What to Expect at your first BJJ Class
Doing anything new for the first time can seem daunting, so it can help to know what to expect ahead of time. Not all gyms are the same, and the following advice will not always apply. However, we want to provide you with a general idea of how your first day of BJJ will go, as well as some recommendations for how to prepare yourself, both physically and mentally.
Here are a few things you’ll want to bring to your first class:
- A water bottle… probably the biggest one you have. You’ll drink a lot of water!
- If you don’t already have a Gi, wear comfortable work-out type clothing.
- A towel. You will likely sweat a lot and while we all sweat, it’s nice to be able to mop off from time to time.
- Flip-flops or slides, NO SHOES on the mats, so easy removal is key.
- A good attitude and open mind. You are here to learn and it might not be comfortable!
One of the hardest and most daunting parts of starting any new training regimen is actually showing up. If you can do that, the rest will be easy and will get easier as time goes on.
Now that you’ve arrived for your first class, don’t feel obligated to remember everything you see and hear. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a journey, not a checklist of things to remember. There is so much to learn and since the sport is ever-evolving just use this opportunity to enjoy your new hobby/lifestyle.
First things first, the warm-up. From my experience, this is the most physically demanding aspect of the sport. There will be some new movements and phrases that will appear strange and unfamiliar, but this is where the foundation blocks of your game begin. This new type of cardio will test you beyond anything you’ve done before, so do not feel discouraged or get frustrated because you aren’t “good” at warm-ups. To be honest, my first class I didn’t even finish the warm-up; almost passed out due to the intensity and length. But don’t quit now because you weren’t the best at something the first try. The one thing I always tell new students is that, “We all have first days at something”, our skill has only increased from our consistency.
Drilling is next on the list, this is where you will learn the movements and details of certain positions. Try to focus on just the move and do your best; if you don’t remember when the class is over, don’t worry the technique that was drilled will be the focus of the next few weeks.
Last but not least, probably the most anticipated part of class: it has many names, live rounds, sparring, going live, whatever it is called, this is where you get to practice what you’ve learned in a live situation. This is your first class, so the first round or two, the instructor will have you watch, just so you can comprehend what it will look like when your turn comes up. You might remember a part of what was taught, but now you have to try it with an opposing opponent. Do what feels natural, and try what was taught, but this is where most of your frustration can come from. Remember to just have fun, and BREATHE, when we are stressed physically our natural instinct is to stop breathing, but if you can remember to do that, along with everything else in class you’ll be alright. Our goal is to help you improve yourself, while also having fun and building relationships with your new fellow teammates.