An Open Letter to The New Guy

3 min read
How do you start BJJ and when you do what are others expecting of you.

An Open Letter to The New Guy

Learn when you start BJJ what other are expecting of you and how to improve your GYM credit

Location: Sherwood Park, AB

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Starting BJJ can be intimidating for many, and as with nearly everything new, we really have no idea what we’re doing, haha! Especially with Jiu-Jitsu. One of the cornerstone tips with Jiu-Jitsu is to leave your ego at the door because it has no place in the GYM or in your mind. There will be bigger guys than you, and everyone is going to be better than you at the start. Stepping onto the mats while telling yourself that you’re going to destroy everyone is only going to reward you with a whole lot of disappointment. Believe me, when I say that trying to go for the kill for every roll isn’t going to help you make friends, and you’re only going to end up hurting yourself or someone else. It’s essential to keep an open mind at all times and prepare to get up close and personal with other dudes. It’s only weird if you make it weird. 

Different Perspective

Accepting loss is the first step to being successful in Jiu-Jitsu. There is so much to learn, and you’re going to be doing a whole lot of learning right up until your career is over. There is no limit to what you can learn in this sport, so always be open to trying new things even if you don’t think they’d work. There are no dumb techniques in Jiu-Jitsu, and that’s probably one of the most amazing things about it. Everyone’s body has different limitations, and people’s sizes vary. Just because it doesn’t work for you doesn’t mean it wouldn’t work for someone else. Try the move you’re shown, and if it doesn’t work at first, try making slight adjustments as you go to make it easier for you.

The First Rolls

Your first rolls are going to be some of the most exciting rolls you’ll ever have. Keep that idea in mind. Don’t be the spazzy white belt who doesn’t know how to control his limbs. Not that anyone in the gym expects much from you because you’re a new white belt, after all. With this being said, you have to try to be aware of where your limbs are at all times because if you don’t, you’re going to end up punching or kicking somebody, and that’s the last thing your partner wants. Also, it’s okay to tap. Do you remember the mention of “accepting loss” earlier? This is where tapping comes in. Fighting out of moves for too long will get you injured, and YOU will be at fault for that. If you’re caught, tap and try again.


Gym attire and hygiene are essential. Keep your nails clipped, your gi clean, and please (from all of us) wear a shirt and deodorant. Nobody wants to have their face on your bare, sweaty chest. That’s gross all on its own, but it reaches a whole new level if your body stinks, too. Most gyms won’t let you step onto the mats if your gi isn’t clean anyway, so training in it then leaving it in your car for the next few days is unacceptable. Even if you don’t think it stinks, trust me. It does.

Go For it!

Jiu-Jitsu can and will teach you many things if you let it, but if you let your ego get in the way, you’re going to get nowhere. Have fun, and try all of the new things you can, even if you feel like an idiot while doing so. Everyone in your gym has been in your shoes before, and most of them are still trying new techniques to expand their game. Accept all that Jiu-Jitsu has to offer, and train hard. I promise it’ll all pay off in the end.



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