For many people, the thought of walking into a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) gym for the first time can be quite frightening. You have no idea what your instructors or training partners are going to be like, and you know everybody there is going to be better than you at BJJ.
The truth is, there is absolutely nothing to be worried about. Your first BJJ class will be a memorable occasion that you will remember fondly years after.
BJJ is a modification of ancient Jiu-Jitsu, focusing mostly on grappling techniques. The word “Jiu-Jitsu” roughly translates to “the gentle art” in English, and it is an appropriate name for this combat style. BJJ teaches you how to use leverage, technique, and superior grappling techniques to subdue a stronger, larger opponent.
BJJ has emerged as one of the most effective martial arts ever developed. An untrained person would be completely in over his/her head grappling with a person who has only trained BJJ for a few months. It dominated the early days of mixed martial arts as Royce Gracie – the son of BJJ creator Helio Gracie – easily defeated all of his opponents during the first two Ultimate Fighting Championship tournaments.
What to expect during your first BJJ class
No one expects you to be the second coming of Royce Gracie during your first BJJ class, so there is absolutely no pressure on you. Here are some reasons why you should not be afraid to attend your first class:
1) You get to train at your own pace
During your first few weeks of training, your instructors will spend a lot of time observing your fitness level. You will be shown a few drills at the start of class, and you will be encouraged to do them at your own pace.
Don’t worry about the person doing them faster than you can; just focus on learning and doing things properly. Your instructor will stress this out to you during each class, and they’ll never try to make you move faster than you’re comfortable with or mock you for not performing as well as the other students.
2) Everyone can relate to you
Regardless of where you decide to train, everyone there has been in your shoes at some point in their lives. No one is born with a black belt tied around their waist. Everyone starts from white belt then works their way up.
It means your training partners know exactly how it feels to be the new student. They will go out of their way to make you feel welcomed, and they’ll serve as a support system that guides you as you familiarize yourself with the new environment.
3) You learn practical techniques that work
One of the most fun parts of your first day of training BJJ is the techniques you learn. The instructor typically breaks down one or two moves, and you get to drill them over and over with your training partners. By the time the class is done, you will have a solid grasp of how each move works.
You will eventually get to test them out on your training partners when you roll.
— Evolve MMA (@EvolveMMA) March 16, 2019
4) Rolling is not compulsory
If you were worried about getting tapped a lot during your first BJJ class, the truth is you will probably not roll that day. While BJJ encourages sparring a lot more than other martial arts, some instructors make their students wait for a few weeks before they are allowed to roll with the others. They do this to give you a chance to learn the fundamentals, so you don’t feel helpless when you roll.
When you do start rolling, you will likely be paired up with the more advanced students. That’s good for you since the more advanced students tend to be the best training partners. They will give you tips and pointers while you roll, and they are knowledgeable enough to answer any questions you have.
5) You learn every time you tap
Getting tapped out is part of learning BJJ. There is no way around this. What you should focus on is learning as much as you can from each rolling session. Do not get sucked into thinking sparring time is a chance to show off your skills, it isn’t. No one is keeping scores. Sparring is the time you perfect your techniques against someone who isn’t cooperating with you. It’s one of the main reasons why BJJ remains one of the most effective forms of self-defense. People who train have countless hours of sparring time. It means they can usually execute their techniques on others with or without their cooperation.
— Evolve MMA (@EvolveMMA) April 21, 2019
6) Your quality of life improves
Nothing balances your life out like BJJ. It gives you an intense workout and is extremely fun to be a part of, so you can easily spend hours at the BJJ gym without even realizing it.
Start training BJJ, and watch all your excess layers of fat melt away. Combine your training with a healthy diet for even more impressive results. Training BJJ goes way past burning fat and toning muscles. Exercise causes a release of dopamine, which makes you feel good after training. That elevated mood can last the rest of the day.
BJJ also improves your problem-solving skills. It is one of the most cerebral martial arts, and it requires you to think a few steps ahead of your opponent in order to successfully set up or defend against submissions, sweeps, and reversals. Your improved problem-solving skills will make it easier for you to tackle any obstacles that pop up in your professional or personal life.
It doesn’t stop there though. The combination of all the things listed above and learning how to defend yourself makes you a more confident person. You’ll feel good about yourself, and, as you progress through the ranks, you will realize you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.
So as you’ve learned, when it comes to BJJ there’s nothing to be scared of. Book a complimentary trial BJJ class with us today.
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