1.) Bring a friend! Trying something new is less scary with a buddy.

2.) Clean your person. Brush your teeth. Be odorless.

3.) Cut your fingernails and toenails. You’ll be in close contact with other people and your nails can cut someone. Open wounds in BJJ could lead to more serious issues if they come into contact with fungus or bacteria.

4.) Remove all jewelry. Jewelry can be accidentally ripped off or cut your partner.

5.) Remove all transferable cosmetics. Being pretty isn’t important at jiu-jitsu and cosmetics can stain your partner’s clothing.

6.) Wear comfortable clothing that covers as much skin as possible. Remember, you will be in close contact. Your sweat will get on people, and their sweat will get on you. A clothing barrier is nice.

7.) Be aware that your instructor is just a person who kept coming back after their first day. Just because he or she is good at jiu-jitsu doesn’t mean they know everything about everything and it doesn’t mean they are better than you at anything other than BJJ. So don’t be intimidated.

8.) Be humble. Be open to learning the lesson your instructor is providing and accept the help of your new teammates. Be kind and respectful to your training partners and do your best to help each other get better at jiu-jitsu.

9.) Don’t take shortcuts. Each movement in a technique is there for a reason. Skilled practitioners can improvise, but it’s important you practice the technique as it is taught.

10.) Have faith there is a game for you in jiu-jitsu. Whether you are overweight, teeny tiny, over forty, or still in junior high, you can do jiu-jitsu if you want to. If the techniques you learned on your first day weren’t for you, there will be another new technique tomorrow. It takes most people ten years to get a black belt, so don’t feel discouraged if you aren’t a champ on your first day.