Etiquette on attending classes

By Younis

BJJ Centre Line

Before attending your first class it is important you familiarise yourself with the below in order to ensure you are well prepared to take part in the session with a good understanding of what is expected of all of our students.

  • No Shoes on the Mat
  • Wear shoes or flip flops when going to the bathroom
  • Trim your finger and toenails
  • Wear clean gi or no gi attire – Wash your stuff after every workout (including your belt)
  • Be clean, smell clean and brush your teeth before going to class
  • Never train when sick or with skin bacterial infections
  • Respect the tap – Always
  • Familiarise yourself with the rules of sparring and which techniques are acceptable, if you are unsure just ask the instructor.
  • Show respect for the class and instructor – Be on time, leave on time and be focused during your time on the mats in order to get the most out of the session.
  • Know when it is time to drink water and use the restroom
  • Show respect for your teammates when drilling and rolling
  • End a roll with a handshake and a positive show of appreciation towards your training partner.
  • Be Gracious in Victory and Defeat – Don’t boast about submitting someone, Do not make excuses when submitted

Please find a bit more explanation on some of the points below: 

No Shoes on the Mat

This is pretty straightforward: do not wear shoes and sandals onto the training mats (the gymnastic looking practice mats) in the gym. Leave your shoes or sandals onto the side of the mats. Respect the mats (tatami) by not walking on them with the dirty bottom of the shoes or sandals. We should always foster a clean and hygienic atmosphere on and off the mats.
Wear shoes or flip flops when leaving the mats especially when going to the bathroom
It is important we keep the mats we train on as clean as possible, by wearing footwear when leaving the mats we can help the mats stay as hygienic and protect our training environment. The mats are cleaned on a regular basis as we take the hygiene of our training environment very seriously.

Trim your finger and toenails

Always trim your nails. Having long nails can harm your teammates and cause cuts or worse eye injuries.

Wear clean gi or no gi attire

Do not spread bacterial infections by not regularly washing your workout gear. So wash your gear after every training session (yes after every training session).

Be clean, smell clean and brush your teeth before going to class

BJJ is a close combat martial arts – It is important we keep good personal hygiene.

Never train when sick or infected with skin bacterial infections

It is unfair to pass on illness or infection to our training partners, we expect we have something that we could pass on. It is our responsibility to avoid training until we can return without the risk of passing on an illness or infection to our teammates.

Respect the tap – Always

In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu we must have a lot of trust in our partners and teammates on the mats. To let our partners know that they need to release a submission or a position we can tap on their body or we can verbally tap by saying the word tap loudly. It is important we alert our partner when we need them to stop and it is important we are respectful and observant of our partners tap to ensure that we stop what we are doing promptly and with control when we are requested to do so.

Know which techniques or body manipulation is off limits – especially for white belts

To keep people safe on the mats do not do the following:

  • small joint & finger manipulation – don’t grap individual fingers (typically 4 or more at a time is ok like a hand shake)
  • neck cranks as a newer white belt
  • body slams
  • eye pokes
  • gripping inside of pants and sleeves

It is important that the rules are followed according to your belt level, you can ask the coaches for more guidance on this.

Show respect for the class and instructor – Be on time, leave on time and be focused

Try to arrive early before class. Don’t skip the warm ups.  When the teacher is giving instruction on a technique or discussing concepts do listen and sit or stand respectively (do not talk during this time).  Try not to leave the mat early unless you talk to the instructor.  Wait till the class ends. If all students are observant of this it makes for a much more conducive learning environment and means all those attending can get the most of their time on the mats.

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