Etiquette in the Bjj Academy for Newbies

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Brazilian jiu-jitsu
Photo by: BJJPix

Jiu-jitsu Times has received a few questions and feedback on our article about 5 Common White Belt Mistakes in Bjj noting that we should have had #6 mistake: Not acting according to the academy etiquette in class.
5 Common White Belt Mistakes in Bjj

This subject deserves an article of its own devoted to the subject!
The bjj academy has its own set of rules of etiquette that might be completely unknown to the beginning student to bjj.
And these unwritten rules will vary from academy to academy adding to the confusion!

Here are a few guidelines to the most common rules of etiquette that we see in many bjj academies.

1) Always bow or greet the Professor or instructor leading the class when you enter the mat. To give respect, even if you are late.
2) Be true to your team. If you want to train with some friends at another school, let your instructor know to give respect to your first team and instructor.
3) During class, when the instructor is demonstrating the techniques, talking should be kept to a minimum level and should relate to the class subject.
4) Careful about asking a higher belt to roll – in some schools it may be seen unfavorably. If a higher belt asks you to roll never refuse unless you are incapable to roll by injury or sickness.
5) When you are rolling and are within the space of higher belts rolling – always give way to the higher rank and resstart your roll in a clear area of the mat.
6) Learn the the history of brazilian jiu-jitsu and your instructors lineage, to understand the Art. Many new students do not understand the history and therefore, do not fully appreciate that we all “stand on the shoulders of giants”.
7) Hygiene and cleanliness. Basic common sense like:
– have underwear underneath the gi pants (and a rashguard under the gi controls sweat)
– keep your kimono washed and smelling clean at all times!
– finger and toe nails trimmed short to avoid scratching partners
– rings, earrings, piercinga, necklaces and other items should be removed.

8) Try to be on time for class. Don’t be lazy and skip the warmup. If you are late for class, wait for acknowledgment from the Instructor to enter onto the mat.
9) No shoes, food or drink on the mat! Pick up your empty water bottles after training.
10) No barefoot in the waskroom and then back on the mat. Donèt track bacteria onto the training area.
11) If you have ring worm or another communicable health condition, please stay off the mat until it is better!
12) It is consdered bad form to talk about “who tapped who” in training
13) Don’t bad talk other schools or engage in negative gossip about other bjj students. Don’t spread rumors that can come back to haunt you later.
14) Keep the cel phone distractions out of the training area – other people want to concentrate on their training
15) Learn which techniques are prohibited in your academy. Don’t be that guy who snatches for heel hooks when they are banned in the school.

* One student question:
“Beginner question here because i see so many people, even high level belts do this differently..maybe there is no “standard”
Which “official” side is your stripe bar supposed to be worn on? Left or right? Or does it not truly matter?”

Jiu-jitsu Times: It is usually worn on the left side.

What rules or etiquette do you think are important for new students to know?

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