This article was written by jiu jtsu brown belt Sheena Bidwell, an instructor at Flo-Life BJJ in Lakewood, Colorado.
You can expect your first BJJ class to be a mix of nerves and excitement. You are brave and amazing for trying Jiu-Jitsu! You are forging a new path for females everywhere even by stepping on the mats.
Thanks to you, martial arts will look radically different for the future generations who have not been exposed to women in such powerful places. Your training is important and means so much to so many, so please be courageous and conquer that first class! It's okay to feel intimidated, just remember that everyone has had a first class.
Arrive around 10 minutes early to check out your new digs! Dress in sports attire (sports bra, rash guard, tights) to maintain maximum confidence from any position. Minimize the makeup and limit lotions and perfumes. Make sure your nails are trimmed and your breath is fresh. Bring a water bottle and bag with a change of clothes. Avoid any zippers, snaps, or metals on your gear. Secure your hair back and away from your face.
Get ready for the best fun of your life! Think of your class as a story. There is a beginning, a middle, and an end. Class starts with a workout warm-up to help prepare your body for instruction. Then you'll receive the technique from your instructor. They will perform the move for you, showing specifics on how to implement the concept they're teaching. After, you will have a chance to practice the move with a partner.
Once you've drilled the move it will be time to use it in a 'controlled environment'. Your instructor will have you perform the move with guidelines to mimic real world self defense scenarios. This is a safe spot to practice the scary reality of getting attacked.
Once you've worked all the basics of class it's time to grapple. Grappling, rolling and sparring are all the same way of saying it's time to play BJJ. Don't expect to know how to play or what you're doing, just breathe and try to stay relaxed. Before class ends you'll have a cool-down routine with an opportunity to stretch. After the class stretch, stay hydrated and celebrate.
Congratulations, you did it! Plan your next training day and prepare your clothes/uniform for the next class.
Blessings of grace, gentleness and strength.
If you enjoyed this article, then you may also enjoy our Jiu Jitsu Sisterhood range of training gear.