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Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Class Etiquette

Hey everyone. We are very proud of the training environment we have all built at Joslin’s. Thank you for making the atmosphere one that is challenging, fun and welcoming to new students. Here are many ways to make your training more productive, safer and more fun.

BJJ Etiquette

  1. No shoes on the mat.
  2. Cut your nails and wash your hair.
  3. Wash your gi/rashguard/shorts before every training session.
  4. Don’t show up late to class if you can help it.
  5. If you are late to class, wait outside the mat for your instructor’s acknowledgement, then step onto the mat.
  6. Never show up half way through a class just to roll. If you want to roll, come to the whole class. Showing up just to roll, implies you don’t want anything from your instructor other than mat space and people to roll with.
  7. If you have to leave class early, inform the instructor at the beginning of class. If unexpectedly you need to leave midway through class, let your instructor know before you go.
  8. Keep your gi top on during class. If you absolutely need to remove it, ask your instructor first.
  9. Never ask questions while your teacher is showing the move. Wait until he is done and asks for questions, or until you and your partner pair up.
  10. Never challenge the teacher or “correct” his techniques
  11. Stay on task during the technique portion of class. Practice what your instructor demonstrated. Don’t start drilling the technique or variation you saw on YouTube the night before.

DURING ROLLING (SPARRING)

  1. If you have an injury, don’t expect your partner to read your mind. Tell them about it before you roll.
  2. Don’t smash people who are much smaller or a lot less experienced than you are. Let them into the game by allowing them to try techniques on you as well. Take time to work on your defenses and new techniques etc.
  3. Never stop rolling because you are tired. Try your best to finish the round. This will build your mental toughness.
  4. If you get the chance to spar with your instructor, don’t try and kill him.
  5. Try to keep your ego under control.
  6. During regular rolling, never stop the action to learn a technique or ask a question. Save the talking until after the roll.
  7. Never make excuses before a roll. ie. “I was out late last night and I’m a bit tired so you might kick my butt…”
  8. If you tell your partner you want to “just roll light”, don’t suddenly go 110% on them. Also don’t feign or complain about an injury before rolling, and then blast the other person with 110% intensity.
  9. Coloured belts: Dont be a bully, only choosing less technical people to roll with. Be sure to also choose many people that will give you a tough challenge. That being said, occasionally ask hard working lower belts to roll to help build their skills.
  10. Coloured belts: Don’t leg lock the newer white belts over and over again. Play the positional game with them and attack them will the moves/positions they will see most often to help them learn.
  11. When starting from knees don’t use this opportunity to immediately stand up and bull rush the person you are sparring with. “From the knees” means from the knees. Play a mix of top and bottom game. Don’t battle on the knees like a maniac trying to only play top position. Both you and your partner should each spend time on the bottom playing from the guard.
  12. Never make excuses when you tap out to or get dominated by someone in rolling. If someone gets your number on the mat, congratulate them for doing a good job.
  13. Don’t celebrate after tapping out somebody in class.
  14. If you spill some blood clean it up.
  15. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Never crank a submission. If you have a submission on someone and you are not sure if they have tapped, lighten up. Don’t keep putting on pressure just to get the tap. If they escaped because you relieved some pressure that’s not a big deal. You know you could have gone harder, and that your technique was locked on.
  16. Say “Good training” before the roll and “Thank you” afterwards.
  17. It is really bad etiquette to talk about who tapped who outside of class.
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