When you sign up for a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) academy, you're embarking on a journey into a martial art that emphasizes ground fighting, leverage, and technique.

What Happens When you start BJJ


Here's a general overview of what you can expect once you sign up:

  1. Orientation and Introduction:

    • Tour: Most academies will give you a tour of the facility, introducing you to the training areas, locker rooms, and any other amenities they might have.
    • Meet the Instructors: You'll likely be introduced to the head instructor and other coaching staff.
    • Paperwork: You'll need to fill out registration forms, waivers, and possibly set up payment arrangements.
  2. Initial Classes:

    • Beginner's Class: Many academies have specific classes for beginners, ensuring that new students get foundational instruction before joining more advanced classes.
    • Warm-up: Classes usually start with a warm-up consisting of jogging, stretching, and specific BJJ-related movements like shrimping, rolling, or breakfalls.
    • Technique Instruction: The instructor will demonstrate a technique or a series of techniques. Students will then pair up and practice these techniques under the instructor's supervision.
    • Sparring (Rolling): As a beginner, you might not spar immediately, but once you do, this is where you'll apply techniques in a live setting against a resisting partner. It's a form of "live drilling" and is central to BJJ training.
  3. Learning Curriculum:

    • Self-defense Techniques: Many academies start with teaching basic self-defense techniques that are applicable in real-world scenarios.
    • Positional Hierarchy: You'll learn about different positions like the guard, mount, side control, and back control, and the importance of each.
    • Submissions: These are techniques to make your opponent "tap out" or submit, including chokes and joint locks.
    • Escapes and Defenses: Equally important are techniques to escape from bad positions or defend against submissions.
  4. Etiquette and Culture:

    • Gi and No-Gi: Some classes require a gi (a kimono-like uniform), while others are no-gi (typically shorts and a rash guard). You'll learn how to wear and maintain your gi if required.
    • Bowing and Respect: Many academies adopt certain customs like bowing when entering or leaving the mat area.
    • Tapping: You'll learn the importance of "tapping out" when you feel caught in a submission, signaling to your partner to release the hold.
  5. Progress and Promotion:

    • Stripes and Belts: As you progress, you'll earn stripes on your belt and eventually new belt colors. The typical progression is white, blue, purple, brown, and black, with several stripes in between.
    • Seminars and Workshops: Many academies host special events where renowned BJJ practitioners teach.
  6. Community:

    • Building Relationships: BJJ academies often foster a strong sense of community. You'll build friendships, train with a diverse group of people, and support each other in your BJJ journey.

Remember, every BJJ academy has its own culture and approach, so experiences can vary. It's essential to find an academy where you feel comfortable, align with the teaching style, and enjoy the community.