What To Expect
We gladly welcome anyone who wants to come train with us - Harvard undergrads, grad students, MIT students, or even non-Harvard affiliated grapplers (but talk to us first if you have an outside friend you'd like to bring in!). Beginners are welcome - no experience necessary!
We begin every practice with dynamic warmups to get blood flowing and practice relevant jiu jitsu movements. If you're new to the club, the instructor will be happy to take you aside and assess your experience level (if any) as well as break down any of the warmup movements you're unfamiliar with.
Warmups are followed by learning new techniques. The instructors will demonstrate the techniques and you will break into pairs to drill them. Sometimes this is followed by positional rolling, designed to give everyone the chance to test out the new techniques in a slightly more realistic situation while keeping the rolls focused on the new techniques.
Finally, most classes end with 20-30 minutes of live rolling, which is free sparring in timed rounds. If you are brand new to jiu jitsu, this time is often spent working on more drills or positional rolling.
Wear athletic clothing: preferably close-fitting and with long sleeves and pants; no zippers or anything that can scratch. Bring water. Remove all jewelry (rings, necklaces, earrings of any sort).
- Cut and file your finger and toenails: this is to prevent your nails from scratching your partners.
- Wear clean clothes: there's a lot of contact in BJJ. Wearing dirty clothes to practice is a major safety concern.
- Shower right after you train: you will have germs on your skin after bjj. Shower as soon as you can after training to kill them.
- Go slow: go twice as slow as you think you need to, especially when applying submissions. BJJ is fun, and it's easy to put a lot of energy and explosive movement into it (especially if you feel like you are 'losing'), but any experienced practitioner can tell you that the best technique is done with calm and deliberate movements. Focus on your breathing, and don't be afraid to remind your partner to slow down.
- Take charge of your comfort level: if you ever feel too uncomfortable for any reason, you can tap on your partner and sit out for as long as you like. Have a conversation with your partner about how you'd like to train and where your limits are. Not every roll has to be at 100% speed and intensity.
- You are in charge of your partner's safety: don't apply attacks quickly. You should not be in the position to injure your partner if they don't tap fast enough.
- Be ok with tapping: tapping is our way of saying "you got me." You can tap on your partner, on the mat, tap with your feet, or yell tap. In practice, tapping does not mean you lose. It means you learned something you can improve on. Tap early, tap often.