First BJJ Class: How to Prepare and What to Expect

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Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2021 6:25 am

  • What to expect in the average BJJ class
    What to wear to your first class
    What to bring to your first class
    Hygiene basics for your first class
    How to prepare for your first class
    Preparing for your first rolls
    What to know about submissions for your first classes
    Other tips for your first class
What to expect in the average BJJ class
Aside from the lessons themselves, an average BJJ class will have different components:

Bowing in. BJJ might not be considered a traditional martial art for many, but for most academies, lining up and bowing will signal the start of the class.
Warm-ups. The next part of the class is usually the warm-up. After running around the mat area to get your heart rate up, you will start with some core movements such as the forward roll and back roll. If you are a beginner, depending on the academy, your instructor or assistant instructor may spend some extra time teaching you these core movements.
Stretching. To prevent injury, dynamic stretching is usually done after the warm-up.
Repping. Repping or drilling a technique is done for a few minutes before the start of the lesson. The technique drilled will depend on the instructor. Some academies skip this portion and head on over to the lesson portion.
Lessons. The instructor will usually teach 2 to 3 techniques wherein you will be required to perform repetitions of the moves with your partner. An example of this may be a series of attacks, such as a takedown that goes straight to mount or sidemount, followed up by a submission such as an Americana or a figure 4 shoulder lock.
Positional sparring. You might next be doing position-specific sparring based on the lesson taught. An example of this is you maintaining a certain position while your partner tries to escape. If your partner is able to escape, then the position is reset and they will be required to escape again. This will go on until the timer ends, and you will switch places with your partner, wherein it will be your turn to do the escape.
Rolling (sparring). Full-on spars are usually next. Depending on your academy, you may start from either the standing or kneeling position. For beginners, some academies have a policy of not letting beginners join the sparring portion of the class until they gain enough knowledge in most of the positions in BJJ. In this case, the positional spar portion is continued, while the regular students roll.
Cool-down. After some hard rolls, your heart rate will be brought back down with some cool-down exercises. This is usually accompanied by static stretches. Some academies may ask the students to do their cool-down on their own after class.
Bowing out. Lining up and bowing signals the end of the class.

What to wear to your first class
For a gi class, you should ask your academy if they have a required gi uniform first. Some academies require that you purchase the gi from them directly, while others do not.

Aside from the gi, a shirt or rash guard for men, or a sports bra and/or rash guard for women, is normally required to be worn underneath the gi for hygienic purposes.

For no gi classes, a shirt or rash guard is worn for both men and women. Board shorts, MMA shorts or spats are also required.

There are some things that you are not allowed to wear or bring to the mats:

Earrings, nose rings, etc
Shoes (unless your academy permits wearing wrestling shoes during no gi classes)
Baggy clothes
Shorts with zippers and belts
Groin cups (for some academies)
It may be more convenient to wear flip flops or easy-to-remove shoes to BJJ as there will be a strict “no shoe policy” on the mats.

What to bring to your first class

Aside from your training attire, remember to bring the following:

Toiletries (soap, toothbrush, etc)
Change of clothes
Water bottle
Support sleeves if needed (ie; knee supports, ankle support, etc)
Mouth guard (not required, but some practitioners like training with a mouth guard)
Hygiene basics for your first class
Since BJJ is a close contact sport, proper hygiene should be given the utmost importance. Below are some things that you need to remember to do before and during BJJ class.

Before class:

Take a shower
Brush your teeth
Trim your fingernails
Use a fresh gi and belt
Wear flip flops or shoes when outside the mat area
Do not train if you are sick
Do not train if you have any open wounds or skin infections
If you have long hair, tie it up
After class, make sure that you take a shower. Wash your gi as soon as possible, and never wear the same gi if you are planning to do another session on the same day.

How to prepare for your first class
Jiu-Jitsu is basically fighting on the ground. The goal is to get to a dominant position and apply a submission.

There are plenty of rules in BJJ, and there are also certain techniques or positions that are forbidden.

