What to do on your first day in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu!

Walking into a new room, ANY new room, can be daunting!

But maybe martial arts gyms are the worst place to walk into! Do you bow? Do you call the coach Sensei? Do you have to know some special handshake!!!!

You’re going to find out pretty quickly that no one takes themselves very seriously here, and the only thing we do take seriously is training properly.

A lot of times, people are afraid of starting a martial art because they perceive that there are rules and an etiquette that they don’t understand. We understand this. Years of watching crazy Karate instructors in Movies or on youtube would make anyone worried that when they walk into a BJJ club, they’re walking into a foreign land. This is not the case. You’re going to discover that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu draws from every walk of life, and that everyone will be there for the same reasons as you. While there will be some cultural nuances that you’ll discover around Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training, there won’t be anything weird or unusual. Most of these traditions are just practical things and are based around hygiene and respect for each other.

So to help you, here are some Beginner Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Dos and Don’ts that might help you when you start.

1. When you arrive…
DO introduce yourself to the coach or instructor when you arrive. You’ll be made welcome and the coach will know your name and that you’re new. Most of the time, the coach will make time to come to say hello to you as well, so you’ll probably meet halfway. At Kyuzo we always have someone to welcome you, introduce you to the coach and walk you around a bit to get familiar with the place.

DON’T  be shy and sneak in to the back of the class. The coach will want to see you and meet you, and will make time for you if he or she knows you’re brand new.

2. When you walk onto the mat…
DO wear your shoes to the edge of the mats and remove them before stepping on. If you have a pair of flip-flops, use those to walk from the changing rooms to the mats. We go barefoot on the mats and training Brazilian Jiu jitsu is a barefoot pursuit, but make sure to wear shoes off them.

DON’T walk off the mats in your bare feet. Most BJJ clubs are careful about the cleanliness and hygiene of their training area, and at Kyuzo we are particularly careful about keeping our training surface as hygienic as possible. Most of the time you’ll get away with a “first offence” and someone will remind you politely to wear footwear, but be prepared to be frowned at if you go to the bathroom in your bare feet. Don’t worry, you’ll be the one doing the scowling in a few weeks! A pair of €2 flip flops or even your shoes beside the mat are just fine.


3. When you start training…
DO call the coach over of you need help. Coaches want to help and understand things can be tricky at first. A good coach wants to be asked questions and will be happy you’re asking. We don’t stand on ceremony and believe it or not, YOU are our priority in our Brazilian Jiu Jitsu beginner classes! That sounds obvious but sometimes newcomers feel like they may be an inconvenience to the Black Belt who is coaching them.

DON’T be afraid to speak up if you don’t understand something or if you think a movement is beyond you. If you’re starting from scratch, you’re going to need some guidance and that’s what coaches are there for. Every BJJ Black Belt at the club has been EXACTLY where you are right now!

4. While you’re training…
DO engage in all of the games, warm up movements, and drills. Showing a coach that you’re willing to give everything a shot is a great sign. Almost everything that you do to warm up will have a point- either by just getting you warm or by teaching you a movement for Jiu Jitsu. So engage in everything, even if you don’t get it right first time.

DON’T sit off or skip a drill. If you’re really concerned about your ability to do something, see point No. 3. Call the coach over and ask, but remember that some movements might take a few sessions to get used to. That’s no problem. Take your time and be patient. If there’s something you’re particularly uncomfortable doing, no one is going to force you!

5. At the end of class…
DO shake hands with everyone. It’s a nice way of thanking your training partners for their help, and to thanks the coach for his time. It also helps to build a relationship with the people around you who are training with you. It’s a good opportunity to ask your new team mates for advice and pointers too.

DON’T leave your first class without saying goodbye. The coaches and staff will doubtless want to know how you got on and how you enjoyed the class. They might have some hints and tips for you too, so stick around.

Oh, and by the way, don’t call your coach Sensei! We usually just use first names. We have several coaches here, but our beginner class is usually taken by Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt Andy. If you’re not sure who is who, Coach will do!


Kyuzo is Dublin’s Premier Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and MMA club for Beginners in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Grappling, Mixed Martial Arts, Children’s Classes, and Martial Arts Training. Contact us now for more information. members@kyuzogym.com and remember to keep glued to our facebook page for more articles, offers, and Beginner courses.

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