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Thread: I took my first BJJ class yesterday - what advice would you give a neophyte?

  1. #31
    Member Les Pepperoni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleLebowski View Post
    Donít get staph or MRSA.
    This was probably a joke, but, there is some real truth to it...

    Most gyms are pretty clean, but sometimes things happen. Here's some things to do/consider doing:

    - Make sure you wash your gear. With bleach. You should earn a stripe for laundry.
    - Wash your belt. With your gear. With bleach.
    - Use Lysol on your training bag/gym bag every session.
    - Keep some toenail clippers in your bag. Cheap ones. Keep your toe nails and finger nails clipped.
    - Don't be afraid to call people out for not having toe nails/finger nails cut. I'm still recovering from a failed grip break where the dude's pinky nail dug into the palm of my hand by the thumb webbing. I've got IDPA nationals coming up this week and had to take some time off.
    - Take a shower as soon as possible after class. Dr Bronner's soap on a loofah is good way to keep some small cuts from being horrible infections.
    - If you get a bad skin infection, don't roll. Impetigo, while it won't kill you, is pretty contagious.

  2. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Les Pepperoni View Post
    This was probably a joke, but, there is some real truth to it...

    Most gyms are pretty clean, but sometimes things happen. Here's some things to do/consider doing:

    - Make sure you wash your gear. With bleach. You should earn a stripe for laundry.
    - Wash your belt. With your gear. With bleach.
    - Use Lysol on your training bag/gym bag every session.
    - Keep some toenail clippers in your bag. Cheap ones. Keep your toe nails and finger nails clipped.
    - Don't be afraid to call people out for not having toe nails/finger nails cut. I'm still recovering from a failed grip break where the dude's pinky nail dug into the palm of my hand by the thumb webbing. I've got IDPA nationals coming up this week and had to take some time off.
    - Take a shower as soon as possible after class. Dr Bronner's soap on a loofah is good way to keep some small cuts from being horrible infections.
    - If you get a bad skin infection, don't roll. Impetigo, while it won't kill you, is pretty contagious.
    Iíd add donít feel bad calling people out for walking around the gym or especially going into the restroom barefoot. Iím sure this is awkward as a new guy but as you get more comfortable itís a good point of emphasis. Usually itís new guys who donít know any better.

    I think itís already been mentioned but if you get stuck in a position and itís going no where just tap and reset, there is no point wasting a round stalled out. Tonight I was rolling with a tough blue belt who wrestled in college. He shot a darce but didnít quite have it, he worked some pressure and moved around but the choke wasnít there. We set there for a minute or so him adjusting and me just hanging out, I tapped to move on out of the position that wasnít progressing and was going to leave me with a sore neck.

  3. #33
    @BehindBlueI's Howís class going?

  4. #34
    IS WHAT PLANTS CRAVE BehindBlueI's's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bratch View Post
    @BehindBlueI's Howís class going?
    Good, but can't go for two weeks. Traveling.
    Important rule change regarding political discussion here: https://pistol-forum.com/showthread....58#post1151858

    Quote Originally Posted by UNM1136 View Post
    Maybe with talented students I would lube up with baby oil and then go at it.

  5. #35
    IS WHAT PLANTS CRAVE BehindBlueI's's Avatar
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    I've intentionally partnered up with a very...massive training partner the last two times. There's really nobody there his size, but I'm probably the closest on most nights. He's a great partner, but he's a work out just due to his size. I'm 5'11" and can just barely lock my legs into closed guard when he's stationary and letting me get set up due to his size. It's great feedback for if I got a sweep right, though. Littler guys I can just muscle through bad technique. I'm not muscling this dude.

    We're currently doing 3 classes a week, each an hour. One fundamentals class and two white belt classes. We plan to start doing an extra hour of fundamentals soon, and then get into open mat.
    Important rule change regarding political discussion here: https://pistol-forum.com/showthread....58#post1151858

    Quote Originally Posted by UNM1136 View Post
    Maybe with talented students I would lube up with baby oil and then go at it.

  6. #36
    Site Supporter Totem Polar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BehindBlueI's View Post
    I've intentionally partnered up with a very...massive training partner the last two times. There's really nobody there his size, but I'm probably the closest on most nights. He's a great partner, but he's a work out just due to his size. I'm 5'11" and can just barely lock my legs into closed guard when he's stationary and letting me get set up due to his size. It's great feedback for if I got a sweep right, though. Littler guys I can just muscle through bad technique. I'm not muscling this dude.

    We're currently doing 3 classes a week, each an hour. One fundamentals class and two white belt classes. We plan to start doing an extra hour of fundamentals soon, and then get into open mat.
    Excellent. Keep at it. Take care of your knees and back, and keep it up.
    ĒPF shines like a diamond in the goat's ass of the Internet.Ē
    -BBI

  7. #37
    I bet I have you all beat on starting BJJ at a late age. I started six months ago at age 68. I took an intro course in Nogi and now I am doing intermediate classes in Gi. I started Muay Thai at the same gym at the same time. Being retired, my time is my own, so I try to do three days a week BJJ and three days Muay Thai. That turns out to be nine sessions total over six afternoons/evenings. Every morning when I get up, everything hurts! But I am OK with it.

