The goal in Jiu Jitsu is to get more people not only to try Jiu Jitsu but to stick with it. Society as a whole could benefit. If you are a new white belt it may be intimidating but here is a checklist to make life a little easier for you.
- Get your gear upfront. Get a Gi and/or Rash Guard and grappling shorts. Get comfortable underwear. Get a mouthpiece (if need be). Make sure it all fits. Basics.
- Do every technique in class slowly (not super duper slow – just slow). If you can do it slow then eventually you can do it faster. But doing it slow and correct should be the goal.
- Ask questions. Don’t just ask to ask, ask if you sincerely need help with a technique. I’m a black belt and I ask at least one question per class in which I honestly need help (and it always helps). Any professor who cares should help you. Ask your training partner if they are experienced. You don’t want to feel too confused or frustrated, it’s uncomfortable.
- Be prepared to train with the opposite sex. Just train as you would with anyone. If you are a 250 lb man and there is a 120 lb female take it easy if you are not fully in tune with your body mechanics. Go slow if nothing else and don’t worry about getting tapped out. It happens in Jiu Jitsu all the time. Also, don’t go ridiculously soft with the opposite sex or super hard. Just be normal. No one wants to feel like you are going easy on them or out to kill them either. Don’t make anyone feel uncomfortable or be too chatty. Just be normal, keep it professional.
- Be prepared for dealing with defeat (tapping out a lot). Like anything in life you will need to lose or tap out in order to learn and get better. You may even feel physically exhausted and beaten up but in order to improve and feel less pain you need to stay consistent. If you are the type to have a huge ego then this sport will either humble you or make you quit very fast. Make the right decision to stick with it.
- Be a good partner. Don’t fight and resist when you are learning new techniques. If you are a good partner people will want to drill or train with you. This shows a level of respect and it shows you understand your body and tempo. No body wants to get knee’d in the face or elbowed because a person cannot control their body.
- Keep a notebook. Or use your phone. Write down what you learned. Write down what happened during your rolls. For example – I cannot escape from turtle position or I got submitted 5 times with a clock choke. So now you know the next day you have some areas to improve upon and it is in your head what you already know. Over time your Jiu Jitsu will become automatic and your arsenal will improve ten-fold.
- Prepare to feel tired or sore. Your body is getting used to doing something new. So you must prepare to be sore. Get rest and take supplements such as glucosamine or other supplements promoted by the community.
- Shower after training and wash your gear. Hygiene is key
- Try stuff. Don’t close your game off to just what is working. Expand your arsenal and the training room is important for learning.
- Do some outside work. This may mean getting some physical conditioning, weight-lifting, studying. Moderation is good here. You don’t want to skip jiu jitsu because your body is too beta up. You want to supplement your jiu jitsu and protect your body from injuries and do a little bit extra to stay sharp technically.
- Set a consistent schedule. Whether it’s one day a week or five, try to stay consistent with your schedule.
- Have fun. Whether fun for you is pressure or relaxing. You will want to come back to the mat if it is fun for you. Most people don’t stick to activities they hate.
BONUSES: Tape for fingers and a cup if needed.