What to Expect: Your First Class

To begin with, you’re more than welcome to merely observe a class. Please do not feel any pressure to participate.

However, if you do want to participate, then you can usually expect our classes to follow a similar pattern.

Brazilian Jiujitsu and Judo classes are divided up into three parts:

  • Warmup
  • Technique / Drilling
  • Free Sparring

The warm-up will consist of skill-specific moves. At some point during the warm-up, you will experience a mixture of jogging, stretching and bodyweight exercises. We will have you “shrimping” and performing other strange animal-like movements, which are designed to acclimate your body to more dynamic movements. The moves may seem strange now, but you will eventually see why they are used so often. The moves you do in the warm-up are the basic movements that you will use in class.

In the drilling section, the instructor will show you a few techniques, and then you will practice those techniques with a partner. For your first class, the instructor will pair with you with an experienced student. Your more experienced partner will be there to assist you and your instructor will be very attentive to your progress. Don’t hesitate to ask questions.

In the final section of the class, you will get the opportunity to do some sparring. Please don’t feel any pressure to spar the first night (or any night). If you do want to spar, then notify your instructor and you’ll be paired with an appropriate partner. This is where you try to put into action what you have learned, while the other person is resisting. In sparring, the objective is to execute a successful throw or to force your opponent to submit by “tapping” to you (or by saying the word “tap”).

After your first lesson (or your first few month’s worth of lessons) you won’t know enough to easily submit most people, especially not anyone with experience. You should still try to take part in the sparring though, and see what you can do. Your instructor will match you with a person who is more experienced so that they can guide the sparring and keep you safe. Try to stay calm, and to not use a huge amount of strength. Try to implement what you learned in the class. If you are exhausted at the end and your partner is still looking relaxed and fresh, then you were too tense! Don’t worry though, that’s normal. Keep coming back and you will learn to relax.

After Class

Feel free to speak to your instructor and ask any additional questions. Let us know what you thought of the class. Feel free to take the opportunity to hang out with the rest of the AOW family. There’s no rush to leave. Members usually spend additional time socializing after class.