Thinking to start in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?
Here is what to expect on your first class at BJJ Academy
The purpose of this article is to answer any questions you might have about starting to train in BJJ, and your first class in particular. Every school is different, but this article will help you understand how WE do at Ivam Maciel BJJ Academy. You’ll find a glossary of basic Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu terms at the bottom of this article. This is to help you understand any technical words used here or in your first class.
We work on ‘open doors policy’ so, if you just visiting Brighton and already train elsewhere, we welcome you to visit, train and roll at any of our locations. Come over, meet the team, the coach and ask questions before ever getting on the mats. Obviously, DON’T BE LATE!
What to Wear
If you starting from fresh, you’ll need to figure out what to wear. Here at BJJ Academy we try to make things as easier as we can for you. For your first week of training, you don’t need to own a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gi, we actually will lend you one free of charge for you to have an experience and see if BJJ it’s for you before you spend money buying your own gi. Just show up at the Academy and we will help you out with it. After one week, you will need to buy a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gi if you continue training, we also offer good prices on our in-house store, you can buy it straight from us.
Make sure your finger and toe nails are well-groomed. If you have long hair, you’ll want to put it up in a ponytail or bun during class. You should also remove any piercings to prevent injuries.
Your First Class
As we have mentioned above, the best thing to do is to show up a at least 15 minutes early to introduce yourself to the instructor and check out the school (if you haven’t visited already). You’ll need to sign a waiver and you ready to go.
Before class starts, you’ll have a chance to get dressed and stretch out on the mats. Be sure to get everything ready before class starts so you don’t have to miss anything.
Most of our classes start with a group warm-up, such as running laps and doing push-ups, followed by solo drills like forward and backward breakfalls and shrimping. Those last three moves will probably be new to you, so just watch what everyone else is doing and try to copy them. These are to help you learn how to fall safely and move your hips on the ground. Don’t worry if you don’t get the exercises correct at first—no one does on their first day, and they take a little practise. Just give it your best try and the instructor or a higher belt (who will be assisting you during your first class) will make sure you learn to do it right.
After warm-ups, you’ll be partnered with someone and go to your own section of the mats to be taught your first lesson. At BJJ Academy you will practice a beginner curriculum (Drill #1), which includes: Guard pass to side control – Taking mount from side control and your first submission ever, the Americana armlock from mount.
* No striking, punching or kicking.
* No eye gouging or hair pulling.
* No twisting or grabbing fingers.
* No slamming (picking someone up and dropping them).
* No heel hooks (twisting the foot or knee).
* No neck cranks.
Remember that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is designed to be trained safely without serious injury. These rules are to help keep you and your training partners safe and healthy.
The normal way you signal submission in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is to tap your opponent three times. When you tap, make sure you do it hard enough that your partner can feel it; or tap yourself or the mat where they can see and/or hear it; or verbally tap by saying “Tap!”; or loudly tap the mat with your foot so they can hear it.
Likewise, be aware of your training partner tapping and stop whatever you are doing when he does so.
Tapping is just part of training and there is no shame in it. Don’t worry about winning or losing. Just try the techniques you’ve learned to the best of your ability and tap when you need to, ideally before it hurts.
At BJJ Academy the class concludes with live sparring. The coach will match you up with a sparring partner(s), and you will practise (roll) for 5 minutes round. At the start of each round, you’ll begin by facing your partner on your knees. When you’re both ready shake hands and start to roll: try out your techniques, stopping whenever one of you taps and restarting from knees.
With class over, you might have more questions, now you’ve trained for the first time. If you enjoyed the class and want to continue training, you can also discuss prices and setup a schedule.
I hope this answers any questions you might have about what your first day could be like at Ivam Maciel BJJ Academy. Good luck in your future training.
Americana — A basic submission where the arm is bent and twisted towards the head in order to crank the shoulder. Also called American armbar, bent armlock, chicken wing, hammer lock, paint brush, top wrist lock, ude garami, and v-lock.
Breakfall — The techiques for safely falling to the ground, such as after a throw. To breakfall means to execute a safe fall to the mat. Also called rollovers and ukemi.
Gi — The uniform worn when training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Also called kimono.
Guard — A number of positions in grappling where the person on bottom is defending themselves and controlling the person on top using their legs. Closed guard is where the position is held with one’s legs wrapped around their opponent’s waist with their ankles crossed. Open guard
Guard pass — A technique done in order to get around or “pass” someone’s guard, ending with them securely holding a dominant position. Attempting to perform these techniques against an opponent is called passing the guard.
Heel hook — A submission where the heel is used to twist the leg and possibly tear the knee.
Mount — A dominant position in grappling where the person on top sits straddled across the torso of the person on bottom. In a self defense situation, the person with mount would be able to strike without much threat of being struck back. In grappling, mount offers the leverage and control to effect chokes and armlocks. The person on the bottom is considered mounted.
