BJJ – What to Expect at Your First Class

If you’re in Reno and you’re ready to start training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, or BJJ, you have options. And while specifics will vary from one school to the next, here’s what you can generally expect at your first class.

What to wear for your first bjj class

First things first – what the heck should you wear? If it’s your first class, chances are good you don’t have a gi. That shouldn’t be an issue. If you’re checking out Guerrilla Jiu Jitsu at Freestyle Martial Arts Academy, we offer a clean loaner gi for your first class (which is also free). Form-fitting shorts or leggings and a fitted top will work well under your loaner gi, but some people prefer just the gi itself. In most cases, you should plan to arrive to your first BJJ class ten to fifteen minutes early, wearing something comfortable like a t-shirt and shorts or sweat pants. If you’re really worried, call ahead to the front desk and see what they have to say.

Tip: Don’t wear bottoms that have extra pockets, like cargo shorts, belt loops (easy traps for fingers and toes) or anything excessively baggy.  

how to prepare for your first bjj class

While there’s not much you need to do to prepare for your first BJJ class, there is a general hygiene standard. Clip finger and toenails, make sure long hair is secured in a ponytail or bun, and remove any face or body piercings and jewelry (necklaces, rings, etc.). You might also avoid strong perfume or cologne.

what to expect for your first bjj class

Again, plan to show up early to sign waivers and meet the instructor. It’s a good idea to visit the school once or twice before your first class, so that you’re familiar with the environment and dynamic. If you can sit in on a BJJ class, all the better. Get organized beforehand so you’re ready when class begins – that way, you won’t miss anything.

Class structure will vary depending on the school and the instructor. You may begin class with an easy group warm up or a heavier conditioning session. There may be solo drills, and your instructor will offer some pointers and specifics to help you begin learning these movements. Don’t feel bad if you struggle a bit – no one masters them on their first try, and with a bit of practice, you’ll improve quickly.

Pro tip: Ask the instructor if you’ll benefit from a few private lessons before jumping into your first group class. It’s a good way to get an understanding of some of the basics.

Most classes will also include drilling and live rolling. During drilling, the elements of particular movements are demonstrated and broken down. Then you’ll have a chance to practice them yourself with a partner. During the live rolling round, you’ll partner up and try out your techniques. In the beginning, you may feel a little lost, but your instructor will be around to offer guidance. It’s good to ask your partner for tips as well.

When class is over

After your first class, you’ll likely have questions. If you took advantage of the free first class at Freestyle, this is a good opportunity to speak with your instructor about the experience and discuss membership options. Keep in mind that you’ll need to get a gi of your own to continue. Most schools sell them, and they’re available online as well. Just ask before you buy – some schools have gi requirements.

It’s smart to check out a few different schools and see which environment feels right to you. If you’re ready to start training BJJ, we hope you’ll come and check out Guerrilla first.

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