What is Adult BJJ Classes are like
To help you get comfortable for your first BJJ class, let’s break it down a bit.
Beginner BJJ classes start with a bow as a sign of respect and a warmup of less than 10 minutes. Generally the warmup consists of be body weight exercises. Before COVID-19, this was generally running in a circle, followed by exercises like squats and pushups, then followed by more BJJ specific moves like breakfalls and triangle choke with the legs. Then finished with line drills for hip escapes and takedowns. At our academy we spread out and go right into different ginastica natural movements which are in place, mimic movements of BJJ and are done in your own space.
Then techniques will be based on a position of the week like the top of mount or the bottom of closed guard. Techniques will be based on reactions or indicators that your partner gives you so you know when to use each technique. Each technique is broken into 4 to 7 steps. The technique will be shown several times with instruction and then the instructor will instruct the class through the move step by step as they do it the first time. Then you will have 7 to 10 minutes to practice the move on your own before moving onto the next move. You will get to practice the position in sparring through positional training where one person is on top and the other person is on bottom. Sometimes you will be rotating different partners in class. After class ends, the professor will give some thoughts of the day, any promotions that need to happen and then you bow out.
Advanced classes will sometimes skip the warmup and go directly into moves of your choice such as takedowns, guard pulls into sweeps, passes from closed guard, etc. Then going into the moves of the day.
What Kids BJJ Classes are like
Kids BJJ classes are more structured than the adult class. They start with a bow and our black belt pledge that is a call and response “Why are we here?” “To Learn!”. Then we to in place warmups such as running in place, jumping and sprawling. They also work on their impulse control with a freeze game called Gargoyles. They go through different BJJ specific movements like breakfalls, stand in base, shoulder rolls and usually finish the warmups with animal movements that simulate BJJ movements.
The 4 to 7 year olds focus on one move of the day while the older kids do two moves of the day. The move is broken into three to five steps. We also show the move in a way that parents can follow at home if they are participating via Zoom. For the older kids who have two techniques they will have the techniques broken up by training takedowns. The younger kids either train takedowns or play Squish for their training portion of class. After training is complete their class is finished with either a speech on the word of the month such as Generosity or a game for the later days of the week. The older kids train from the position of the week and rotate partners while training. Then kids close out class with a cheer out and promotions are done at the end of the month. Curriculum rotates weekly. Three is always a balance of things staying the same with the basic format while each class is made unique through different games and drills to keep the class fun and the energy high.