Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a martial art known for its effectiveness in self-defense and combat, as well as its numerous physical and mental benefits. If you’re considering starting your BJJ journey, your first class can be both exciting and a little nerve-wracking. But fear not! In this beginner’s guide, we’ll walk you through what to expect on your first Carlos Machado Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class at Triumph in Pella, covering everything from attire and etiquette to fundamental techniques.
1. Dressing the Part: What to Wear
One of the first things you’ll need to consider is your attire. At Triumph Martial Arts have a dress code to maintain hygiene and safety. Here’s what you should wear to your first class:
- Gi (uniform): For traditional BJJ classes, you’ll need a Gi, which consists of a jacket and pants. New members typically don’t have a gi – but no worries, we have clean gi’s and white belts ready to lend!
- T-shirt or Rashguard: Be sure to bring a clean workout shirt or rashguard to wear under your gi.
- Hygiene: Make sure your body is clean and free from excessive perfumes and/or colognes. Check your nails (fingers and toes) and trim them if necessary. You’ll be in close contact with training partners, so good hygiene is essential.
2. Etiquette in the Dojo
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, like all martial arts, places a strong emphasis on respect and discipline. When you step onto the mats, here are some etiquette guidelines to keep in mind:
- Bow: It’s customary to bow when stepping on or off the mats as a sign of respect.
- Listen to the Instructor: Pay close attention to all instructions, and don’t interrupt or talk while your instructor is teaching or demonstrating a technique.
- Respect Your Training Partners: Be mindful of your training partners’ safety and well-being. Tap out (tap your opponent or the mat) when you’re caught in a submission or when you feel discomfort.
- Keep It Playful: BJJ is often referred to as “rolling.” During sparring sessions, focus on learning and having fun rather than winning at all costs.
3. Warm-Up and Drilling
Classes typically begin with a brief warm-up to prepare your body for the techniques you’ll learn and practice. Afterward, you’ll move on to drilling specific techniques. Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with the movements; everyone starts as a beginner.
4. Technique & Flows
Each class will cover a few techniques – some new, some review. These are demonstrated by the instructor, and then practiced with a partner. New techniques are done without resistance, as it’s an opportunity to learn and improve. These techniques are often paired together to create a ‘flow.”
5. Sparring (Rolling)
Sparring, also known as “rolling,” is a crucial part of BJJ training. It’s where you get to apply the techniques you’ve learned in a controlled, live situation. Beginners may start with light and controlled rolls, gradually increasing intensity as they gain experience.
If it’s your first class you will may work situational positions (like escaping mount), and not engage in full rolls.
6. Questions and Learning
Don’t hesitate to ask questions! BJJ is a learning process, and your instructors and training partners are there to help you improve.
Remember, the first class can be challenging, but it’s the beginning of an exciting journey. Keep an open mind, be respectful, and enjoy the experience. With consistent practice, you’ll soon find yourself progressing and reaping the many benefits of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at Triumph.
Good luck, and welcome to the world of Carlos Machado Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu!
Triumph Martial Arts is a martial arts and self-defense school with locations in Pella, IA and Clive, IA. We specialize in Carlos Machado Jiu-Jitsu, KMF-AC Krav Maga, and ATA Martial Arts. We feature award winning programs for kids and adults under the direction of internationally-certified instructors.