Gracie Barra Instructors : Advice For New Students

GB asked several GB black belts this question : Starting Brazilian jiu-jitsu classes can be a little intimidating for many people.

Can you share a few tips for new students to bjj?

Prof. Randall Huot:
“1) The first thing I tell people is that for most jiu-jitsu is not intuitive. If it were, there wouldn’t be classes for it. 

2) I’ve seen the weakest, least skilled student from a group of new white belts become the best colored belt through perseverance and dedication to technique.

3) As you progress remember that your jiu-jitsu game is evolving even when it doesn’t feel like it and that all plateaus are temporary if you keep doing the work.”

Prof. Bart Albers: 
“I think one of my quotes fits: “Be open minded and eager to learn.. always. Not only on your techniques, but also on your attitude.”

Prof. Cristiano Dantas:
“On the mat all are equal. Learn to defend does not mean learning how to fight.
The self defense knowledge will only enable you to avoid a dangerous situation most of the time – without hitting anyone.”

Coach James Harnish:
“James: If I were to give any advice to the young Gracie Barra competitors on training and competing it would be train safe and always look out for the safety of your training partners because if you hurt your training partners you will eventually have no one to train with.

Also with training in Jiu-Jitsu and competing it has helped me overcome failure and accomplish my goals, not only on the mats but in life.
Never get frustrated while training or competing, always stay humble and never give up….because you will never know your full potential if you do!”

Prof. Dave Ogden:
“I think it is incumbent upon the instructor and the senior students to create a friendly inviting atmosphere.
My law enforcement background gives me a great understanding of human interaction and dynamics.

I will use this to our team’s advantage to bring new students to our school and create that team environment.”

Prof. Max Goldberg:
“It is important for people starting Brazilian jiu-jitsu  to realize that everyone even the Instructor was once in their shoes as a beginner.  I tell them there is nothing to be intimidated of.
You have just found the greatest thing in the world that will change your life forever.
From here on out nothing will intimidate you again now that you have found jujitsu.”

Prof. Mark Mullen
“Just get started is the best advice. Many new students feel that they need to ‘Get in shape first’ or do much more conditioning as they feel fatigued while rolling. Truth is, their cardio might be fine, they need to learn more techniques to roll without relying on their physical strength. You learn techniques by doing BJJ!”

see also : Safety On The Mats

Credits: Mark Mullen 
Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam
Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