What to Expect For Your First Jiu-Jitsu Class
Are you just visiting our school for the first time? Is this your first class? Have you ever trained in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu before? All these questions will be answered here.
Every school is different. Watch a class, meet the teacher. Whatever you do, ask some questions before getting on the mat.
What should I wear?
A Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gi, or uniform, is not necessary for your first class. A t-shirt and shorts, or sweatpants, will do just fine. For protection, you can use knee braces, ear guards, a mouth guard, cup, etc. Clothes with extra pockets, belt loops or baggy fabric are dangerous. Fingers and toes will get caught in them, and this martial art is all about gripping.
Make sure those fingers and toenails are well-groomed. If your finger are toes get injured, wrap them in athletic tape. Long hair should be put up in a ponytail or bun. Any piercings need to be removed for safety.
When should I arrive?
Show up a couple minutes early. If you haven’t already, introduce yourself to the instructor. Take a tour, check out the school. You will probably have to sign a waiver. Prepare yourself before the start of class, get dressed and stretch out on the mats.
Speaking of warming up, beginners should start light. In time, you will move on to heavy-duty conditioning. For now, participate in the group warm-up. Pay attention to solo drills like forward and backward break falls and shrimping. These will help you learn how to fall safely and move your hips on the ground.
What techniques will I learn?
For your first class, you will be partnered with someone. Have that person show you to your own section of the mats. Sometimes, you will practice a beginner curriculum. Other times, you will simply do whatever techniques are being taught that day.
The first mount escape you will probably learn is called the upa escape. This fundamental escape allows its user to get out of a horrible position and enter his opponent’s guard to work a pass. When first learning this move, it might be confusing. Certain movements or controls lead to a bad escape, which can lead you to getting arm barred. Other basic techniques include guard pass to side control, taking mount from side control, and the Americana armlock(no-gi) or cross collar choke (with gi).