You’ve been curious to to give Jiu Jitsu a try for awhile now, but you’re still wondering what that first class will be like – and it’s keeping you from walking through the door. But guess what?
Jiu Jitsu students are a friendly bunch so chances are while you’re picturing a very intimidating environment, the reality is going to be quite different – welcoming and relaxed. We all remember what it’s like to get started, to walk in not knowing anyone and wonder what class will be like, and since we all love Jiu Jitsu, we want to make your first class a positive experience!
Jiu Jitsu classes begin with a warm-up. Each instructor has their own style or preference, but warm-ups can include running laps or sprints, body weight exercises such as push-ups and crunches, or drills and body movements that correlate to fundamental Jiu Jitsu movements. Most warm-up activities will be done individually, but some may require a partner.
For the instruction and drilling part of the class, the instructor will then demonstrate Jiu Jitsu techniques. You’ll be partnered with another student when it’s time to practice the techniques being taught.
Next, it’s time for live rolling or training. The instructor may start students off with a couple rounds of positionals – starting off in side control or mount and going live from there. Live rolls can vary in length from 2-6 minutes and typically start from the knees, but sometimes start from standing. This is more common for competition prep. It’s important to note that Jiu Jitsu schools each have their own rules for when new students begin to roll live. This is for your safety and that of other students.
Some schools, including Americana Jiu Jitsu, offer beginner-friendly classes that do not include live rolling. This helps focus your first couple of classes on learning the fundamentals of the sport and eliminates the intimidation of live rolling until you have some basic techniques under your belt. If your first class is an all-levels class, you may or may not be up for rolling live your first time on the mats. Either way, you should never feel pressured to do so. You can still learn a lot early on by watching more advanced students roll, and if you do roll live, a good instructor will partner you with an experienced student who works well with newer students.
Remember it’s very typical to feel like a fish out of water after your first Jiu Jitsu class, but if you’re intrigued or found what you learned fun, then keep coming back! It will all start to make more sense – we promise!