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  • Writer's pictureEBJJ

Proper Jiu Jitsu Etiquette

Updated: Oct 25, 2023

Just like we have rules to help our society live in harmony, or like we have rules at home to make sure the family routine goes well, we also have some academy etiquette’s to make sure we all have a good time here, please see below some important information and reminders:

  • No sideline coaching: This is very important to teach the kids so they look for direction from their coaches(who have vast knowledge in the sport). It is also to help ensure the kids don't get confused with who is in charge while on the mat. Coaches are the authority at the gym and the expert to teach them proper martial arts technique.

  • Do not make suggestions while class is happening or while on the mat: It is not respectful to interfere during classes. Suggestions are welcome after class or by email.

  • No shoes on the mat/ wear shoes off the mat: Help us keep the mat area clean, nobody wants to roll on a dirty mat.

  • Wear the school uniform: We are a team and by wearing the uniform you are representing the school. For kids it also helps put them in the right state of mind for class.

  • Clean uniform: Jiu Jitsu is a high contact sport, please make sure your gi is clean and smelling good!

  • Shaking coaches/professors hand when entering the mat: This is a basic sign of respect to those in authority over us on the mat. Also shake hands with all black belts on the mat.

  • Try your very best to be at class on time: We understand that things happen and sometimes being late will occur, but don’t let it become a habit. The warm up to class is very important, and missing it is robbing yourself of a crucial part of class and learning.

  • Ask for permission to join class if late: When/if you are late, you always need to ask your coach/professor if you can join the mat before jumping on and getting started. Walk up to them, apologize for being late, shake their hand, and ask to join the class.

  • Ask to leave the mat if you need to: If you need to leave the mat during class, please ask your coach/professor. This is especially important for the kids so we can know where they are at all times.

  • Shake hands at the beginning and end of each roll: This is a sign of respect to your training partners, it also shows that you are ready for the roll to begin.

  • Take off all jewelry before training, this includes all piercings, watches etc: This is to ensure your safety. If you wear jewelry, it can get caught on your uniform and seriously hurt you. If you have a fresh piercing, you can put bandaids on it, but be aware this is not as effective as removing the piercing and you can still get hurt.

  • Respect ALL of your training partners: Everyone has their preferred training partners, we understand that, but even if you get paired with someone who you haven't trained with before or someone who may not be your preference, it is crucial you give them the same respect you would anyone else.

  • Keep conversations appropriate and focused on Jiu Jitsu, no politics, religion, or other controversial topics: We want to keep conversation Jiu Jitsu centered, of course off the mat you have your own personal opinions and preferences, but on the mat we want to keep things fun and playful, so please avoid heavy subjects that could cause controversy.

  • Do not speak when the professor/coach is speaking: This is VERY important. If you are talking while instruction is happening not only are you not going to fully get the technique, but those around you won’t either because of the distraction you are causing. Sit quietly and if you have questions or concerns ask them after the technique is finished being taught.

  • Have an attentive posture when on the mat, don’t lounge like you would at home: Please watch a technique either standing with a good posture, sitting criss cross, or sitting on your heels.

  • Trim your nails: Nobody wants to be scratched by someone's nails when training, please trim BOTH fingernails and toenails regularly so nobody gets hurt.

  • If you are rolling and you bump into upper belts as a lower belt, it is your responsibility to move: White belts, you are responsible to move out of the way of every colored belt on the mat. Blue belts move for purple and above, purple for brown and above, and brown for black.

  • Be aware of size, age, and gender differences when rolling: Having self awareness when training Jiu Jitsu is extremely important. Look at your opponent and consider your size, your gender makeup, and your age before you decide to “spaz” with someone during training. We want Jiu Jitsu to be for everyone, being a good training partner will help with this goal. While training with a woman, be aware of where you are touching ALWAYS.

  • Be humble in your victories: Completing a cool submission or finally beating your most challenging training partner is exciting, we understand that! However, you should not be celebrating your victories on the mat by being loud or making a fuss. Smile, straighten your gi, fist bump and roll again.

  • Do not try and teach something unless you are asked to or are a coach: This is another really important rule. Similar to sideline coaching, we want to make sure that everyone is receiving instruction from coaches who are the experts. If an upper belt is rolling with a new white belt and trying to help them, that is okay, but white belts should NEVER be coaching others, not even other white belts.

  • Bow out of class: Before leaving the mat, everyone should line up according to belt order and bow out to their professors and teammates, shaking hands with everyone individually.

  • Do not come and train when sick or have something else that is contagious (rash, infection, etc.): We love how much you love Jiu Jitsu and want to attend class, but please don’t come in when you don't feel well. We don’t want to spread any germs to others and keep them from training or their day to day lives. This goes for any skin rashes that are contagious as well.

  • RESPECT THE TAP: If someone taps LET GO immediately! It doesn’t matter if you feel like you haven’t done the submission properly or they are simply tapping to pressure on their body. If you feel a tap, or hear someone verbally say tap you let go right away. Similarly, if you know you have a submission and your partner won’t tap, move on to something else, don’t let someone's ego be the reason they get hurt.

  • Do not try to teach a technique when your partner is in a more advanced situation than you during a roll: That might sound like you are invalidating your partner's opportunity to complete the transition or submission without assistance, let go of your ego.

There are some etiquettes that Professor Vini is not very strict about and does not require but keep in mind when visiting other gyms:

  • Allow upperbelts to ask you to roll, white belts should not ask colored belts to roll (for adults only): Some academies don’t like when white belts ask colored belts to roll, they want colored belts to initiate rolling with white belts. Here at RGWC we do not follow that rule, but be aware some other academies do.

  • Do not deny training for upper belts: If a higher belt asks you to roll, you should not say no. This is a sign of respect to them.

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