No matter your age, athletic background or martial arts experience, there’s no escaping the difficult nature of starting something new, especially Jiu Jitsu.
When attending your first class you may feel out of place and not know what to expect… So here's 5 things to know ahead of time to make your first Jiu Jitsu class the start of an amazing journey ahead.
1. Come with an open-mind, no ego and student mentality.
No matter what your reason for starting Jiu Jitsu or what your goals are, what you take away from this discipline is something that you carry with you for the rest of your life. Whether that be life skills, self defense skills, friendships or fitness and wellbeing… you will take out what you put in.
But like anything in life, before you can reap the benefits, you need to put in the time and energy.
I’ll be straight up and let you know that Jiu Jitsu much resembles life itself. It’s a long-haul commitment with many ups and downs. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Some days you’ll feel like you’re doing great and making good progress (you probably are), and other days you’re reminded that there are many more techniques to learn, positions to understand, and levels to unlock.
Truth of the matter is, everyone sucks at Jiu Jitsu when they first start out.
When you look around the room and spot that purple or brown belt with a faded Gi and frayed belt, it’s hard to imagine them as anything other than a total beast.
But remember, that same rugged grappler was a brand-new white belt, just like you, and had to go through the exact same process of feeling like a fish-out-of-water when starting Jiu Jitsu.
Those who accept this reality and adopt an open-minded, student mentality with no ego, will take more away from the martial art and have a far better experience.
2. Personal Hygiene
Jiu Jitsu is a full contact sport, so it’s extremely important for everyone to take responsibility for their own hygiene.
At Ribeiro we make it a top priority to clean our mats every day to ensure everyone has a safe and pleasant training experience.
3. Beginner Class
Expect your first class to be like none other activity you’ve participated in. Jiu Jitsu is heavily based on technique so if you’ve never done any form of grappling, you’ll probably have no idea what is going on.
At Ribeiro, our philosophy of learning Jiu Jitsu focuses on starting from the ground up. This means learning the fundamentals, particularly survival and escapes before focusing on flashy moves.
The stronger your foundation, and the more confident you are at escaping bad positions, the more opportunity you will have at hitting more advanced techniques.
Our Beginner Classes are designed to give beginners a seamless transition into the martial art. You will learn your basic warm-up exercises, stretching routines, self-defense skills, and you will be given a foundation to build upon for the rest of your Jiu-Jitsu journey.
4. Proper Etiquette
Jiu Jitsu is becoming more modernised and many of the traditional unwritten rules are fading, however these are a few that our School upholds as a practice of discipline and respect.
Belt rank: The belt system in Jiu Jitsu is based on traditional Japanese martial arts.
Higher belts usually have right of way when rolling. For example, when lower belts come into close quarters of higher belts during a sparring round, the lower belts should stop and give way to the higher belts.
Bow when entering and leaving the mat area: Bowing is considered an expression of respect and gratitude for the opportunity to refine your understanding of the art. It is customary to bow when entering/exiting the threshold to the mat area.
Respect your training partner’s age and size: There’s no need to go full intensity against older training partners, even if they are more skilled than you. Feel out the intensity that your partner is giving you and flow with it.
Ego: Losing is a part of the learning process in Jiu Jitsu. When you accept this, your whole experience will become easier as you focus less on the outcome and more on what it takes to learn and progress one day at a time. When you get submitted or dominated in a sparring round, let go of your pride and accept the learnings that come from it. Tap early, tap often, and don’t be a sore loser. Remember, rolling is just practice and everyone is here to help each other get better.
No jumping/flying attacks: Not only are flying attacks banned for white belts, but the majority of catastrophic injuries occur from attacks where someone throws their entire body weight onto their partner in an attempt of an attack or takedown. You can practice these moves in your own time or under guided supervision from an experienced practitioner, but it is banned during class times.
5. Have fun
The most important thing I can tell you about your first Jiu Jitsu class is to have fun. The in-depth, problem solving nature of the art is what makes Jiu Jitsu one of the most exciting and rewarding martial arts to participate in.
You’re confronted with problems that you have to solve while under pressure, applying what you’ve learnt to achieve a goal - and if you make a mistake, you pay for them. But that’s okay. Because failure is part of the process and it’s necessary for your growth. Accept those mistakes, learn from them, and improve for next time.
At Ribeiro, we take pride in building a school of individuals from all walks of life, no matter their age, ability, or goals, everyone is the same on the mats.
To us, the Jiu Jitsu lifestyle means to be surrounded by good people who care, work hard, pass the art off, get better everyday, be healthy and happy. We accomplish this by adhering to the values of the 6 Blades: Family, Loyalty, Respect, Honor, Discipline, and Attitude.
If you’re looking to try something different, challenge yourself and learn a new skill while you’re at it, Ribeiro Jiu-Jitsu Perth is offering a FREE trial class to get you started on your journey. We provide you with everything you need for the first session including uniform. All you need to do is to book your session and show up!