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What to Expect at Your First Jiu-Jitsu Class

You’re excited. Why? Because your first Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class is near.

You imagine all of the great things you’ll gain from training: athleticism, feeling good, doing something beneficial for your body, and, of course, developing your self-defense skills.

But you’re also a bit nervous because you’re not entirely sure what to expect. After all, this is your first time trying Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and you’re not familiar with the sport all too well.

Don’t worry - everyone starts somewhere. What matters most is that you show up, do your best, ask questions, and stay consistent.

With that said, we’ve compiled a list of four things you should expect at your first Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class. Let’s see.

1. A Friendly Atmosphere

Many newcomers feel paralyzed. They feel like they are entering a hostile environment full of overconfident trainees looking to prove themselves by beating up newbies.

This couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Though Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art, the environment is friendly, and everyone is there to better themselves and help others. Newcomers are always welcome, and most trainees are more than happy to help them get started.

Everyone remembers the initial confusion and frustration of martial arts training, so they are happy to give helpful advice to new people.

2. A Warm-Up Sequence

Warming up before any workout is essential, so you can expect a warm-up sequence before training begins. Different coaches tackle warming up in their unique ways. Some do a thorough warm-up session full of conditioning work; others do some basic warming up and mobility work before moving to the meat and potatoes.

In any case, you can expect some basic warm-up activities like running for a bit, doing some agility work, and performing various activities to raise body temperature further and get the blood flowing.

Don’t worry; there is nothing to get nervous about. Do your best and copy others if you don’t understand something.

3. Technique Learning

Each school tackles this in its own way. For example, you might receive special beginner classes in some schools. The goal is to give you a basic understanding of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, techniques, foot placement, stance, and similar. In other schools, you might start learning what everyone learns for the day.

To do this, you will go on the mats and get partnered up with someone.

4. Getting to Understand Position Before Submission

At its core, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is about gaining control over the opponent. Once you’ve achieved a specific degree of control, you attempt to submit them and win the bout.

Position refers to your body’s relative position to that of your opponent. Submission refers to the act of making your opponent surrender, such as by using a joint lock or choke.

Position before submission is about teaching newcomers the differences between various grappling techniques and what advantages each offers. Certain positions and methods allow one to gain better control over their opponent. This would allow them to strike them or attempt a submission without risking an escape or counter-attack from the opponent.

Once beginners understand this, they can use it as a foundation to learn how to better advance to positions of power and overcome their opponents. This also means learning how to escape from a compromised position and switch the dynamic.


Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a refined art and one that teaches you how to use your body to dismantle, throw down, and submit opponents in mere seconds.

Of course, before you can get there, you first need to attend your first class. So, if you live in the Santa Clarita area, come down to Dreams Martial Arts and Fitness for your first class.

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