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What to know before starting Jiu-Jitsu classes

New students join Gracie Botany each month – we’re fortunate to have a grappling family that’s growing so fast. We’ve found that every student is different. Some fall in love with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) straight away, while other students can be overwhelmed at first. Different people want different things from Jiu-Jitsu classes.

But no matter your shape, size, gender or walk of life, BJJ can work for you.

Many people fantasize for years about taking up martial arts before they finally decide to step on the mats. If you’re on this page, you might fit that description. What you need to know is that yes, Jiu-Jitsu classes can be intimidating and scary. But ask any regular practitioner and they’ll tell you: It’s worth it.

There are many reasons to study BJJ, as noted. Jiu-Jitsu is all about giving people tools to defend themselves against bigger, larger foes, so naturally many people who train do so for self-defense reasons. Others do it for sport, to enjoy the rush of competition. Most do it as a hobby, because BJJ is fun.

No matter your goal, there are some things that you might benefit from knowing before you take the plunge. 

*If you’re already sold on the idea, feel free to come into Gracie Botany, near Matraville & Maroubra, for a free trial class*

gracie botany traditional gi bjj beginners and advanced classes

Expect to roll. Jiu-Jitsu is a highly practical martial art. In classes you’ll warm up, learn a series of techniques and then practice them. In the final 15 or 20 minutes of class, you’ll be sparring against your training partners. There’s no grappling with inanimate dolls here: You find out what works and what doesn’t by trying it on resisting opponents.

It sounds daunting, we know. But we have a culture of respect at Gracie Botany, and everyone at our academy will be sure to go light on new trainees and make sure they feel as comfortable as possible. 

It gets sweaty. This should be obvious, but nonetheless it can be hard for beginners to deal with. Like any rigorous exercise, you’ll sweat a lot when you train. This is especially true in Jiu-Jitsu, where you’re often wearing thick Gis. Unlike most other forms of exercise though, BJJ involves you grappling with other sweaty people. If you’re freaked out by this at first, that’s normal. 

Trust us, you get used to it very fast. 

It’s all about being uncomfortable. The sweat issue actually gets to the core of what a lot of Jiu-Jitsu is: Getting comfortable in uncomfortable positions. BJJ is often compared to human chess, in that it involves a lot of strategy as well as athleticism. That strategy often boils down to making your opponent uncomfortable so they make a mistake that you can capitalize on.

We take personal hygiene seriously. Every student at Gracie Botany is required to uphold high levels of hygiene. That means coming to class showered and with a clean Gi. We ensure the mats are kept clean by not allowing people to walk barefoot around the academy. Nails, both finger and toe, are to be clipped. 

Expect a workout. BJJ is a full-body workout, one that will stress most of your muscles. It’s also anaerobic, more similar to high-intensity interval training than it is to steady-state cardio. If you’re a beginner training even twice or thrice a week, make sure you hydrate before and after class, and get enough sleep. BJJ will tire you out. 

Don’t beat yourself up. It takes the average practitioner between 10 and 15 years to get their black belt. What does that indicate? That it takes time and patience to get good at Jiu-Jitsu. Many new students judge themselves for not advancing quickly enough. Try to avoid doing this. Accept that it’s a complex martial art, and that you’ll take a while to truly “get” it. 

Nothing worth having comes easy – and BJJ expertise is certainly worth having. 

Free trial class

Are you ready to start learning Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at one of the top schools in the world? Then sign up for a free trial session!

Gracie Humaita in Botany is centrally located in Lord Street, Botany. Minutes from Maroubra, Matraville or Mascot.

Gracie Humaita Botany is a well known martial arts academy located in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. We teach kids and adults Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, including self-defence techniques. Gracie Botany is a safe place to learn effective self-defence.

gracie botany traditional gi bjj beginners and advanced classes