Welcome back to another week of fitness fun! I had the sweaty pleasure of trying out some Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) this week, and I have to say- I’m hooked! I really, really want to do this again and maybe even make it a regular class to add to my fitness routine.
I have to give a little disclaimer, my husband does BJJ and has done so for the last 7 or so years. So I was already a little familiar with BJJ, since I’ve been getting put in arm bars by my husband whenever I give him a playful punch (insert smirk here).
I set up a time to do a drop in with Lindsey (coach and part owner) at ZUMA martial arts. I was feeling a little more nervous than most other classes I’ve gone to, probably something to do with the fact that I was going to be wrestling! When I walked into the studio I was immediately put at ease, being warmly greeted by Sarah Kaufman (who was the first Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion) and has fought the likes of Ronda Rousey. I was then greeted by Lindsey & Adam who were equally friendly, awesome and having a quick wrestle. Lindsey had me quickly hopping into the warm-up with the rest of the class, and I could already tell I was going to be sore the next day.
Lindsey was an excellent coach, really patient, an excellent teacher and insisted on repetition so I could get the movements down properly. If you’re in Victoria I would highly recommend joining her women’s class! It wasn’t intimidating at all, and the other girls were very friendly and helpful. So all that being said, here is the low-down on what you should know about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and being prepared for your first class!
What You Should Know about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu:
- BJJ was adapted from Japanese Jiu-Jitsu as a form of self defence by the Gracie family after the Japanese introduced Jiu-Jitsu to Brazil.
- The uniform or outfit worn to “roll” (aka wrestle) is called a Gi (pronounced Gee) and you will need one if you’re going to be attending a class unless otherwise specifically stated by the instructor.
- There’s no striking, punching, kicking, slamming, twisting or grabbing fingers.
- When you give-up you let your rolling partner know by ‘tapping’. So literally tap them with your open hand, say ‘tap’ or loudly tap the mat with your foot.
- BJJ is a really great martial art for ‘smaller’ people. It focuses a lot on self-defence and would be an amazing martial art for women to know.
- You’re going to be sore. I am still sore 2 days after my class with Lindsey. Lindsey is bad ass, she trains every day, and she is a strong looking lady! Do not under estimate this as a workout!
What You Should Bring to a BJJ class:
- As I mentioned above, you’re going to need a Gi. Talk to your instructor about potentially borrowing one, or if there’s a used one you can buy from someone at that gym (Gi’s are expensive).
- Sports bra
- Rash guard top or tight fitting lycra top, full underwear (no dainty lacey panties here) or lycra sport shorts. (Gi’s are a thick canvas material and actually chafe away at your skin when you’re rolling, you will want to protect your body as much as possible, especially your *ahem* private areas and booty).
- Water bottle and/or electrolyte drink (my husband loves to bring Coconut water with him for afterward).
- I would bring a small snack like a protein bar, or handful of nuts for afterwards. You’re working hard and are going to be real hungry after this class!
- You might want to bring some athletic tape, to tape up any piercings you can’t take out.
- Definitely going to want your hair up in some sort of way, so also be sure to have a hair elastic or two.
There you have it! I would highly recommend trying out a Jiu-Jitsu class, I really enjoyed myself. It worked out a lot of muscle groups that I never use, and I really loved that aspect of it! So see if you’re able to do a drop in at a BJJ gym close to you, and let me know if you do!