Embarking on a new journey in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) can be one of the most exhilarating and empowering experiences of your life. Whether you’re looking to learn self-defence, improve your fitness, or simply take on a new challenge, BJJ offers a multitude of physical and mental benefits. However, walking into your first class can also be intimidating and confusing. But don’t worry. We’re here to help you navigate through your first BJJ class and ensure that you have a positive experience!
Today, we will outline what to expect during your first BJJ class and provide some tips on how to prepare for it:
1. What to Wear
The first step in preparing for your first BJJ class is to ensure that you have the appropriate attire. Most schools will allow you to wear comfortable athletic clothing for your first few classes. It’s best to opt for clothing that is form-fitting and made from moisture-wicking material to ensure you remain comfortable throughout the class. Avoid wearing loose shorts with pockets, as they can get caught during training.
If you decide to continue training, you will eventually need to invest in a BJJ gi (kimono), which is the traditional uniform worn during class. A gi consists of a jacket, pants, and a belt that indicates your rank. Make sure to choose a gi that is comfortable and durable, as it will experience a significant amount of wear and tear during your training.
2. Warm-up and Stretching
Your first BJJ class will likely begin with a warm-up, which can include jogging, jumping jacks, or other exercises to get your heart rate up and your muscles warmed up. Following the warm-up, the instructor may lead the class through a series of stretches to improve flexibility and prevent injury. All of these are essential to prepare your body for the class, as BJJ can be physically demanding.
3. Technique Demonstration and Drilling
After warming up, the instructor will demonstrate a technique for the class to practice. These techniques can range from basic movements and positions (such as the guard, side control, and mount) to more advanced submissions and transitions. As a beginner, you will likely start by learning fundamental techniques to build a strong foundation.
Once the instructor has demonstrated the technique, you will partner up with another student to drill the move. Drilling involves repeatedly practicing the technique to build muscle memory and improve your understanding of the movement. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask the instructor for help if you’re struggling with a specific aspect of the technique.
4. Rolling (Sparring)
Rolling, or sparring, is a critical aspect of BJJ training, as it allows you to apply the techniques you’ve learned in a live, controlled environment. Rolling typically involves starting from a specific position (such as the guard or side control) and working to submit your opponent or improve your position.
As a beginner, it’s important to approach rolling with a learning mindset and focus on using proper technique rather than trying to “win” the match. Remember that tapping (submitting) is a natural part of the learning process, and there’s no shame in tapping out during a roll.
5. Cool Down and Reflection
After rolling, the class will usually conclude with a cool-down period, which may include light stretching or a discussion of the techniques covered during the class. Take this time to reflect on what you learned and ask any questions you may have about the techniques or concepts discussed.
Your first BJJ class may be challenging and intimidating, but it’s essential to remember that everyone starts as a beginner. Embrace the learning process, ask questions, and enjoy the journey. With time and consistent training, you will develop the skills and confidence to excel both on and off the mats. Welcome to the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu!
Marcus Soares Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu offers the best BJJ training for everyone at any skill level, whether a beginner or a professional MMA fighter. If you’re looking for BJJ for adults in Vancouver, reach out to us today and sign up for our classes.