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Versus Grappling Tournaments for 2015 / What happens in a typical BJJ class?

Most of our Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes use the following structure:

A short warm up

The warm-up will involve some running around the mats (or running with knees up/heels up), circling your arms, forward and backward rolls, breakfalls and BJJ specific mobility drills such as bridges, shrimping or partner-drills. There may also be some bodyweight exercises. The warmup will prepare you for the technique that you will learn in class.  If you can’t do some of the warmup exercises, don’t worry about it, just replace the exercise with a different movement and try again later when you’re more experienced.


After the warm up you can expect to learn three or four related techniques – each of these techniques will be demonstrated by the instructor, then “drilled” (practiced) for a few minutes. For example, you may learn a submission, a defence to that submission, and then one or two options that you (as the attacker) have if your opponent chooses that defence. Usually, the techniques are drilled compliantly for a few minutes, but towards the end of the session you may try something called “positional sparring” where you and your partner try to use the techniques you have learned on each other while the other person tries to resist the techniques.


In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, sparring is known as “rolling”. A large portion of each class is devoted to this. Sparring usually starts on the knees, although some people who are preparing for a competition may start standing. A round of sparring lasts for five minutes, and the objective is to make your opponent submit using either a choke or a joint lock.

It is up to you whether you spar in your first few lessons. If you prefer to sit and watch to get an idea of what goes on, that is OK. If you are interested in sparring you will be partnered with the instructor or an experienced student who can help you learn the rules as you go.

Cool down

Depending on the activities carried out in the class, there may be a short cool-down with gentle stretching at the end.

Throughout the class you will have opportunities to take a break to drink some water. Take advantage of these, because staying hydrated is important for injury prevention.

Posted in: Origin BJJ

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