Beginning BJJ: How to prepare for your first class

Perhaps the hardest step to make when deciding to start Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is the first step, actually going to a gym and deciding whether to observe or participate in a class. From personal experience, it is usually fear of the unknown that prevents us from making that first step towards trying something new, perhaps if we had some insight and expectation before we turn up to our first class then it’ll make us feel more comfortable in such an unfamiliar situation. This post is dedicated to letting you what prior preparation you should consider before attending your first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class.

What should I wear?

What should I wear for my first BJJ class? Before you come to your first BJJ class, you’ll need to figure out what you’re going to wear.

For your first class you do not need a gi, the school you are training at should be able to provide a spare gi jacket for you to use or the should be able to show you variations of the techniques being performed in class in a way that does not require the gi.

Recommended clothing for your first class would be a tshirt and shorts/jogging bottoms. Try to avoid wearing clothing that is baggy, has big pockets (like cargo shorts/pants) or anything that has zips/buttons no the outside in case a toe or finger gets caught up in them.

finally, as a general rule of thumb for 99% of gyms is that no shoes are to be worn on the mat at all times. This is for hygiene and safety reasons.

General Hygiene

Although most people don’t need their personal hygiene to be explained, it’s worth iterating that before you participate in your first BJJ class you should make sure that your finger and toe nails are trimmed, if you have long hair you’ll probably want to have it tied up so that it doesn’t get in your own way or caught up in something and if you have any piercings, please take them out before class to ensure nothing gets caught on them

Let the instructor know you’re visiting

It’s always a good idea to inform the instructor in advance that you intend on visiting the class and if it’s you’ve done anything before. This will mean that the instructor will be expecting you and they can also plan to greet you and take you through things in good time before the start of the class.

Turn up at least 10 minutes before the start of the class

It’s always to plan on coming to your first BJJ class early, this will give you time to get used to your new surroundings and also to introduce yourself to the instructor and meet the other students that will be attending the class. This also permits time to go through any protocols required by the Academy for instance signing a waiver form.

What if I just want to watch the class?

You’ll be more than welcome to observe a class at any gym you decide if BJJ is for you or not however most instructors will strongly encourage you to join in with the class and experience it for yourself.