A Beginner’s Guide to your First BJJ Class

BJJ is an increasingly popular martial art, thanks in no small part to its focus on self-defense and grappling. Whether you want to learn to protect yourself or want to step onto the competitive stage, knowing what to expect before you go in for your first class can help. Here’s everything you should know.

Prepare For Your First BJJ Class

Here are some things to consider before you go to your first BJJ lesson.

How To Prepare For The First BJJ Lesson (Mentally and Physically)

I think the most important thing you can do to prepare for your first BJJ lesson is to acknowledge that it’s a challenge, but one you’re doing to improve yourself. Unexpected challenges can feel like roadblocks, but when you know the hurdle’s there and willingly confront it, everything gets a lot easier.

The mental aspect of BJJ is more important than the physical part. It will be challenging, but if you focus on continuing through it, you’ll overcome those difficulties. Few things are as good for your self-confidence as doing well at something you used to suck at.

Now that we’ve got that out of our way, let’s get into some details.

1: Shower

First, make sure to shower before your first class. Many people shower at their local gym, but if that won’t work, you can clean up at home. If neither option works, you may have to get a little creative.

Try looking for a local pool or YMCA facility if you can’t get to another shower. These areas usually have showers you can access, though you may need a membership to use them.

Hygiene is a fundamental principle in life, but it’s vital when you’re sweating and in close contact with other people. BJJ is a grappling sport, so if your partner smells, you’re going to notice. Find a way to get clean before your first class.

2: Trim Your Nails

The second thing to do is trim your nails down to a safe level. BJJ involves grabbing and rolling. If your nails are too long, they could get caught on something and break. Worse, you could end up hurting someone, including yourself. Stabbing someone in the eye isn’t impossible with long nails.

The best length for nails is short enough that you can’t scratch anyone with them, even by accident.

Similarly, make sure you trim your toenails. It’s easy to forget about them, but BJJ is a barefoot sport, and your toenails could hurt someone. Make sure to file down sharp areas after trimming them as an added precaution.

3: Clean Your Mouth

It’s easy to forget about brushing your teeth before class, but this also helps. BJJ activities often end down on the mat, close to a partner’s head, and you can often smell if they’ve had anything particularly pungent to eat lately. Brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash help counteract that and make BJJ better for everyone.

4: Arrive Early

Make sure to arrive early to your first class. I recommend about half an hour before class starts, but individual gyms may suggest a different time frame. This period will help you complete the paperwork and go through your location’s introduction and onboarding.

Expect your gym to ask you about signing a waiver before your first lesson. BJJ is a martial art, and it is fundamentally dangerous. Even with training, there is a real possibility of hurting yourself, so gyms make sure you sign waivers to ensure you don’t hold them liable.

(Also, if you don’t trust them to take reasonable measures to keep you safe, why are you going to that gym?)

Arriving early also gives you a chance to introduce yourself and, in many cases, talk to the instructors before they have to focus on the whole class. 

5: Accept Humility

This can be a hard one in modern society. Work asks us to be dominating and humility is a bad trait in many roles. In BJJ, however, being humble and accepting your place as a student makes things go easier.

The reason is simple: outside of any other new students, most of the people in your class can probably toss you around with contemptuous ease, even if you have experience in another martial art. You’re going to hit the mat a lot when you first start, and if you get upset at losing, you’re only going to distract yourself.

However, unless you’re in a competitive match, taking a fall isn’t losing. You’re there to better yourself, and one of the best ways to learn is by experiencing what other people do. Improving yourself is the real victory, so relax about the rest of it.

6: Introductory Classes Vary

I wish I could tell you that there’s a single universal format for introductory classes, but there isn’t. However, most gyms fall into one of three common categories for new students, and you can ask your gym which style they prefer before you start.

The first format is private lessons. These are usually one-on-one with an instructor or possibly with a small group of brand-new students. Private lessons give you chances to ask questions and go through basic information before attending a regular class. They also help you learn how to fall and roll safely, which is critical for BJJ.

The second format is introductory classes. These look similar to private lessons at first but may have more students and teachers around to help out. Introductory classes can also serve as a review of the basics for experienced students. These are longer and have less personal attention than private lessons but cover more ground.

The final format is standard lessons. Some teachers have you jump right into the regular activities so that you can pick things up as you go along. It’s normal to fumble around at first, but once you do it a few times, things will start to feel normal.

Do I Need To Be In Shape First?

No, although it does help to be in shape. Here’s what I mean.

