What You Should Know Before Starting Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

What You Should Know Before Starting Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Congratulations! You stopped overthinking and you took a leap of faith – you’re going to have your first Jiu Jitsu class tonight! Awesome, well done! However, there are some rules that you should know about before stepping onto the mats. These rules are meant to be followed at all times; succeed in doing so, and you’ll gain great respect from your coach and training partners.
Let’s see the 5 rules on how you should behave in a BJJ class – which will set you off to a great start.



The first rule you need to obey is to trim your fingernails and toenails. This is important for multiple reasons:

1) Protecting your training partners from unwanted scars, injuries and subsequent infections;
2) Protecting yourself from injury (a broken nail doesn’t sound nor feel like fun);
3) It’s just a… Common sense and general hygiene thing.

Pretty reasonable, right? Well, a lot of students come to class without having done this. So, to start off on a good foot, come in with trimmed nails; and to continue being on good terms with the people in your academy, keep this habit forever.



Secondly, when at class, listen to what your professor/coach is talking about. He is giving his time and energy in order to provide you with the knowledge necessary to become better in Jiu Jitsu. He is investing great efforts into the academy, you included, so that you can make progress and improve as much as you can.

Pay attention to what he has to say – and then do it. Show gratitude, show respect; the last thing he wants is to see that new guy looking around the gym while he’s explaining some important points about a technique.



Whenever something isn’t clear, feel free to ask your instructor and your training partners. Everyone’s there to help you out, to show you what you need to improve and what you can do better. However, don’t go overboard with the questions.

You don’t want to be the guy who asks questions all the time, for every single detail and every single possible variation. Take it easy; BJJ basically has an infinite number of possibilities and options within itself, so it’s impossible to know (and ask about) them all.
Stick to the main points and details, try to get them on point. Other stuff – it will come, so don’t be the „obnoxious“ guy.



Okay, this one is fairly easy to understand and implement: don’t slam people. Listen, when you’re in someone’s Closed Guard or when someone has your back, don’t try to get rid of their control by lifting them up and then slamming them down onto the floor.
This is something that new students are notorious for doing – sometimes they even slam their training partners by using their whole bodyweight as a reinforcement too.

This is unsportsmanlike, can get your partner’s ribs cracked and give them a concussion, and is illegal in the vast majority of competitions. Don’t do it, it’s really that simple.



Lastly, out of respect to the martial art and to your coach and training partners, don’t make excuses. Not when you tap out, not when you don’t know something, not when you’re tired; unless you feel REALLY tired – depleted – don’t ask to take a break.
You’re here to become a better version of yourself, and that includes pushing through some struggle. Your coach and teammates will respect you that much more for it, as well as you’ll do yourself.