What to expect from your first bjj class
Every gym is different but here’s generally what to expect when partaking in any bjj class for the first time. Every gym will usually follow a similar enough layout though classes will always vary! First thing’s first, don’t worry about your fitness levels. You absolutely will build your fitness the more classes you attend and this will happen quicker than you expect. Jiu jitsu is great for overall fitness! THE GENERAL CLASS LAYOUT AND WHAT TO EXPECT Just looking to watch a class? Perfect! Most gyms will allow you hang around to watch a class to see what you’re getting into and help set your expectations and give you a feel for the gym and it’s environment. Usually you’ll be able to ask the coach any questions you might have. So make sure to ask away! Something to keep in mind if you are just watching isn’t that not every class is the same. If the class appears difficult you could have just caught the class on a day where conditioning and drilling is the focus, be assured this is not the case for every class however every gym will do these classes as competing athletes need the work! Usually there‘s a schedule so if you didn’t fancy the really tough classes you could avoid them until you build up your fitness or until you decide to start competing! The warmup, the difficulty may vary!! But don’t worry. For the most part warmups are short and to the point usually consisting of a couple of laps of the mat to get the blood flowing. Usually followed by some drills, drills will always consist of the basic movements of jiu jitsu. These are very important to help get you moving your body in the correct way. Most of the time these drills can be performed alone so you could always practice at home to build up the fitness and to help improve your jiujitsu. These can vary in difficulty and the drills will always change from class to class based on the technique that will be focused on during the class. Some drills to expect are: - shrimping - breakfalls - technical stand ups The technique Following the warmup the class will usually gather around the coach for the demonstration of the technique, for this part listen up and try not talk but if you have question be sure to ask them when the coach is finished talking! Usually at the end of the technique the coach will ask if anyone has any questions but if they forget to don’t be afraid to talk up and ask. They’ll be more than happy to help! Soon after you’ll be partnered with someone around the same height and size as you, this makes learning techniques better and easier for everyone. Now it‘s time to make a friend, introduce yourself to your partner and let them know it’s your first class. They’ll be able to help you more learning your first techniques. Some schools will have a beginners curriculum, usually cover the same basic techniques and positions and running on a cycle. So if you Jumped into class/week 6 dont worry the beginners curriculums will always cycle back to class one and continue to cover those basics and classes that you may have missed! Some basic techniques you can expect to learn: - upa mount escape - armbars/triangle choke from the guard - passing the guard - sweeping from the guard Rolling / Sparring first of all ground rules: -relax, don’t be rough -don’t punch or kick -no eye poking or hair pulling -pulling or twisting fingers -do not pick anyone up and slam them -if you’re uncomfortable TAP YOUR PARTNER OR SAY TAP. (LOUDLY!!!) Okay so we’ve gone through some ground rules, now onto the good stuff. First of all sparring or rolling is 1 on 1 with your partner for usually 3-5 minute rounds, you get to practice any techniques you know and you either work until someone is submitted and taps out or the timers runs out! Usually there will be lots of rounds! So if you don’t feel comfortable yet, DONT ROLL, you can also just try rolling for as many rounds as you’re able. That’s totally okay, you’re ready when you’re ready and your partner and coach will understand. However your main goal as a white belt is to learn to relax and keep safe from your partners attacks! After you learn to relax and breath youll be learning and picking up more techniques quicker than ever!