BJJ is a sport and martial art, and like most sports, you’re going to move around and burn a lot of energy while you’re doing it. I know many people who start martial arts like BJJ specifically to get in shape and learn some things simultaneously.

So, no, you don’t have to be in great shape to start. It will help if you are, but it’s not necessary. Your commitment and willingness to persist with the training matters far more than how in shape you are.

On a different level, being in shape doesn’t make as much of a difference as you may expect. 

You see, BJJ is different from most martial arts and doesn’t use the same muscles or techniques. Even if you’re fit, chances are you’re going to end up using muscles you haven’t trained as much before.

BJJ is challenging at the beginning for everyone, so there’s only so much you can do to prepare by getting in shape. Naturally, I encourage trying to be healthy regardless of whether you’re practicing BJJ or not, but don’t let your current fitness level stop you.

If anything, committing to studying BJJ can help you control your impulses and manage your health better. I think it’s better to start training, but if you want to get in shape first, try some cardiovascular and stamina exercises. You should see noticeable improvements within three months.

I recommend stamina training because BJJ classes can be intense, especially once you start grappling and rolling. A solid foundation of stamina will help you last the whole class.

What Should I Bring to My First BJJ Class?

There are several vital things to bring to your first BJJ class. The three most important things are your uniform, some flip-flops, and a drink. Water is great as a drink, but some people prefer sports drinks instead. BJJ can be exhausting, especially when you start, and hydrating is important.

Gyms may also recommend that you bring other specific items to your first class. This happens on a case-by-case basis. For example, if most people shower after their class, they may recommend that you bring a towel. Either way, bring everything they suggest but leave the valuables at home.

What To Wear

Wear your regular clothes to the gym instead of changing at home. You can change in a dedicated room. One of the main advantages of changing at the gym, especially when you’re new, is that you can ask everyone else to ensure you’re wearing the clothes properly. Other students are usually happy to check this for you.

The flip-flops are almost as important as your uniform. Most BJJ gyms have a no-shoes area. This may seem strange at first, but it helps stop people from tracking in dirt and germs from outside. That keeps the entire gym cleaner and safer with less effort from everyone.

You can expect to wear flip-flops anywhere inside the gym except the mat itself. This further reduces the spread of germs within the area.

Most gyms have a locker area where you can keep your things. Theft is rare among BJJ groups, but it can happen, so many people prefer being safe until they get to know the rest of the group. BJJ practitioners who work in a shared gym with many other people typically use lockers.

Proper Social Etiquette.

Social etiquette is important in BJJ. Some traditions exist for health and safety reasons, while others help foster camaraderie. Here are some of the main things to consider that we haven’t already discussed.

Wear A Clean Gi

Make sure to keep your uniform washed and clean. You may not need to wash it after every class but clean it regularly to ensure it doesn’t get too dirty or smelly. Nobody wants to grab a dirty opponent.

Don’t Train While Sick

If you’re feeling ill, skip class and stay home. You may be able to practice some moves solo, and it’s not worth infecting other gym members just to get a little more training. Rest up until you’re healthy, then go in again.

Be On Time

Show up on time for class and give it your full attention. Leave your smartphone behind and shut out the rest of the world until your class is over. Similarly, try to avoid leaving early unless you talk to the instructor beforehand. Waiting until class ends is always better.

Know Which Techniques Are Off-Limits

White belts (new practitioners) tend to have limits on the moves you can use in sparring. This is a safety issue because instructors don’t know if you have the training or experience to use those moves safely.

As a general rule, don’t use any technique your instructor hasn’t both taught you and permitted you to use in matches. If you have experience in similar martial arts and want to use techniques you learned there, ask first.

Avoid Sexual Commentary

This is especially important for men towards women, but ultimately it applies to everyone. Avoid sexual comments and innuendo. Do not grope others or otherwise try to handle them without their consent. Accidents can happen in a vigorous sparring match, but it’s your responsibility to manage your actions. Limit banter to things like BJJ or shared interests.

What Happens At A Typical BJJ Class?

Here are some things you can expect from a typical BJJ class, especially once you get through your initial onboarding.

Changing/Locker Room

Most BJJ gyms have a changing area, but it isn’t always a locker room as such. The specifics depend on the building you’re in. It could be some separate rooms, a traditional locker-style area, or even a curtained zone offering a little more privacy. Changing areas are typically split into male and female sections, but those with locked rooms for one person may not be.

Make sure to check what the changing areas are like before you start your class. Leave valuables at home or, at minimum, hidden in your vehicle. Depending on the gym, you may be able to drop off keys, a wallet, a purse, and similar items at the front desk and pick them up before you leave.

