In every culture and sub-culture there are unwritten rules and etiquette that all members and students must adhere to. It’s the same for the BJJ culture. In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu studios and schools all over the world, it’s good for new students to be brought up to speed on some of these “unwritten rules” or common sense procedures. It is also important for more experienced practitioners to be reminded about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu etiquette as well.
One of the most important aspects of your BJJ training is rolling on the mat. It’s only through regular rolling that you sharpen your skills and become a true BJJ warrior. However, there are some common sense rules and etiquette that all students simply must adhere to when they are rolling. We’ve sourced some information from Revolution BJJ that may be helpful to all of you new BJJ students. Check out and remember these before you head out to your next practice session.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Etiquette
If you’re brand new to BJJ and want to get a head start on some not-so-common sense etiquette for your first day at class, check out this article written earlier… First Day Of BJJ Class.
First, why would you want to be nice to your training partners? Do you really have to ask that question? Your partners will be giving you feedback as to what works and what doesn’t, technical advice (especially if they have more experience than you), and a great experience rolling. If you have a “no quarter asked, none given” style of rolling at the gym, you are going to be missing out on an extremely valuable part of training: feedback from your partner. Further, what’s to stop your partner from being “that guy” when he rolls with you?
The “golden rule” certainly applies at the gym, but what does it mean?
Here are a few simple tips to figure out what’s appropriate at the gym when you’re training.
Be a good partner. Don’t be a limp fish when drilling with your partner. On the flip side, don’t resist every movement your partner makes when doing a technique you’re both just now learning for the first time. This time is for you to figure out the basic movement and then get it down to muscle memory. If you have feedback, use your voice to give it, not full on resistance. Your partner will thank you, and will be more likely to return the favor.
Remember that you are responsible in part for your own safety and for the safety of your training partner. If your partner is not willing to tap to a joint lock, for example, are you willing to break his arm or leg in order to “teach him a lesson”? Hopefully not.
On the other side of the coin, though, if you are caught in a submission, you should tap when trapped, not when pain starts to appear, or when you are fairly certain something is about to break. Be honest with your partners and don’t tap when a submission isn’t locked in yet, but once it’s locked in, do your duty as a good partner and tap!
Similarly, tucking one’s chin isn’t a viable defense to a choke, but is breaking their nose or orbital bone really a viable answer to someone who doesn’t want to tap to a choke and tucks their face into it?
Original Source: Revolution BJJ
Unlike Tai Chi and some of the other “soft” martial arts, you’re not going to get better at BJJ without working with others. You’ll spend a lot of your time teamed up with training and sparring partners. By knowing the unwritten rules of being a good training partner, you’ll progress faster and you’ll be a true asset to your training partners, in their quest to become better BJJ practitioners.
Be sure to always put safety, both yours and your training partner’s, at the top of your list. Don’t be afraid to tap when the time is right, and give verbal feedback to your partner when you are rolling. By doing so, you’ll both develop faster and avoid potential injuries.
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