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How To Prepare For Your First Jiu Jitsu Class

women doing Jiu Jitsu

How To Prepare For Your First Jiu Jitsu Class

Taking your first Jiu Jitsu class can be intimidating. Even just getting to this article may have been unfcomfortable as you navigate through this new experience. Here are 5 tips to make the start of your journey a little smoother and more comfortable.

1. what to wear and bring to jiu-jitsu

As you progress through your jiu-jitsu journey, you’ll likely develop your own preferences for attire and gear. For getting started, here are the basics that will keep you safe and clean. As a quick note, it’s always a good idea to ask someone at the facility if they have any requirements for training. 

  • Lower body – it’s hard to beat leggings/spats! We recommend a length that will cover your knees to protect your skin. You may feel more comfortable with shorts over your leggings but in most places it is not a requirement. Not a fan of leggings or spats/spandex? Any kind of athletic pant without zippers will work (zippers or other ornate metal items can damage the mats or hurt you/your parnter). Short are acceptable but your knees may pay for it. We’d recommend spandex type shorts or shorts with some kind of lining so that you’ll stay covered in amy position. 
  • Upper body – T-shirts, moisture wicking shirts, long sleeve shirts, and rashguards are preferred. Essentially, anything but tank tops. Again, this is mostly to preserve your skin.
  • What to bring – A water bottle is always a great idea. If you tend to break a sweat easily, consider bringing a towel as well. Mostly on your first day you will not need much more than that, but other items that may help include: flip flops, an energy bar or drink, and a shirt to change in to.

2. What to expect when you arrive at class

We recommend arriving 5-10 minutes early to class. In most cases, you’ll meet the front desk personnel, sign a waiver, and take a tour. The first thing to ask about (but you’ll likely be told) is the shoe policy. Some schools will have you remove your shoes upon entering. Others, like Fit to Fight®, allow shoes in all common areas and only require them to be removed before stepping on to the mat. 

Prior to class you’ll meet the coach and maybe even meet some other class participants. Your coach will likely partner you for the class, so if you’re a wallflower this will be your chance to sti back and wait. At some point though, you’ll be expected to select a partner to work with (Jiu-Jitsu is about building confidence along with those physical skills).

3. How to get the most from your first class

Breathe, relax, have fun, and pay attention to details. That’s about it! As coaches, we hope new students do their best to learn and have a fun class. There’s no pressure to be the next fenom in the sport or to walk in knowing the positions and moves. Try to mimc what you see and your partner will help you along the way. There will be plenty of opportunity for hard-core, serious training down the road. For your first class, just relax, breathe, and enjoy! 

4. making decisions under stress

You may get the opportunity to try to apply what you learned in a more live or dynamic environment. This is done through drilling or rolling. Once resistance is a part of the equation this adds a bit of stress to the moves you learned. You will likely not be as precise as you were in class while you attempt to make your moves work on a resisting partner. Again, it’s all part of the process. Have fun and embrace losing as you get started, failure is the best way to learn!

5. choosing to return for another class

You made it through your first class! Now what? Here are some things we recommend considering as you determine your next steps in training: 

  1. Were the interactions you had friendly, inviting, and supportive?
  2. Was the environment comfortable, safe, and clean?
  3. How did other the coach interact with you and other students?
  4. How did other students interact with you and each other?
These are not simple questions that come with clear answers. In fact, 2 people at the same first class may have the same responses to these questions and one of them loves it and the other hates it. 
Training is a uniquely personal experience. You have to determine for yourself if you enjoy the environment, the people, and the sport itself. We recommend taking a couple classes before deciding if it’s a goood fit for you. Get the nerves and first class jitters out then see how you feel as you start to establish a routine. 

Like most first experiences, getting started is awkward and you may feel anxious about trying something new. Just know that everyone in the room was new to it once. They understand what it’s like and they want to help you have a great experience. 

Best of luck on this new journey!

– Coach Amber

BJJ Brown Belt