Warmups, Drills, Sparring, etc.

Most BJJ classes focus on the primary aspects of the sport.


Warmups are the first part of most classes. Warmups help you stretch your muscles and prepare for the lesson, which is important for safety. BJJ is a relatively intense sport, so keeping your body in good shape is vital.

Gyms have many warm up styles. Some places do things like movement sequences, basic drills, or assorted exercises. Some places even do some basic rolling as part of this.

Many gyms use the same warmup pattern for each class, but a few places vary exercises based on the focus of the day’s lesson. It’s all up to what the instructor wants, so listen to them and follow along with what everyone else does.

Don’t worry about looking silly with your warmups. Everyone knows it takes a little time to learn what you’re doing, and we’re not going to judge you for that.


Drills are the next part of many classes. In these areas, you’ll focus on practicing techniques and movements to help master them. Many drills require working in a pair. You could end up with a more experienced student who can teach you, or you might be with someone of a similar skill level so you can practice with each other.

Remember that drills aren’t about winning or losing, just learning the forms. As a beginner, one of the first drills you’re probably going to learn is break falling.

As the name implies, break falling is a technique for minimizing the effect of falling and breaking apart its impact on you. In other words, it’s teaching you how to fall correctly so that you don’t hurt yourself when people start using techniques on you.

Break falling is one of the core principles of BJJ. Even experienced instructors don’t throw students around at first, though they may have you move in slow motion to understand the movements and what’s happening. However, you may be able to skip this if you have experience with break falling from another martial art.

Outside of break falling, many classes focus on a single technique. Here, students will gather around the instructor as they demonstrate the strategy of a partner, and then everyone will break apart to practice it.


Sparring, or rolling as many people call it, is the free-form part of classes where you partner up with others and have the chance to try for submissions. In my experience, many people consider this the fun part of BJJ.

Sparring is often a flexible time for people, and many different things can happen. For example, a more-experienced student may ask to practice a technique on you that wasn’t covered in drilling, or an instructor may pair you up with someone and ask you to work with each other.

The most important thing to remember here is that sucking is the first step to getting better. Almost everyone loses a lot when they first start sparring, and that’s normal. It takes time to master BJJ, and it’s okay to tap out when you know you’re beaten. Once you get a handle on things, you’ll start winning more often.

The only way to get better at BJJ is to practice more often. Realistically, most people take a year or two to become genuinely decent, although it’ll probably go faster if you have experience in other martial arts. Think of this as a marathon, rather than something like a sprint. Steady practice wins the sparring.

Is A Beginner Expected to Spar?

Whether you end up sparring in your first class depends on your instructor and your experience. Many people don’t spar right away. Instead, the instructor may ask you to practice drills, especially break falls, until you have sufficient mastery of them. Do not engage in any sparring until your instructor gives you permission for that.

Remember, this is a safety thing. BJJ focuses on grappling and submission tactics. If you don’t know how to submit or make someone else submit, you’re not ready to spar. It’s okay if this takes a few classes.

What NOT To Do At Your First Class.

Don’t brag or make excuses. Avoid boasting about making someone else submit, and don’t make any excuses when you lose. Instead, thank your partner for the training. If you’re practicing with someone of a higher belt rank, consider asking what you can do better next time. Remember, being gracious will make you friends fast in BJJ.

Don’t leave the mat to get a drink or use the bathroom unless you genuinely have to. Leaving before class ends can be disrespectful, especially when it’s your first class, so wait until the instructor dismisses people.

Finally, don’t ignore others. Almost everyone there has more experience than you do. Even if you have a lot of experience in other martial arts, don’t use that as a reason to look down on anyone else. Instead, appreciate their help.

Post BJJ Class

It’s easy to focus on the class itself when you’re preparing for BJJ lessons, but don’t forget to make a plan for what comes next.

What Happens After BJJ Class Ends?

What comes after a BJJ class depends on the gym.

Many dedicated gyms have a period called open mat. This is when you’re allowed to use the area as you wish, though the instructors often aren’t around. People who enjoy BJJ and still have some energy left often use open mat times to get a few more rolls in and practice things that may be outside the day’s lessons.

If you don’t plan on using open mat times, or if you do that and finish up, you can do some post-exercise stretching instead. Doing this for about ten minutes can help you cool down a lot.

Post-exercise stretching is also a great way to make new friends. If you see someone else doing it, ask if you can join them and do it together. Most people are open to this, so it’s an easy start for conversations.

