You’re on your way to your first BJJ class, aren’t you? All excited and cannot wait to hit the mats, right? Cool!
However, before you get to your first training session, hear us out… There are some things that a lot of jiujiteiros will tell you they wish they’d known before they started training. So, stay one step ahead – and learn about these things right now!
MIND YOUR HYGIENE
One of the first things your instructor will probably tell you is that you need to mind your hygiene when on the mats, both for your comfort and of your training partners.
This, most importantly, means: keeping your toenails short, so you don’t scratch someone mid-roll. It means keeping yourself clean by showering before training and keeping your breath fresh, so you don’t tap someone out with tuna-breath… Which leads us to the next thing you’ll find useful to know about BJJ!
You’ll be advised to tap sooner rather than later; in other words, to tap whenever you see even a glimpse of potential for getting hurt. And that’s important to remember: you’ll often tap out too early, but that’s okay! You need to do so, until you get a bit of time under your belt – after which you’ll be much more capable of gauging if you can prevent the tap for a bit longer.
Also, tap loudly! This means that it’s good practice to tap with your hand (onto your training partner’s body, preferably) and simultaneously exclaim: „Tap!“
Sometimes, in the heat of battle, just physically tapping out might not be registered by your partners. So, in order to make sure that they don’t hurt you, make sure to say that you’re tapping as well.
NO TALKING DURING TECHNIQUE DEMONSTRATION
Unless your instructor asks you if you have any questions, sustain yourself from talking while he’s demonstrating a technique.
Talking while your instructor is explaining something isn’t only disrespectful towards them and their efforts to clearly present you with tools for BJJ success; but it’s also disrespectful towards yourself, as you’re going to miss out on a lot of great details that are being shown!
NO TALKING WHILE ROLLING
Sure, you may become good friends with someone and cannot wait to tell them about that great movie. But do so after class, not while rolling.
It’s just annoying to have to roll with someone who talks all the time and isn’t focused on training. Don’t be that person – when you roll, roll well. Talk afterwards.
You’re a new kid on the block now, which means you’ll probably want to prove yourself a bit! That’s completely fine, but there is the right way and the wrong way to do so.
The wrong way is to use brute strength, hectically moving around in order to escape a bad position or do something when on the offense. This is called spazzing, and it can end in hurting both yourself and your training partners… So don’t be the „spaz guy“, but instead prove yourself by paying attention to the techniques shown and by trying to emulate them properly.
TAKE CARE OF SICKNESS
If you’re sick – if you have a flu, a skin infection or something else – please, stay away from the mats!
Rest until your flu, skin infection or other conditions retreat completely. You might be fired up to train through it, but keep your teammates in mind. Do you want to get them sick? Of course not. So, take some time off… And you will be that much more respected by your training partners and instructor alike.