What to Expect and Prepare for in Your First BJJ Class

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is one of the fastest-growing martial arts globally, and for a good reason—it’s effective. Many consider it one of the most influential and realistic martial arts in real-life combat situations.

Wondering what to expect when you go to your first Jiu-Jitsu class? Well, worry no more because this article will help prepare you for your first foray into the gentle art.

How to Prepare for a Jiu-Jitsu Class

To prepare for your first Jiu-Jitsu class, you should have a general idea of what to prepare for. As a beginner, you only need to concern yourself with these:

  • Have the proper clothing, such as a jiu-jitsu gi or a rashguard and shorts.
  • Familiarize yourself with the rules of jiu-jitsu. They are easy to learn and very useful in class. If you are unsure, don’t hesitate to ask your instructor.
  • Arrive relaxed and ready to learn. If you are nervous, you will miss much of what is taught.

Should I Wear Footwear to a Jiu-Jitsu Class?

A general rule is to not wear shoes or sandals on the mat. Mat-friendly shoes with good grips, such as wrestling shoes, can be worn to protect certain foot injuries but be sure to check with your instructor beforehand to avoid any potential damage it may cause to the surface of the mats. Another guideline to follow would be to always wear shoes or sandals when walking off the mat or using the restroom to minimize the spread of germs and bacteria to the mats.

What to Expect in Your First Class

Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art focused on fighting on the ground, primarily with submissions. The structure of an average BJJ class:

1. Warm-Up

Warm-ups in a Jiu-Jitsu class consist mostly of bodyweight exercises to build strength and cardio conditioning along with technical movements and stretches. The warm-up portion of the class is crucial as being properly warm before training prevents potential injury and allows for more ease of movement.

2. Technique

Technique is the time of class in which the students are taught a new technique. The technique can be just about anything from a fresh take on an old move to a brand new submission created by the instructor. This portion of the class often serves as an opportunity for students to ask questions about any problems they may have with a technique or position during sparring.

3. Sparring

Sparring or “rolling” is the part of the class in which most of the training occurs. It is the most physically demanding class time, as you are engaged in a full-contact roll with another student where you are both actively trying to submit each other.

4. Cool Down

The cooldown is a time of sitting or laying on the mat. It allows the student to rest their muscles and stretch out if they sustained any injuries during the sparring portion of the class.


Jiu-Jitsu is an excellent form of self-defense. It is also very challenging, exhilarating, and fun. Most importantly, it can save your life. Don’t be intimidated by the thought of a Jiu-Jitsu class. Do your research, find a good instructor, and get out there and give it a try. You’ll be glad you did. And remember: train hard, stay humble, live well.

The Marcus Soares Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy offers the best training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu from beginners to professional MMA fighters, as well as law enforcement. At our Academies, students are family, and friendship and trust are what we offer first and foremost. We always do our best to help our students reach their goals, whether to get fit, learn Self-Defense, prepare for competition, or pursue a career in MMA or as a BJJ Competitor. If you’re looking for BJJ training in Vancouver, new members are always welcome to join our team! Get in touch with us today for any inquiries.