1- When your enter a BJJ academy, first thing : go shake the hand of the instructor first. How does it make sense to you? What do you think of someone entering a gym, say hello to everyone except the professor?
2- Bow to the dojo, and to your partner at the beginning and the end of the class. It is a sign of respect. Check hands to your partners is cool, we do it everytime we roll or do techniques with someone. During a roll as well everytime there is a “reset”. However the “bow” tradition in jiu-jitsu is still there. This little detail show you learned about jiu-jitsu culture and you are part of it.
3- Understand the meaning and necessity of hierarchy, inspite we are all equal fondamentally. The belt in jiu-jitsu represents your dedication, commitment, time, energy, effort, tears, blood and sweat you spent on the mat. So when you enter an academy you say hello first to the teacher, then the other black belts, then the brown belts, etc. But you say hello to everyone. If you are blue belt, spar with your team mate and collide into other higher belts it is up to you to move. If you collide into white belts it is up to them to move
4- Personnal hygiene : your gi must have a good smell. For that it is recommanded to have at least 2 gis. The same for your nogi apparel. They must be fresh! Your nails (feet and hand) must be short. Your feet must be clean too with no smell. It is recommander to go to shower them before you enter the mat. You must not were any jowels, watch, ear rings…
5- Hygiene in the dojo : the dojo is cleaned by the professor and the students. Every practitionner knows what it is to clean a mat. So everyone help around to clean the dojo. It is a guaranty that it will remain clean for everyone.
6- Never interrupt the instructor, go drink or use your mobile phone while he explains a technique. Think about switching off your phone before the session unless you must keep it on for your work or other important reason. For that just talk with the coach so he knows.
7- The first time you enter a gym don’t ask to roll with a black belt or with the professor. Also respect the progress, be aware of difference of level, strength, size…
8- Always respect your partners. Never complain or groam if you are submitted by a higher belt. Just train silently and progress for yourself. Always accept to tap and leave your ego at the door. Don’t seek for submission but for perfection. Always roll smart, minimize strenght and use the flow, improve your coordination and use the right amount of strength.
9- If you can’t attend a class send a message of apology to the teacher. Why? Because he dedicate his time to teach you and will always be there to encourage you. You can go to the class and participate as you can. You don’t have to do everything. The most important is that you are here. Don’t forget that we support a team, an academy. If there is an event or new students and the academy in empty, there must be euther a problem or a big lack of support. We are all into the same boat, we all have our place and necessity for this academy to exist, grow, thrive and be part of the bjj family. It makes sense isn’t it?
10- Be patient, trustful in this culture that exists for thousands of years. You are not the one who will change it. You are the guest, you must adapt to this new world, not the opposite. You must understand the beauty of it and do your homework. Don’t ask for your belt promotion or stripes. It is up to the instructor to decide. Only time and dedication will get you there. If you understand all that your progress will be fast, you will go higher, and you will be able to create your own jiu-jitsu and in turn be able to transmit or share with others this beautiful art. The Heart as well in this is above the muscle and the intellect. We recommand all the thing you can read in the JJGF website, as well as the Gracie University, Gallerr Academy…
You will find also very useful tips in this video from Gustavo Gasperin, Fabricio Werdum BJJ Black Belt :