Chatting is also popular after classes. Some people talk before they change, while others do so in the lobby. A few people even go out and get meals together, although this is usually more of an occasional thing instead of something happening after every class.

Hygiene Tips

General hygiene is an essential part of BJJ. If you’ve just spent an hour sparring, chances are you’ve worked up quite a sweat.

If your gym has a shower, consider using it. If there’s a line, or you expect a line, try to get through in about five minutes. That’s enough time to shampoo, wash quickly, and rinse yourself. Nobody wants to wait around for too long, though it’s often polite to let higher-ranking students go first. If the line is long, try a Navy Shower.

Whether you shower or not, change back into your street clothes before you leave your gym. Changing will help ensure your gi doesn’t pick up too many more smells or make you smelly again after your shower. Many people put their gi in a duffel bag or a similar container before heading home.

Be sure to wash the gi before your next class. If you didn’t do much, that may not be necessary, but it’s always better to be cautious. Getting into the habit of keeping your gi clean noticeably reduces the accumulation of odor and bacteria.

Common Experiences/Problems After The First Class

Many people have trouble after their first few classes, so you’re not alone if you’re facing this.

The most immediate problem is a feeling of tiredness or soreness. BJJ is an intensive sport, and getting tired is normal, especially if you don’t have much stamina yet. If you’re too tired while driving, you could get into an accident, so consider resting somewhere or cooling down to recover some of your energy before you leave the gym.

Next, try to eat after class. How much sense this makes depends on the time of your lesson, but people who practice in the evening frequently have lessons from five to six, then clean up and eat after. If you live alone, consider preparing the meal ahead of your class so you don’t have to do more work when you get home.

If someone else is making your meal, try to give them a timeframe for your arrival. Consider calling or texting them after class so they have a better sense of when you’ll get home.

Go to bed early if possible. BJJ is essentially a full-body workout, and many people need more sleep after they start doing it. Getting an extra hour or two of sleep can make a real difference in how you feel.

Some people also use activities like yoga or massages after BJJ. Relaxation strategies can help reduce the aches in your muscles and make it easier to get a good night’s sleep.

I recommend scheduling your first BJJ class on a day when you have the next day off and can sleep in if necessary. You may still feel tired in the morning, so having a day planned for recovery can be much better than going in for the daily grind.

Take it easy the day after your first BJJ class, and don’t have another lesson the next day even if you had a lot of fun. Most people only go to classes two or three times a week.

How To Stick With JiuJitsu Even Though It’s Difficult.

It’s tempting to give up if you’re exhausted and just spent an hour getting tossed onto a mat, but I promise that BJJ gets far more fun once you’re past the initial steps. Here are my tips for sticking with it.

First, don’t be too enthusiastic. I know that sounds weird, but people excited about new martial arts may want to train as much as possible. Doing BJJ is the only way to get better at it, right?

Here’s the problem: BJJ is an intensive sport. It’s hard for experienced students to have classes five nights a week, never mind new people. It’s far too easy to burn out if you rush things, so limit yourself to one or two classes each week. This gives you time to rest and recover from your lessons.

Second, try to take classes on a consistent schedule. Making it part of your routine is far easier than changing which days you do it. Once you get into a habit of doing BJJ on specific days, you start making plans assuming you’ll do that. BJJ is already stressful for newcomers, and having too much variation in your schedule only makes that worse.

Third, don’t set unrealistic goals for yourself. It’s natural to lose practically every roll when you’re a newcomer. Set small and specific goals for yourself, and try to learn something for each match. Don’t be afraid to ask your partner for suggestions on how you can improve in different situations.

Once you’ve been at BJJ for a few months, you’ll start winning more often, and you’ll see the training pay off. As I said above, sucking is the first step toward getting good. You’re not failing because you’re submitting a lot when you first start, you’re just learning.

Finally, set a reward for yourself if you stick with BJJ for a set timeframe, like six months. A reward gives you something to look forward to regardless of your progress.

Common BJJ Beginner Questions

Here are some common questions that people have about BJJ classes.

Will my previous martial arts background help me in BJJ?

Yes, but not as much as you might expect. There are a couple of facets to this answer that I want to explain.

First, martial arts are not equal in what they teach. BJJ is a grappling style, meaning it focuses on grabs, throws, and wrestling techniques. This is different from weapon-based martial arts like kendo or strike-focused arts like muay thai.

