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First Jiu Jitsu Class
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First Jiu Jitsu Class

It can be nerve wracking doing anything for the first time. Attending jiu jitsu is no different. Your first day of jiu jitsu will be a time where you get to learn your school's training etiquette, you will meet some of your future training partners, and will begin training yourself. There are some things you may wish you would have known before your first jiu jitsu class.

Be there early. That's right, early. You always want to get to class around ten or so minutes early so that you have enough time to change in the locker room and get situated. Even if you come to class already wearing your gi, which is perfectly fine, be there early enough to be called on, instead of walking on the mats late after class has already started. In most dojos, once an individual is late, they must be invited onto the mat by the instructor. This shows a sign of respect.

Bring sandals. In between class, when water breaks or available, or whenever you need to step off the mat quickly for whatever reason, you do not want to go bare footed. Walking bare footed around the dojo is very unsanitary and can bring unnecessary particles and germs onto the mat, not to mention onto yourself. Please do not be one of the people at the dojo who are walking around bare footed and even shower bare footed or without sandals.

Leave your ego at the door. It's your first day of jiu jitsu, be humble about it. Nobody expects you to be a black belt. Even if you have some grappling experience from another art like judo or wrestling, just be humble and learn the techniques that are shown to you. You can implement your new techniques into your game and mix them well with your old ones. Do not try and prove something to your training partners by refusing to tap out because you are too much of a macho man or macho woman. If the person has the submission on you, tap, and be able to train another day. Tapping is a learning experience, and should not be seen as a failure. Also, don't try to tap a higher rank belt just to prove that you are above them or want a higher tank. There's nothing to prove.

Don't explode. It's way too common new white belts on their first day, or rather on their few few days of class, try to explode out of everything and use short bursts of energy to get out of submissions, or transitions. These explosions defeat most of the purpose of the technique and by no means show that you are good at what you are doing. In fact, they are counteractive because you are bound to lose your energy by exploding.

Listen. Make sure that you listen to your training partner, and also make sure that they listen to you. If your training partner is injured and asks you to roll slowly, or to watch out for his or her arm cause it's been hurting for the past few weeks, don't be the one to just attack that arm and that arm only. Also, if you're in some sort of pain or have something that you feel needs to be brought to your training partners attention, let them know. Remember, your ego has been left at the door and therefore it is okay to admit something is bothering you.

Self defense: Remember the majority of the brazilian jiu jitsu dojos now a days teach jiu jitsu a lot of the times geared for sport and competition. The majority of techniques work in the street, but it must be kept in mind that sport and street self defense do differ. The reason I mention this is because you do not want to keep interrupting your instructor by asking, "what if he knees me", or "what if he kicks my leg there", etc. It's great to ask questions, but these techniques are the best for what they were designed for, grappling, and not as much striking. You will really benefit from jiu jitsu regardless if you are in it for sport or for street fight encounters. For those of you who are very interested in the street aspects and techniques to keep in mind, the Gracie Combatives training is available, which helps prepare you for those encounters. Understanding the different preparations of jiu jitsu sport vs street are important, but keep in mind that all techniques can be applied in certain situations. And as you begin rolling and developing your game, you will come to the realization as to what techniques you feel will work for you in particular encounters.

Have fun. Your first day is the beginning of a whole new experience for you. The jiu jitsu journey is a long one full of hard work, and excitement. There are ups and downs, but there's only going forward once you begin. Every experience is a lesson you can benefit and learn from. So be humble about it, and have a great time, you will do awesome if you keep your mind open and be genuine with your training.

Best of luck to all of you who are beginning your jiu jitsu journey, enjoy!


Street Talk

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