Your first Bjj-class, what should you expect?

By Arete BJJ Malta,

  Category: advices for beginners

Archived blog post from old website


Look at this group of monsters.


You are about to attend your first Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class, you’re head is starting to play games with you…will I get crushed, what kind of people are over there, will they treat me like wolves treat their prey 

Personally, I can admit that these were the thoughts I had first time when I was sitting in a buss on my way to first Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practise. Time and Time again, I still get that same feeling when I visit new academy attend or attend a tournament.

Structure of the class

Warming up

First thing we do in our classes is warm up. This is very important part and it is crucial that you won’t come late. The core idea of the warm up is, not to improve our conditioning (although, that is sort of bonus), but rather to make our body warm and ready for the actual drilling. See, when you’re body is warmed up, you are much more relaxed and you don’t tense your body too much when you’re drilling techniques.

Also it is worth mentioning, that warm up prepares you mentally for the actual Jiu Jitsu and you’ll be able to leave your work / personal worries behind you.

Below, you can watch a video of which has few dynamic warm up exercises, which are big part of our warm up’s.

Other warm up exercises:

  • Hip escapes
  • Falling down ( yes, this is very important to master in the early stages, as this prevents greatly injuries)
  • Forward roll & backward roll + combination of other movements
  • Monkey-in-a-tree
  • Speed-drilling
  • bear walk with partner
  • sprints
  • +Loads of other stuff

Technique portion

After breaking a sweat and getting heart rate up, it is time to move on to technique portion of the class.
This is the part where you might feel bit awkward and even little bit embarrassed, since the moves / things we do are something that you might have never done before. But you know what? You shouldn’t be embarrassed, everybody goes through exactly the same.
Jiu Jitsu is freakin’ hard in the beginning. You don’t know where to put your leg / arm / head. Good news is, that eventually it will get easier or should I say, you will get better. 🙂

Nobody will judge you or make fun of you, it is actually quite opposite – we will do our best to help you 🙂

We focus on single position for a one month.
Position = Guard, side control, mount and back mount. There are tons of variations for each of these main positions.

On each positions we will drill attacks, escapes and sweeps.

Also, it is worth mentioning that we will drill take downs and throws, so that is the reason why you should know how to fall down correctly.


This is the premium of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This is also the part, which everyone loves the most. But sparring can be bit intimidating at first, especially when you’re not familiar with it.
Sparring is the part where we try to put everything together we’ve learned and compete against our training partner, in a friendly manor.
The goal of the sparring is not to tap out or submit your training partner by any means necessary, the goal is to learn from your mistakes and from your partner.

This is the time where you have to check your ego, in the beginning you will be in the losing end, you will get tap out, swept and taken down. But it doesn’t matter. There are no medals or world championships handed out in the dojo, dojo is the place where you learn & have fun.

If it is your first lesson, we won’t let you do sparring. You can observe on the side and once you feel comfortable, you can jump in. But there is absolutely zero pressure to do sparring.

The music

Music is big part of our classes, You can check out our Spotify playlist below.

The people who train with us

We have people training with us from all over the world – Finland, Sweden, Malta, UK, Ireland, US, Brazil, Germany, Italy you name it.
Sometimes, when I have though day at my dayjob (yes, I do have one) and I don’t feel like going to practice, it is the people who come there make me want to come back.
Nobody talks about work, everyone is there to take a break from their everyday life. It feels like I’m hanging out with my friends and having good time. We also have lots of travellers stopping by and training with us.

Instructors of Arete Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Malta

Our Instructors from left: Armando, Gabriel, Antti and Pontus, who helps us when he’s in Malta.

Jiu Jitsu is not just getting in better shape and building your confidence, it is also about making friends. You can have all the medals and the money in the world, but what does it matter if you don’t have any friends?

Don’t worry about your strength level, training gear or any other trivial things. Only thing you need to do is to show up, rest will follow 🙂