What to Know Before You Start BJJ

guerrilla-bjj-women-bjj-renoYou’ve toured Reno’s local BJJ schools, met different instructors, and now you’re taking thing to the try-out level with your very first class. If you’re wondering whether there’s anything to do to prepare or what exactly you can expect, this post is for you. Here’s what to know about your first BJJ class.

what to wear to your FIRST BJJ CLASS

If your first BJJ class is here at Guerrilla BJJ in Reno – and you know we hope it is – you’re in luck. We keep a clean loaner gi on hand just for folks like you, the ones trying out their first class before they make a decision. We recommend wearing close-fitting shorts or leggings and a fitted top beneath the gi, but that’s optional and the choice is yours.

If you’re rolling somewhere else, opt for something comfortable, like a tee shirt and board shorts or sweats. Avoid pants or shorts that have lots of pockets or belt loops, and don’t wear anything too baggy, either.

It’s a good idea to show up to your first BJJ class ten to fifteen minutes minutes early. And if you’re really worried about wearing the wrong thing, call the front desk and ask ahead of time.


This part is easy – once you have your clothes figured out, there isn’t much else that you need to do. Keep in mind that BJJ is a contact activity, so a basic hygiene standard does apply. Clipped finger and toenails are appreciated, and it’s considerate to keep long hair tied back. Remove any face or body piercings, as well as any other jewelry.

Cologne and perfume lovers, consider skipping the scent before class. And ladies, be mindful that makeup smears when you sweat – and you’re going to get sweaty.


If you haven’t already been to the school, getting there early is important for stuff like signing waivers, meeting instructors and generally checking things out. It’s always smart to visit at least once before showing up for your first class. You’ll be able to tell pretty quickly whether this is an environment that works for you, or if it’s the kind of place you can’t leave fast enough.

Depending on the school, the instructor and the class itself, class structure will vary. It could start with a simple or challenging warm up, or you may be instructed to drill solo, with your instructor offering tips and specifics to help you begin learning the movements. Remember that it’s totally normal and expected to find everything challenging. No one ever masters this stuff their first time on the mat, and progress only comes with practice.

If you’re feeling really nervous about your first class, ask about whether there’s an option for private lessons first. That will give you an idea of some of the basics before your first group setting.

Most BJJ classes will have drilling and live rolling. During drilling, moves are demonstrated and then broken down into their individual elements. Then the class has an opportunity to practice the movements with partners. During live rolling, students partner up to try different techniques. You’ll likely feel completely lost at your first class, but your instructor should be there to offer guidance and encouragement. You can also ask your partner for tips.

AFTER your first bjj CLASS

Right after your first BJJ class is a good time to ask questions about what went on during class or memberships. You should never be pressured to make a decision on the spot. It’s a good idea to take some time to think about the experience and the environment before signing up. Check out a few different schools to see where you fit in, and consider starting right here at Reno’s only Guerrilla BJJ school first.




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