The initial month of joining a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class will be filled with you having an opportunity to learn new things. You will be surrounded by a rich learning environment. Your first time on the mat can bring about a multitude of emotional and physical responses that you are unaware of. The intense flood of unfamiliar concepts and new words may be overwhelming. There are a lot of simple and practical things you will learn. However, while you are learning, there are some things that will make you anxious. But, there is no reason to fret.
Here are a few things you should know during your first month of practising Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
New Concepts and Vocabulary
When you join a BJJ class, you will learn various new terms and techniques which you are unfamiliar with and they may be counter-intuitive. During times like these, remember to relax, breathe and listen carefully. Maintain a journal and take down notes once the class is over. It will help you review, retain and mentally process all of the new information. The process of journaling the new techniques will allow you to better understand them.
Sore Like Never Before
Even if you are someone who’s always been in great shape, you are still very likely to be sore. This happens because BJJ trains muscle groups which aren’t commonly used in standard fitness regimes. Remember to stretch once the class is over as it can lessen the duration and intensity of the soreness. Special attention should be paid to your neck, shoulders, back, hips, legs and knees.
BJJ is considered to be one of the best workouts ever for your core because it keeps it engaged throughout the length of the workout. You may use ice packs to alleviate some of the pain. To combat soreness and muscle fatigue, apply balm. Do not be hesitant to talk to your coach or partners about any strains or injuries. They can ensure extra precaution is taken once they are aware of the issues you are dealing with.
Relying Too Much on Strength
You will depend greatly on your power and strength when you start practising BJJ, even more so than techniques. However, you should fight this urge and try to focus more on the techniques without using too much muscle. If you use up too much strength too quickly, you will quickly get tired. Try and relax as much as possible and focus on your breathing as BJJ is pretty exhausting in itself. When you master the techniques properly, you will learn to control your opponent without exerting too much of your strength.
Respect Your Partners
BJJ is considered to be a rather laid-back version of Martial Arts. However, respect is an extremely important aspect of the sport in the day-to-day interactions. This respect should be shown for yourself, the coaches, training partners and the academy itself. Here’s how you can show respect to your BJJ academy:
• To show respect for the traditions of where they came from and for those who came before you, bow on and off the mat.
• Use proper recycling and trash receptacles when discarding bottles, bandages and tape. Also, always clean up after yourself.
• A fist bump can be used to initiate a training session and is also considered to be a way of showing respect to your sparring partner.
• Addressing black belts as professor, whether they are from your academy or not is another way of showing respect. Instructors who aren’t black belts can be addressed as coach.
Don’t forget, the most important aspect of training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is to have fun while you’re doing it. Train as hard as you can, attend your classes frequently, drill and do thorough research on your mistakes and work on them. All of these will make it worth it in the end.