As a beginner, you only need to concern yourself with these:

You are not allowed to strike
You are not allowed to pull your partners hair
You are not allowed to place a finger in the eye or inside the mouth of your partner
You are not allowed to hold individual fingers and bend them
You are not allowed to reap your partner’s knee
You are not allowed to lift your partner and slam them
Preparing for your first rolls
Sparring or “rolling” can be quite confusing at first, but you will usually get the hang of it after a few rounds. There are some academies that let their students roll on their first day of class. A round is usually 5-7 minutes long and, for beginners, will start with both practitioners kneeling down. The goal is to get into a dominant position and look for a submission. If you are not familiar with submissions, then your goal is to just get to the most dominant position you can reach, usually the mount or rear mount, and maintain it.

What to know about submissions for your first classes
Submissions are chokes or joint locks designed to subdue an opponent. If a submission is being applied to you and you feel a definite amount of pressure, you can officially submit by using your hands to tap on the mat or on any part of your partner’s body, submit verbally by saying “tap”, or use your foot to tap on the mat. Likewise, if your partner submits, you must

immediately let go of the submission. There are plenty of submissions in BJJ but the best ones to learn for beginners are the armbar, Americana, kimura and rear naked choke.

Other tips for your first class
Research the basic positions. To make the most out of your first class, you would benefit from doing a little research on basic positions of BJJ. This will help you focus more on other details of the position during the actual class which, in turn, will aid you in absorbing the lesson more efficiently. You can check out our guide to BJJ positions for more information.
Don’t sweat the details. You do not need to memorize every single detail of the techniques taught, as you will go over those lessons again in future classes. Internalize as much as you can, and don’t sweat it if you forget some details during class.
Watch others roll. Before your first roll, watch the rhythm and pacing of the other more experienced students in the class. You will most likely be paired up with someone with more experience. Inform your partner that it will be your first time to roll, and after the roll, ask your partner for some tips on how to improve your movements. Get in as many rounds as you can. Don’t forget to breathe!
Try to make friends. Try to make new friends in your first BJJ class as this will make your next classes more enjoyable. Strike up a conversation with your drill or sparring partner by asking questions.
Have good hygiene. This has been mentioned above already, but it is probably the most important tip on this list – practice good hygiene. It would be better to invest in two or more gi’s so that you will have a spare. Make sure to NEVER use an unwashed gi and rashguard/undershirt for class. Not only will unwashed gis and rash guards smell, but that can hold bacteria which can cause infections to you and your training partner.
Next steps
You are now ready to take the first step into your Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu journey. Your first class will definitely be fun, but remember, it gets even better as you attend more classes and learn more techniques. Stick to it and you will be rewarded with some of the most memorable experiences of your life.
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2021 6:49 am

Thanks for sharing useful tips 8-)
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2022 2:24 am

To get the most out of your first class, it would be beneficial for you to do some preliminary research on the fundamental positions of BJJ. This will allow you to concentrate more on other aspects of the position during the actual class, which will aid you in retaining the information more effectively. For more information on BJJ positions, please see our guide to BJJ positions. In any case, thank you for sharing this fantastic post!
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2022 4:56 pm

The first class of BJJ is usually a little bit difficult as you will be taught new moves and positions. Definitely, You can master the moves in your first attempt but you should have to concentrate on your trainers and follow it properly. When I was taking my first BJJ class then I was quite nervous but when it started, it became enjoyable. But one thing that helped me a lot is that I have done some research on the BJJ moves and positions. I have read some blogs and watched the videos of the BJJ trainers. So you should take help from these platforms. One very important thing to remember is that the BJJ gear you will use should be comfortable and supportive.
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2022 9:17 pm

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Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2022 9:08 am

Thank you for this vital information! Much, I believe, is dependent on the student's motivation and resources. I have periods when I lack the energy to complete my tasks. In such cases, I turn to this source for assistance I believe that everyone can go through difficult times and problems in school, and that most importantly, they can resolve them in a timely and correct manner.
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