The fact that other martial arts are different doesn’t mean they’re bad, but they won’t necessarily prepare you for BJJ. You may use significantly different muscle groups when doing BJJ, and if you haven’t already trained them, it makes sense that you won’t be as good with them.

However, there may be some genuine crossover of skills if you have experience with grappling styles. Wrestling has a natural affiliation with BJJ, as do any martial arts styles that teach you how to break your fall and recover. Experience falling can also toughen your body and make it easier to handle whatever your opponents throw at you (or throw you at).

Other martial arts styles can also improve your overall fitness and stamina, which are excellent for BJJ’s high-intensity sessions. You may not be able to use the same techniques in BJJ as you do elsewhere, but there’s no doubting the overall fitness’s value.

What concepts should a beginner focus on in BJJ?

As a beginner, the most important things to focus on are how to roll and general defense.

Rolling is a core technique in BJJ and helps you avoid injury when you’re tossed towards the mat, which will happen frequently.

Basically, you shouldn’t go into a match until you know how to have a match, including how to signal a loss and especially how to take a fall by rolling. Anyone who wants to throw you directly into a match is setting you up for injury.

Remember, you’re facing people who are more experienced than you, and a head-on challenge isn’t going to go well during your early classes. If you want to win, you can’t go straight for a victory and hope to overcome their skill. Instead, you need to learn survival skills first and only go for control and submissions once you can protect yourself.

You’re going to be in bad positions all the time as a learner, so this is a great opportunity to focus on improving your overall survival options. Remember, delaying an opponent can also frustrate them, causing them to make mistakes and giving you openings to exploit. Defense is better than offense in BJJ.

For that matter, being good at defense encourages more people to ask you to be their training partner. Outstanding defense makes you a challenge to be overcome, so you’ll have more matches that will help improve your skills.

How often should a beginner train BJJ?

Opinions vary on this, but I recommend training once or twice a week for at least six months. That’s enough practice to start getting good and learning the skills you need for long-term success in BJJ.

As a beginner, you have several primary goals while you’re training in BJJ.

The first goal is understanding the basic principles of the sport, including how to roll, how to break fall, and how to make your training partners submit. Whether you win or lose any specific roll is largely irrelevant as long as you’re learning.

The second goal is building up your stamina and endurance. BJJ is an intensive sport. If you don’t have the energy to handle several rolls in a row, you can’t learn as much. Consider performing some cardiovascular exercise outside of your BJJ classes, especially on days when you’re off.

The third goal is turning BJJ into a habit. It’s always easier to form a habit when you’re on a schedule and have an objective in mind. In this case, it’s better to have a series of objectives, including better performance in rolls and practicing for long enough.

As I discussed before, though, it’s important to avoid overdoing it. BJJ is a tough, intensive sport and most people cannot handle practicing it too many times a week. This is especially true for most beginners. It’s one thing if you’re an outstanding athlete and you’re used to heavy physical activity every day, but most people aren’t in that position.

In short, it’s good to train, but don’t train too much or you’ll only end up sabotaging yourself.

Is it common to get sick during BJJ practice?

Unfortunately, sickness can be common during BJJ practice. There are two potential causes of this that you should be aware of.

The first cause is interior sickness. BJJ involves a lot of high-intensity workouts coupled with throwing and falling, so it’s entirely possible to experience conditions like vertigo, especially if you hit your head. Most people learn to adapt to the effects and impacts of BJJ, so this usually goes away.

The other source of sickness is not practicing appropriate hygiene. This includes your teammates and training partners, and it’s why cleanliness is so important in this sport.

A key thing to remember about BJJ is that it’s a grappling sport. It involves frequent close contact with other people, and you may repeatedly press your body against someone else’s. If they’re dirty and have germs on their skin, those can transfer over to you and make you sick.

The best way to manage this is to ensure that you practice good hygiene and encourage everyone else at your gym to do the same. Cleanliness should be a habit in BJJ. If you go to a gym and see that it looks too dirty or that people aren’t washing, that’s a bad sign.

However, despite all precautions, there’s no denying that BJJ is fundamentally more risky than most activities. That’s the nature of close-contact sports, so be careful if you or someone you’re close to is immunocompromised

When will I get my first stripe in BJJ?

When the instructor thinks you deserve it.

More seriously, it varies by the gym, so there’s no universal answer to this question.

For those who aren’t familiar, stripes indicate your progression in BJJ and help you understand rank and seniority. Most belt colors have four stripes, after which you move up to the next color.

