Gracie Barra Training Etiquette

With the new year 2016 upon us and students are returning to the academy after a holiday of relaxation, hopefully renewed and ready to roll. Read also:5 Ways to Eat Better

This is a good time to remind the students of the etiquette and rules of the Gracie Barra training schools.
Master Carlos Gracie Jr. has been these rules in place to preserve the philosophy behind Gracie Barra and ensure a consistent and safe student experience in all of the Gracie Barra schools around the world.

  1. Bow to Carlos Gracie Sr. when you enter the training area.
  2. Bow to Carlos Gracie Sr. when you exit the training area.
  3. Keep a respectful posture in the training area.
  4. Classes begin with a formal bow to the instructor, with students lining up in descending grade order.
  5. Classes end with a formal bow to the picture of Grand Master Carlos Gracie Senior, and then to the instructor.
  6. All students must line up with the attendance card in hand at the beginning of the class.
  7. During class, when the instructor is demonstrating the techniques, every student must sit (or stand) in good posture.
  8. If you are late for class sit by the side of the training area and wait for the permission from the Professor.
  9. If you need to leave the mat or leave earlier you must ask permission from the Professor.
  10. Bow to your partner before and after practice.
  11. Talking should be kept to a minimum level and should relate to the class subject.
  12. Absolutely no foul language inside the school.
  13. Keep fingernails and toenails short for everyone’s safety.
  14. All students, Instructors, Professors, and visitors must wear the official Gracie Barra uniform. The uniform pants and top must be the same color.
  15. It is mandatory to wear the official Gracie Barra black rash guard or Gracie Barra training shirt underneath the kimono.
  16. It is mandatory to have underwear underneath the gi pants.
  17. For No Gi Classes, students must wear a Gracie Barra black board short (or black short) (as well as
  18. Gracie Barra Black Rash Guard or Gracie Barra training shirt)
  19. The uniform must be clean at all times. A dirty uniform is a sign of disrespect.
  20. The uniform must be worn at all times.
  21. When tying the uniform, students must face the edge of the mats.
  22. The belt represents your progress. Keep it on.
  23. Refer to non black-belt instructors as “Coaches”.
  24. Refer to black-belt instructors as “Professors” and to Carlos Gracie Jr. as “Master”.
  25. All metal objects, jewelry, piercing, necklaces and other items should be removed.
  26. No shoes, food or drink on the mat.
  27. No cell phones in the training area.
  28. All students and Instructors must wear shoes when walking outside of the training area.

As students it is important to preserve the values and vision of Master Carlos Gracie Jr. in all of the Gracie Barra academies. In addition to the official Gracie Barra academy rules here are 4 good practices for students to remember on the mats:

1) When rolling and you collide with another rolling pair, the etiquette is for the lower ranked pair to give way to the higher ranked belts and reset their roll on a clear space on the mat.

  • Injuries can results from continuing a spirited roll too close to another pair training.
  • A kick in the mouth is no fun! So “hit pause” and reset the action farther away.

2) While the instructor is demonstrating the techniques, respect the concentration of the other students and pay full attention.

  • You may have a great one liner ready to interject, but save it for a more appropriate time.
  • Talking during the instructional portion is not only disrespectful to the teacher, but distracting to the other students.

3) By FAR the biggest the biggest student complaint about other students is personal hygiene – a delicate matter between people.

  • No one wants to have to tell a fellow training partner that their kimono smells like blue cheese or that they need some deodorant!
  • Be considerate of the other training partners and always arrive at class with clean gear, fresh breath and trimmed nails.

4) Understand which techniques are forbidden / illegal in the academy.

  • Leaping on an ankle and cranking a heel hook is VERY bad form when these types of techniques are not allowed for a belt rank!
  • Ask your professor if you are not sure before rolling.

A great training year of 2016 to all of the Gracie Barra readers!

read also: Your Bjj New Year’s Resolutions

Credits: Mark Mullen
Gracie Barra Black belt based in Bangkok, Thailand
Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