The longer I train the more I laugh at all the things I use to do. I’m not referring to moves, but rather the general behavior. When a new white belt steps on the mat ; they usually have no idea what they are getting themselves into and as a result end up doing a lot of things that can be deemed annoying to the more veteran students. Every academy needs white belts and they really are the most important people in the gym, but someone needs to tell them the things that just are not acceptable or not beneficial to them in the academy, so here they are !
- Finger Grabbing– Please for the love of god just grab my wrist. Grabbing fingers is annoying and will lead to injuries really fast. In BJJ we end up with enough finger injuries, we don’t need our fingers being broken by any newbies.
- Over Defending– while yes having a good defense is great and important, you have to actually play Jiu-Jitsu in order to learn. When a big new white belt comes in and just curls up or lays and prays, it will sometimes keep them from getting submitted as fast, but it really halts your own progress.
- Bathroom Issues– Please keep some shoes on in the bathroom.. this shouldn’t need to be said, but bathrooms are dirty and we don’t need that to be tracked onto the mats. Also please don’t leave your partner hanging 3 times a class to go use the restroom. We all do it, but try to get it done before class begins.
- Strong Man Syndrome– To the big guys who come in and try to muscle everyone around, please stop. Not only could you potentially hurt someone, but we could hurt you…bad. I often find myself simply letting go of submissions on these guys just because if I extend anymore something will probably break. I know it’s a hard pill to swallow, but you will be tapped out by people smaller and weaker. Leave your ego at the door.
- The Talker– While I don’t mind talking during training or rolling; you should keep it to a minimum in general. Nobody comes to class purely to talk. We all want to train the moves and learn. Also related, please stop asking “what if” questions about every move. While it is good to be curious and to try and learn, there are always going to be other moves and counters. Take it one day at a time and you will eventually piece the puzzle together.
What other habits do new students have that tend to be pet peeves?