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BJJ Rules for Beginners

BJJ etiquette

Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a discipline steeped in tradition. Whether your goal is to compete at high levels, learn some self-defense skills, or challenge yourself to a tough workout, learning and following the sport’s etiquette is essential.

These BJJ etiquette guidelines facilitate a respectful and safe training environment while enhancing your overall learning experience.

1. Respect and Discipline – the Foundations of BJJ

The age-old master/student relationship in BJJ and other martial arts revolves around mutual respect and discipline. As a beginner, your BJJ journey begins with understanding and internalizing these values. Respect your instructors and fellow trainees, acknowledging their skill, effort, and the learning process.

2. Gi Maintenance – Cleanliness Is Key

Your gi symbolizes your dedication to the “gentle art” of BJJ. Ensuring it’s always clean for each class shows respect for the sport and your training partners while maintaining sanitation standards. Having two gis is practical – one can be in the wash, while the other is ready for training.

3. Nail Hygiene – a Small Detail With Critical Impact

Since jiu-jitsu is a close-proximity contact sport, practitioners must keep their nails trimmed. Since long nails can inadvertently scratch and injure your training partners, keeping them short and filing off any snags or hangnails is a small but essential part of your preparation for class.

4. Punctuality and Protocol

If you are attending a BJJ class for the first time, arrive at least 10 minutes early to meet your instructor, familiarize yourself with the gym, and ask questions about class policies. If you’re late, waiting at the edge of the mat for your instructor to notice you and give permission to join shows respect for the ongoing class.

5. Class Formation – Understanding the Belt Hierarchy

Like many martial arts, BJJ has a belt system that denotes a practitioner’s level. During class, students typically line up in order of belt rank from highest to lowest. This system is a nod to the respect for experience and skill within BJJ.

6. Training Etiquette – Be Considerate

When sparring or training with partners, always be mindful of their experience, size, and strength relative to yours. Moderate your strength and skill if you’re more qualified, stronger, or taller. The goal is to learn and improve together, not to overpower or dominate others. A considerate training approach prevents injuries and fosters a positive learning environment.

7. Post-Class Courtesy

After class, make it a habit to thank your instructor and training partners. This simple gesture of gratitude strengthens the bonds within the BJJ community. Additionally, always wait for the coach’s formal dismissal before leaving the mat or engaging in conversations to demonstrate your respect for the class and your instructor.

Living the BJJ Lifestyle

Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a rewarding martial art that offers numerous physical and mental benefits. You can maximize your BJJ journey by adhering to the fundamental rules of respect, discipline, and etiquette.

At Axiom Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, we encourage beginners to embrace these guidelines wholeheartedly as they explore this rewarding martial art. By training in BJJ at Axiom, you’ll enhance your mental focus, discipline, and self-confidence. We help adults and children get physically and mentally healthy with martial arts. Contact us to learn more about training with us.