No-gi — Refers to training without the gi, usually wearing shorts and a T-shirt
Hip escape — A drill done to train proper hip movement while on one’s back. It is an important part of many escapes and techniques. It is called hip escape because of it is used in combination with the elbow in several escapes.
Side control — A number of dominant positions in grappling where the person on top pins the opponent, usually with chest to chest contact. Also called crossbody, cross-side and side mount. Many particular holds from side control have specific names, such as 100 kilos and scarf hold.
Sweep — A technique done from guard to put an opponent on their back and allow one to come up on top. To sweep means to successfully perform such a technique.
Take the back — To gain one of the most dominant positions in grappling (called rear mount) on an opponent’s back. From here, one can strike (in self defence situations) or choke with little fear of retaliation.
Weave — The type of fabric a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gi is made from. Single weave is one of the thinnest types, making it good for hot weather training. Double weave is twice the thickness of single, and gold weave is somewhere between the two. Summer weave is the lightest and most easily torn.
Upa — A bridging movement where you lie on your back and lift your hips off of the ground. Used in the basic bridge-and-roll mount escape.
Winter Grading 2014, let’s celebrate!
What a day! First of all BJJ Academy would like to thank you all who attended to our annual grading event! In special to our guests Roger Payne & Alex De Souza who taught an amazing seminar sharing their skills with our students.
Check below who got promoted on their belt rank:
Purple Belt: Tim Cowboy, Simon Staples, & Julian Adjare;
Blue Belt: Luke Kidson, Michael Barnett, Damien Walker, Breno Tedros, James Hill, Stuart Crosby, George Jackson, James Davies and Amy Richhold.
This year we celebrated also an awesome number of medals won in competition, thanks to our ‘Medal Chasers’ our team got to 83 medals during the year, which brings back good memories and makes wonder how good 2015 can be! Let’s keep the hard work. Osss!
LIMITED TIME OFFER, HURRY!
Attending requests, we are glad to announce a special deal for those who would like to become member of the club, however have limited time to attend classes. Now only £59.95 for two classes per week! If you currently pay £10 per class (£20 per week) you would save over £20 straight-way! Also, you can cross training MMA classes at any time or even upgrade your membership for unlimited option if you wish. But hurry, we can only offer 5 memberships at this price.. BE FIRST!! For more info call 01273 411486 or visit our Dojo in Brighton at 90 Boundary Road – BN3 7GA. Osss!
Dorset & Hants BJJ Open
Once again our squad got together and travelled to Bournemouth to compete in one of the best tournaments of BJJ in the calendar. The level of Jiu-Jitsu displayed was pretty good, with great fights from white to black belt. A great day in the office for our team which for the first time ever won Absolute divisions on white and blue belts! An awesome result achieved from Brett Farnworth at blue belt (also won Gold at his category) and at white belt from Rich Caplan (also won Bronze at his category); in total we went with 20 athletes and got back home with 19 medals (9 Gold!) and two trophies!! Job done and we are getting ready/looking forward for the next one.
Check photos, videos and also the “Medal Chasers” standing, which now has a new leader: Brett, thanks to his excellent performances during the last few tournaments.
Last Sunday (6th) our team went for a battle in Guildford at 1st edition of Surrey BJJ Open. Once again, those who went represented very well. Result: more shining medals to bring back home! Highlight of the day was Elias Nedir and James Davies for winning their categories with awesome display of their game. Good performance also from Darren Bushby: one more medal for his collection. He continues to lead our ‘Medal Chasers’, by a fair margin against the second place. Check out the video and a few pictures of Surrey BJJ Open below. Thanks Andy Roberts and his team for having us, we will definitely be back next year. Oss!
The formula has continue to work! Once again our squad went for battle in Bournemouth (one of the top competitions in Britain) and came back home with hands full of medals AND trophies. As for the team standings we finished in 2nd place just behind Checkmat.
Our day started with white-belts showing great understanding about the rules and primary following our strategy, which has been set during our competition classes. The hard work paid off, the name of the day was Antonio Costa who once again performed very well, however at this time done it with perfection: won his 5 bouts without given a single point away. Final result: Gold at lightweight division white belt, which was by far the largest category in the tournament with 23 people in. After this amazing performance Antonio had even more to celebrate, at the podium as well as his gold medal Antonio got promoted to Blue Belt by Coach Ivam Maciel. Hard work pays off, congrats Antonio!
As for Blue and Purple belts awesome performances from Higo Gomes (Gold at Blue Masters -70kg), Brett Farnworth (Gold at +100kg & Absolute Blue), Dave Rintoul (Gold at Blue Masters -88kg), Simon Staples (Gold at Blue Seniors -76kg), Darren ‘Drill #3’ Bushby (Gold at Purple Adult -88kg) and Paul Honnart (Gold at Purple Adult -64kg). Finally, BJJ Academy would like to thanks and congratulate every member of the team, win or lose we are all one, you gave everything on the mat and we are equally proud of you by putting yourself on the line by competing and representing. It’s an honour to have you been part of IMBJJ family.
Check out below photos, videos. For full results click here.
more videos coming soon…