The most likely scenario is that you’ll get your first stripe after you have enough time rolling and start using real techniques on the mat. Some schools require you to memorize and use specific techniques and principles, too. This could involve a formal test of the skills, but it may also have an instructor watching you and seeing you perform them.

For the first stripe, expect to display your ability to perform rolls, basic mounting, shrimping, and basic escapes. Realistically, I think most students who attend class at least once a week will get their first stripe after four to six months. I’ve seen schools go as high as eight, but if you’re attending classes regularly and haven’t earned a stripe in that long, you may need more help.

One thing I can say is that you shouldn’t focus too much on the stripes. It’s easy to see them as a goal to pursue, but if you focus too much on the stripe, you may get upset if you see other people earning it faster than you.

Remember, everyone starts in a different place, and people don’t progress at the same rate. Instead, think of a stripe as something that just happens as you train. Let it arrive when the teacher thinks you deserve it and don’t spend too much time thinking about it otherwise.

How do I know if BJJ is not for me?

I love BJJ, but I’ll be honest, it’s not for everyone and I’d be lying if I pretended otherwise. 

First, it’s probably not a good sport for people with certain health issues. If you have problems like osteoporosis, BJJ could result in snapping bones quickly. Certain issues with immune system function or mobility impairments can also affect your ability to engage in this sport.

BJJ also requires changing your lifestyle to succeed. This sport doesn’t end once you walk out of the gym. If you eat terribly and laze around the rest of the week, of course you won’t see much improvement. You have to commit to a healthy lifestyle for BJJ, and if you can’t do that, you’re going to struggle.

Outside of those factors, BJJ can be difficult if you don’t have a way to maintain a schedule. If your job constantly changes your hours, it’s much harder to attend classes at a pace that works for you. Consistency is vital to improving, even as a beginner, so lifestyle challenges can make it much harder to participate in this sport.

With all that said, I want to add that things like anxiety about performing well shouldn’t stop you from participating in BJJ. Many people are nervous when they start, but martial arts are a great way to build confidence in yourself.

BJJ is exceptionally well-suited to this because it’s a heavily defensive martial art. This is a style that can help you protect yourself in everyday life, especially if you get into a close-quarters scuffle with someone. Knowing you’re prepared to handle problems is an amazing confidence booster.

With that said, if your health permits, I think you should give BJJ a try. Commit for a few months, and decide whether to keep going once you’ve trained for half a year.

How common are injuries for beginners in jiujitsu?

Injuries should be rare, especially among beginners. The key word in this answer is “should.”

Good instructors teach you how to roll before they ask you to do it. As a beginner, the closest you’ll get to someone throwing you is a slow-motion demonstration where someone supports your body and shows how things happen. Tossing you at a mat before teaching you how to land and not getting hurt in the process is foolish, reckless, and unnecessary.

Injuries can happen in any martial art, which is why you shouldn’t do things that can hurt other people until you have the skill and experience to avoid hurting them.

Think about learning to drive: Does it make more sense to throw a teenager in the driver’s seat someday, or to teach them about the vehicle controls and rules of the road before they even get in the car?

Sadly, some instructors ignore this and focus on putting people straight into matches. The theory here is often that learning by doing is better, and anyone who isn’t up for BJJ will just quit. Avoid going to schools with that kind of philosophy.

Instead, try talking with the instructor outside of class, perhaps over coffee someday. Ask them about their teaching style. If they focus on teaching you how to roll first, they’re probably a good school. Otherwise, look somewhere else.

Should I Watch a DVD Before My First BJJ Class?

Opinions vary on this one, but I think you should. However, skip the training DVDs because they may teach you things other than what your instructor wants. Instead, watch a few matches from people at different skill levels. This will help you better understand what you can expect from your BJJ classes in the future.

Is BJJ beginner friendly?

Yes, BJJ is friendly to beginners. You can start this sport from practically any skill or fitness level, though it does help if you’re already fit. As I mentioned earlier, experience in other martial arts only gets you so far in BJJ because different styles train you in different ways.

As long as you’re ready to handle getting tired at the end of class, you can get into BJJ.

Final Thoughts

BJJ is an active, engaging, and exciting martial art, but it’s more of a challenge than some other options out there. Fortunately, having the right expectations makes the entire process significantly easier.

In this article, I showed you how to plan for your first class, what you can expect during the class, and what you should do after. Now that you know what your first class should look like, find a good school and sign up today. The earlier you start BJJ, the sooner you’ll see results.

Otherwise, check out our guides and blog posts for more information on BJJ, including product reviews, guides, and other help for practitioners.

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