    My advice is to really check out all the gyms in your area. The main thing I looked for was just a gut feeling about whether I felt comfortable there and found the vibe motivating. But I also thought about a video on the Gracie YouTube channel about the "Five Cs" of a good BJJ gym.
    1. Cleanliness: My gym really prioritizes that. Class is not over until everything is cleaned and disinfected. Shoes always in the restrooms, but never on the mat.
    2. Curriculum: Do they have a plan for what they teach? Our lesson plans are on a white board in the gym. Each week has a set of techniques repeated at every class that week.
    3. Class structure: Do they have different levels of classes? We have three levels of classes, Intro, Intermediate and Advanced
    4. Cooperation: Do students seem like they are helping each other? Big time. That is emphasized every class.
    5. Coach: Is he qualified? Out head instructor has been doing BJJ and Muay Thai for 24 years and teaching for 18. He is really good.

    The gym I found came closest to everything I was looking for happened to be the most expensive and the farthest from my house, unfortunately, but I don't regret it. The place is great. The best advice I've gotten is from the head instructor is, "Just try to learn one thing each class." You will work multiple techniques in a class, but you won't retain them all. Just try to get one thing you can hang onto.

    I also tap early and often and I will tell my partner to lighten up if I have to. Our gym is really big on safety. Before rolling or sparring, the instructors will usually say, "Do NOT hurt your partner!!!"
    Last edited by jmf552; 11-12-2021 at 08:47 AM.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by BehindBlueI's View Post
    I've intentionally partnered up with a very...massive training partner the last two times. There's really nobody there his size, but I'm probably the closest on most nights. He's a great partner, but he's a work out just due to his size. I'm 5'11" and can just barely lock my legs into closed guard when he's stationary and letting me get set up due to his size. It's great feedback for if I got a sweep right, though. Littler guys I can just muscle through bad technique. I'm not muscling this dude.

    We're currently doing 3 classes a week, each an hour. One fundamentals class and two white belt classes. We plan to start doing an extra hour of fundamentals soon, and then get into open mat.
    That's probably better for you than you think. I've heard some guys say they won't teach new BJJ guys closed guard until blue belt because a lot of times the newer BJJ practitioner will just clamp down and not do anything. Which in a BJJ match is ok...but in an MMA fight or self defense scenario is less than optimal.

    Learning open guard is difficult, so I like playing half guard for the big guys. Like you said, it's hard to wrap up a closed guard, and if you try an armbar or a triangle they can just stack you on your spine. Sounds like your partner is nice and won't do that...but it happens.

    If you get a strong underhook or a knee shield, you can get some good offense going, usually in the way of back takes, sweeps, and leg entanglements.

    You can also use half guard to dig yourself out of a hole (escaping side control or mount) and the use it to immediately go on the offensive.

    Sent from my moto g(6) using Tapatalk

  9. #39
    IS WHAT PLANTS CRAVE BehindBlueI's's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 45dotACP View Post
    Like you said, it's hard to wrap up a closed guard, and if you try an armbar or a triangle they can just stack you on your spine. Sounds like your partner is nice and won't do that...but it happens.
    At this point we aren't really rolling, just learning the very basic techniques. Resistance/counter-attacks are pretty minimal in the white belt class.
    Important rule change regarding political discussion here: https://pistol-forum.com/showthread....58#post1151858

    Quote Originally Posted by UNM1136 View Post
    Maybe with talented students I would lube up with baby oil and then go at it.

  10. #40
    • Tap early. If a purple belt has you in an armbar, and you can't move, but it doesn't hurt, it's because they've chosen not to crank it. Just tap.
    • If you have a question about the technique you're practicing, ask the coach rather than your training partner. Especially if your partner is a 2 stripe white belt who knows everything. If your training partner asks you a question, defer to your coach.
    • Make sure your hygiene is on point (clip your nails, wash your gi, shower before class if you have BO).
    • Don't spend too much time looking up stuff on YouTube. Ask your coach before you ask the Internet. I think more advanced students can bring in YouTube moves but they have a significant knowledge base to build on that you don't have yet.
    • If you don't have a mouthguard, get one.
    • Don't hang onto gi grips for dear life. Your fingers will thank you.
    • Roll light if you're tired instead of sitting out, if you can.
    • Drinking diluted Gatorade (I make it about 2/3 the "full" concentration) can give you more stamina. I train in the morning, and I have to drink Gatorade during hard rolls or I'm zapped for the rest of the day.
    • When rolling with an upper belt, it's OK to ask one or two questions, but don't spend the whole round asking them stuff. They want to roll too.
    • Before rolling, I think it's polite to ask if your training partner has any injuries you should be aware of.

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