While Brazilian Jiu-jitsu typically tends to be less formal than many martial arts, abiding by the following basic rules of etiquette will ensure that everyone has a safe, fun, & rewarding training experience in an environment that is conducive to learning.
1. Please show up to class on time. Try to arrive 10-15 minutes ahead of time. All students should be dressed out & on the mat prior to the scheduled class start time. Coming into class late causes a disruption for the entire class. However, sometimes being late is unavoidable. If you do come in late, acknowledge the instructor prior to joining the class. Also, if you need to leave early, please let the instructor know ahead of time. If we see that “late” is your idea of on-time, you will not be allowed to join class.
2. Training in jiu-jitsu involves close personal contact. Please wear a gi that is clean, free of foul odors, & in good condition for EVERY class. Be aware of your personal hygiene. Make sure that your fingernails & toenails are properly trimmed, and your hair (if long) is pulled back & secured & remove any jewelry during training. If you have any type of skin infection (staph, ringworm, etc.) you will not be allowed to train until it is cleared up. These bacterial & fungal infections are highly contagious and can quickly spread throughout the entire class. If you suspect you may have an infectious skin condition or are not sure, ask the instructor. If we are practicing no-gi techniques (or we are in a no-gi class) – you will be required to wear a rash guard or clean full t-shirt (no cut-off or sleeveless shirts) and clean MMA Board shorts. There are NO exceptions to these rules.
3. Keep the mats clean. Do not bring food or drinks on the mat. No shoes of any kind are allowed on the mats. Shoes damage the mats & carry unwanted germs into the training area. Always wear shoes when off of the mat, especially in the restroom. Infectious diseases such as staph & ringworm are a serious concern & will keep you from training. Do your part to keep the training area clean & free of germs. Don’t bring food or drinks onto the mat. The mats should be cleaned after every training session. It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that we have a clean & safe environment to train. Please help with the cleaning of the mats after class.
4. Safety is paramount. Know your limitations & those of your training partners. All submission holds should always be applied in a controlled manner. If you injure your training partner, you won’t have anyone to train with. Tap early & often. Tapping is not a sign of weakness; rather it is a part of the learning process. Make sure you will be able to train tomorrow. If you sustain an injury during training, or outside of class, make sure that the instructor & your training partners are aware of it. You may need to sit out of training or limit certain activities to avoid further injury.
5. Check your ego at the door. The training mat is a learning environment. It is not a competition. Don’t be afraid to try new things & put yourself in uncomfortable positions. That is the only way to learn & get better. Your concern should be with learning & improving, not defeating your teammates during training.
6. A short bow is customary & appropriate when entering or leaving the mat area. It is a way of showing respect to the people on the mat & the area that you train on.
7. Respect your instructor & classmates. Avoid loud talking, profane language, or horseplay during training. Listen attentively whenever the instructor is speaking. If you need to leave the mat at any time during class, ask permission from the instructor before just walking off the mat. DO NOT get water or go to the restroom without asking your instructor first – if you do, the entire class will be required to do pushups on your behalf.
8. Make the most of your training time. Students are expected to drill technique consistently and continually with attention to detail during allotted time. It takes many, many repetitions to understand and be able to apply techniques. Train vigilantly & do not waste class time sitting around idly. Keep unnecessary talking to a minimum. Your focus should be on learning jiu-jitsu. Work together with your training partners for mutual benefit. Avoid giving excessive resistance to your partner when drilling techniques. If you do not understand a technique, please ask questions at appropriate times.
9. Learn & abide by the rules of jiu-jitsu during training. In competition, there are certain techniques are considered illegal or restricted to higher ranks. In general, you should abide by these same protocols when rolling during class. This will help to ensure the safety of your training partners, and will also help to prepare you for competition.
10. Be respectful of your training partners during roll time. Especially if the mat is crowded, be aware of those around you to avoid injuring your teammates. Sometimes, when there are a lot of people on the mat at one time, students may run into each other. It is considered customary & respectful for the lower ranking students to stop & yield the space to the higher belts. Also, be very careful when training takedowns to ensure that you have sufficient space. If the mat is crowded, students should generally start from a kneeling position with one person in Combat Ready position and one person sitting.
The following techniques are NEVER allowed in gi:
Slams, neck cranks/cervical locks, heel hooks, small joint manipulation (fingers, toes), grabbing the windpipe, placing fingers into any orifice (nose, mouth, etc.), attacking the groin, strikes of any kind, grabbing or pulling the hair, placing the fingers inside your opponent’s gi sleeve’s/pants legs.
Certain techniques, such as twisting leg locks, biceps/calf slicers, etc. are generally only practiced by higher belts (purple belt and above). Higher level students should not utilize these techniques when rolling with lower belts.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask!
Have fun and enjoy your training!