When we started our Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) program at Master Pattillo Martial Arts, there was a buzz of excitement in the air. My adult students were excited to add Jiu-Jitsu to their martial arts training. The moms and dads of my kids program were excited to give the class a try, too.
On top of that, I was excited to have Adam Bowen, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt in the Pedro Sauer Association, teaching classes at my studio. Adam is a super nice guy who is very knowledgeable about Jiu-Jitsu.
Of course, I was really excited to have super-convenient access to top notch Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes!
A few weeks before classes started, I received a call from someone interested in our classes who seemed pretty excited about signing up but wanted to know something very important…
In fact, he had several questions about classes. It helped me understand that others might want to know the answers to his questions, too. So I’ll be covering these questions and answers as part of a series. Check out Part 2 – The Best Attitude to Have When Starting Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Part 1 – What to Expect at Your First Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) Class
When you walk into Master Pattillo Martial Arts for the first time you’ll be greeted by one of our staff. We will get you registered (if you’re not already) and set up with a uniform (often call a “gi” – rhymes with “knee” and starts with a hard “g” like “gum” or “good”).
We’ll explain our super-easy attendance system and you’ll be ready to step on the mat.
Typically class starts with a brief warm up that includes some light cardio and stretching. We may do some movement drills, as well.
Next, we will work on the various skills and techniques that we are focusing on for that day. These usually include self-defense techniques from standing positions, techniques from the ground, and positional techniques to help you get from a vulnerable position to one in which you’re better able to control a fight.
After class, experienced students often stay to “roll”. Rolling is the BJJ term for sparring – like practice fighting done with certain safety measures in place.
The Most Important Thing
Jiu-Jitsu schools can vary a lot in teaching style, whether there is a curriculum, and teaching focus (such as sport vs. self-defense).
Spend time observing the instructor as well as the other students. Are they supportive and helpful to the new students? Is there a curriculum you can follow to ensure you’re getting a solid foundation in the necessary basics? Does the school focus on the things you’re interested in?
Matt Pattillo is the owner of Master Pattillo Martial Arts in Winder, GA and Jiu-Jitsu Winder. A 6th Degree Black Belt in Karate, and head instructor since 2001, Master Pattillo has taught thousands of kids and adults in Barrow County, GA