Thinking About Trying Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?

What To Expect On Your First Day

Every school is different, but hopefully this will help you understand how most Brazilian Jiu Jitsu schools operate, including ours – Atos Jiu Jitsu Hamilton.

At most schools, you can watch a class, meet the instructor and ask some questions before ever getting on the mats.  At Atos Jiu Jitsu Hamilton, we also encourage you to jump in and try out a free Beginner’s Class, which can be booked online or by contacting us at the school by phone or email.  But, there is no pressure, if you want to watch a class before trying it, that is ok too! Just check out our schedule which is posted on our website and come on by and watch a class.

You should try to show up a couple minutes early to introduce yourself to the instructor and check out the school. You’ll also need to sign a waiver before getting started.

You usually don’t need to own a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu uniform for your first class. At our school, T-shirts, board shorts or sweat pants are all perfectly fine. Some schools let you rent a uniform for your first class but for us, you can just wear something you are comfortable working out in.  Just a heads up though, you will need to purchase a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu uniform, if you decide to continue training.

Please don’t wear anything with extra pockets or belt loops. These are dangerous since fingers and toes can get caught in them. It is definitely ok to wear a knee brace, cup, mouthguard,  etc. as well as taping up any injuries you might have with athletic tape.  In fact, you will probably see quite a few people taping up their fingers before class begins!

I also recommend bringing a bottle of water. 

Make sure your finger and toe nails are well-groomed. Long hair should be tied into a ponytail or bun during class. You should also remove any piercings to prevent injuries. BJJ is a close contact sport, so please be on top of your personal hygiene and shower regularly.  Nobody wants to be the stinky person in class. 

Class Breakdown

Some instructors use a very light warmup, whereas others start the class with a more intense warmup. Most classes start with a group warm-up, such as running laps and doing push-ups, followed by solo drills like forward and backward rolls, bear walks, break-falls, some shrimps along with some stretching. Some of the movements might be new to you but don’t worry your instructor is there to help you. Our warmups will help you learn how to fall safely as well as to develop your physical coordination so that you can move your hips and body on the ground which will be essential as you begin to progress in BJJ.

After warm-ups, the instructor will go through a few different techniques which you will practice with a partner.   At some schools, you will practice a beginner curriculum, and at others you will simply do whatever techniques are being taught that day. At our academy, we have a specific program designed for beginners so your entire class will be geared towards your learning.

After the technical portion of the class, you will usually have time for some live positional drilling or some live sparring.  This will give you the chance to try out the techniques that you just practiced against a resisting opponent.  For example, if the technique you practiced in class was an escape from side control, the drill might involve starting in side control and trying to escape while your partner tries to keep you in side control.  (You will be shown what side control is during class, if you don’t know what I am referring to).  Please keep in mind the following safety rules that we have in place:

·       No striking, punching or kicking.

·       No eye gouging or hair pulling.

·       No twisting or grabbing fingers.

·       No slamming (picking someone up and dropping them).

·       No heelhooks (twisting the foot or knee).

·       No neck cranks.

You need to have training partners in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, so it is important to keep each other safe and not injured.   It is also important to learn to tap.  Tapping is the way you let your partner know to let go.  If you feel yourself caught in an armbar or choke, by tapping your partner or by saying “tap” you will let them know to stop and you will both reset.  Tapping is part of the game and if you aren’t tapping then you aren’t improving.  It is important to be in bad positions and learn what works and what doesn’t so don’t feel discouraged if you find yourself tapping a lot.

Before you go home

After class, if you have any other questions about pricing, schedule etc your instructor would be happy to answer any questions that you might have.  If you decide you like it and want to purchase a gi, most schools will have some for sale (we do at Atos Jiu Jitsu Hamilton). If you already have one, that is ok too, as long as, it is white.  We have a white gi only policy at our school.