the groundwork for you.
Check out these top tips below to make sure you’re jet-set and ready to start your first Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class.
Here’s What You Need to Know For Your First Brazilian Jiu- Jitsu Class:
Keep Your Nails Trimmed
There’s a lot of grabbing in this martial art (hence the well-known jiu-jitsu term ‘grappling’). Make sure you keep your nails short and clean so you don’t accidentally scratch your classmates. This helps keep our members safe from infections as well as preventing them from practising illegal jiu-jitsu moves (scratching is a no-no).
Bring Freshly Washed Training Gear
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a sweaty sport. You will also be on the ground. A. Lot. Also sweating. Help prevent the spread of bacteria (and smell!) by making sure your clothes are freshly washed before training. Remember that if you can smell your partner, they can also smell you. So make sure you do unto others as you’d like done to yourself, and be hygienic.
In Perth? At Kaizen Lab, we offer Roll Clean soap available to buy at reception. These soaps caters specifically towards athletes to help keep you scrubbed clean and odour-free.
Tap When It Hurts
That whole mentality of “tough it out” doesn’t apply here. We put our opponents through mock-ups of life-or-death situations, so of course we expect a higher level of safety when it comes to our members. Don’t tough out holds. If you’re in pain (or know you’re about to be), tap firmly on your opponent to let them know you’re conceding. The aim of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is to outsmart getting into the hold in the first place, not endure choking or bone-breaking to escape.
Don’t Wild-Out During
You’ll never see someone wild-out more than a white belt eager to prove themselves. If you every get the chance to observe the higher belts you’ll notice that their moves are more targeted, slower, and precise. They leave no room for mistakes and potential injuries. Particularly as a brand new belt, you want to take things slow and measured. Don’t end your first class injuring your opponent (or yourself). Listen to your coach and make sure you are taking care of your fellow members during class. There’s always time to speed things up later.
Remember That Persistence is Everything
Being the best isn’t what’s needed as a beginner: it’s being the person that keeps coming back. If you’re looking to progress faster to a higher belt (keeping in mind a blue belt will generally take at least two years), you’d want to be doing at least 3-4 classes per week. But, what we don’t want is for you to go head-strong into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and then tucker yourself out before you’re even fully in the headspace to commit long-term.
If you’re struggling to maintain a more regular class schedule, stick to 1 class per week. Either way, you will progress quicker if you focus on consistency and not just steam. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a memory sport. And you’ll find you lose skill quick when you stop going for weeks or months at a time.
Embrace The Struggle
You may find yourself getting overwhelmed during class with the amount of knowledge and strength needed to excel. To that, we say: ‘embrace the struggle’. The more humble you are able to keep yourself, the less your ego will prevent you from moving up. Keep your mind open and accept that you will make a lot of mistakes. The biggest mission we ask of you is that you simply embrace it.
Start With The Fundamentals
If you’re new, you need to first learn the fundamentals of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu before you jump into freestyle. By going into fundamental training, you are able to be guided through applying each hold as well as escaping it. Even if you are confident you can learn fast, sticking to the fundamentals helps ensure you are not putting yourself or your fellow members at risk of injury.
This is why our gym in Perth prefers to start our white belts in Fundamental classes before
advancing to the more freestyle version of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes, ‘All Levels’.
Tie Away Long Hair
Longer-haired beginners, beware: if you don’t tie your hair back, it will be flying all over the place. Tie it back so you can prevent it from getting in the way or accidentally pulled. You’re going to be rolling all over the floor and your hair wants none of it.
Shower Immediately After
Trust us: you’ll want to. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a sweat bomb and we don’t want to compare it to a hot yoga session… but it comes close. Take a shower at the gym or immediately after. Remember to come prepared with a change of clothes and a towel, unless you want to be racing to the showers at work or home.
Keep Your Shoes Off The Mats
We try to keep our mats as clean as we can, and shoes just aren’t a good fit. Think of all the places your shoes have been and keep them off the mats (where you and your face will be rolling on). Bring a pair of thongs to training to make it easier for you to go on and off during classes. This way, we keep our mats hygienic, prevent cross-contamination and keep any gym germs manageable.
Schedule in Your Training
Persistence is consistence. Get your mind in the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu zone with regular BJJ training. Once you’ve nailed down a routine, make it like that doctor’s appointment you simply can’t miss and keep it scheduled in. After a few weeks, missing a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class will feel like something’s missing from your day.
Make sure you’re keeping your body at peak performance and stay hydrated. In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, we sweat it all out on the mats. The training can be gruelling on both your mind and your muscles. A key remedy for staying sharp? Water. Pack your water bottle for class to keep on top of your water intake before, during, and after training.
Want to Know More? Here’s Some More Helpful Resources
While the best way to wise-up on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is to actually go to class, there are still plenty of other resources you can delve into, should you want to know more about how to get ready for BJJ.
Check out our social media
Our Coach Brandon is on TikTok and divulges all things Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Check out this video here where he shares some handy tips for first-timers on the mats.
Read our other posts on our Kaizen Lab Blog
We share all sorts of tips on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu on our blog. Check out this blog post where we break it down on how to up-skill quicker in jiu jitsu.
Watch this interesting video
Looking for a more in-depth breakdown on how to navigate your training? Check out this video here which has Gustavo Gasperin, a 3rd degree BJJ Black Belt, break down his ten top training tips for BJJ beginners.
Hate being a beginner? Easy solution: start now and work your way up the ladder! Nothing says frontrunner like someone who isn’t afraid to try something new (and even look bad doing it).
New to Brazilian Jiu-jitsu in Perth (or in general)? Sign up for our three-class pass for only $39 and get rolling!
Written by Ashley Valli: a Perth freelance writer/editor and blogger for Kaizen Lab Jiu-Jitsu.