It’s January and we have some new faces in the gym. Here are 6 tips to help you get acquainted with the martial art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and with the gym. Please note that these are for our gym in Dublin, so if you’re reading this from another part of the world, your coaches’ rules for their BJJ class might be different! These are just our hints!
1. Ask questions in class- It can be hard when you start a new activity of any kind, but coaches and senior members are always available to you if you have questions about anything, and I mean anything. There’s always a good Q&A time at the end of each class for people to ask questions about problems they are having with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu technique, and after training try to pick up some hints from people who are more experienced than you. Remember that everyone is on your team in the gym and will be happy to show you where you may have made an error or where you can most improve. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions on etiquette and so on.
2. Train as much as you can- There are 2 specific Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu beginners classes per week but there are also lots of other sessions you can attend. How about popping in on your lunch break on Thursdays at 12 for the Afternoon class with Graham, or indeed his Tuesday class. We also have a mixed level BJJ class on Saturdays at 12.30 pm. At the beginner level, literally every session improves you so make the most of it!
3. Try, try and try again- When open rolling (sparring) starts, try to perform the techniques you’ve learned as much as possible, and then try to analyse why they didn’t work with your partner or coach. Try to be as technical as possible and remember, only repetition will allow you to perform the Brazlian Jiu Jitsu techniques you learn. Drilling them is important but so is trying to do them when your opponent doesn’t want you to.
4. Arrive as early as possible- It’s best to be at least 10 minutes early for class to have plenty of time to change, loosen out and be ready to step onto the mats for warm up. We all have some times when we can’t avoid being late, but if that happens, come on to the mat, and let the coach know you have arrived. A quick “sorry I’m late” is all that’s required. Whatever you do don’t slip onto the mat unnoticed as this can disrupt class planning. Arriving early also gives you the chance to chat to people from the class and get to know your training partners.
5. It’s not just a class or a gym, it’s a club- What this means is that we’re a bunch of people training together to help each other out, not just attending a class. So never worry about asking anyone a question or even offering help to someone newer than you. Stick around after sessions to watch the advanced BJJ class train, and after a few week’s training don’t be afraid to stay on yourself if you feel you’re able. Remember that everyone here was like you once!
6. You’ll never know unless you go- Going to your first class is the hardest, most daunting part of the training, so a lot of people put it off, and off, and off until eventually they never take that first step. Don’t do that! Act today to come and join!