Three Things to Know About Your First BJJ Class

guerrilla-bjj-renoYou’ve finally pulled the trigger on Brazilian jiu jitsu, and your very first class is today. That’s awesome! Hopefully, you read our post about what to do before your first class, and you’ve already toured the facility and sat in on a class or two. You’ve met the instructors and you’re ready to get started. But maybe you’re completely winging it, and this will be your first introduction to everything. Either way, here are three things to know about your first BJJ class.

YOUR FIRST BJJ CLASS – what to wear

You may not have a gi just hanging around the house, but don’t panic. Here at Guerrilla Jiu Jitsu at Freestyle Martial Arts Academy, we can loan you a clean gi to wear for your first class (which also happens to be free). We recommend close-fitting shorts or leggings and a fitted top to wear underneath the loaner, but some people are happy just wearing the gi by itself.

It’s also a good idea to show up to your first BJJ class at least ten minutes early. You can wear something comfy, like a t-shirt with board shorts or sweat pants. But if you’re really stressing about what do wear, just call the front desk and ask.

Avoid bottoms with lots of pockets (think cargo shorts). It’s also smart to steer clear of pants or shorts with belt loops, which tend to trap fingers and toes, and anything too baggy.


There really isn’t much preparation that goes into your first BJJ class, but be clear that there is a basic hygiene standard. Give yourself a once-over to make sure your finger and toenails are trimmed, long hair can be secured out of the way, and any body or face piercings are removed (along with any other jewelry). If you’re partial to perfume or cologne, maybe lay off it before class. And ladies – you’re going to get sweaty, and your makeup will smear (all over you and your partner). Go for the natural look in class – it’ll be appreciated by everyone.

YOUR FIRST BJJ CLASS – What to expect

If you haven’t already been to the school, getting there early will give you time to sign waivers, meet the instructors and check things out. It really is worth your time to visit once or twice before showing up for your first class. You’ll know pretty quickly whether this is an environment that suits you, or one that makes you want to run away as fast as possible.

Depending on the school, the instructor and the students themselves, class structure will vary. Class might begin with an easy warmup or something a little heavier. You may be instructed to do some solo drilling, with your instructor giving pointers and specifics to help you begin learning the movements. Don’t feel bad if you find everything to be challenging. Remember that no one masters this stuff their first time on the mat, and that with practice comes progress.

If you’re feeling especially nervous about your first class, ask about whether you can jump into a few private lessons first. That way, you’ll have a general understanding of some of the basics.

Most BJJ classes include drilling and live rolling. During drilling, the elements of particular moves are demonstrated and then broken down. Then it’s your turn to practice the movements with a partner. During live rolling, students partner up to try out techniques. Rest assured that you’ll probably feel completely lost, but your instructor should be there to offer guidance and encouragement. Asking your partner for tips is also a good way to learn.

After class

If you have questions about class or memberships, your instructor will be happy to answer them when class is over. Don’t feel pressured to make a decision on the spot – it’s okay to think about the experience and the environment before diving in. Keep in mind that it’s smart to check out a few different schools to see where you fit in. Just make sure Reno’s only Guerrilla BJJ school is on your short list.

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