Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to compete if I join?
Absolutely not. Some of our students compete (in BJJ/Submission grappling tournaments or MMA), some do not. You will be under no pressure whatsover to compete. We pride ourselves in maintaining an atmosphere that is inviting for those who simply want to learn BJJ/MMA for conditioning, recreation or self-defense. We also cater to those who want to compete by putting on mock tournaments and special competitor sessions.
Do I need prior experience to join?
Absolutely not. The majority of those who join Hybrid have little or no experience before coming in. Our BJJ Fundamentals class is a great way to learn the basic positions, sweeps and submissions necessary for a great foundation. We also offer new students a one-on-one session with an upper rank to help them out with those fundamentals. We have a lot of open mat time for you to go over technique with other students and get through any questions/issues you may have.
What style of Jiu-Jitsu is taught at your school?
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Specifically, George Hissung (our head instructor) is a Marcelo Alonso black belt, who’s a Carlson Gracie black belt. Here’s a very in-depth article on Carlson Gracie – so you can see why we’re proud to be associated with this branch of BJJ!
What type of gear is needed for the BJJ classes?
You’ll eventually want a BJJ Gi – we have some great recommendations for you and will sell one or two types in the retail store! But for your first few lessons, no Gi is needed. You should wear a mouthguard and some guys/women will wear ear protection as well.
Want to Check it Out?
You can watch a class, meet the instructor and ask some questions before ever getting on the mats. If you would like to participate, the first class is free. Our instructors and members are incredibly helpful and can answer any questions you might have.
Do I need to sign a waiver?
Yes, all students or their parents need to read and sign the waiver. Although we provide a safe environment and teach appropriate techniques and methods to limit injuries, this is a full contact combat sport, and at times injuries do occur. You need to understand that and agree to be responsible for yourself. The waiver also has additional information about Hybrid policies you should be aware of, and agree to.
All students under the age of 18 must have a parent or legal guardian sign the waiver sheet in person at the gym. This is to ensure parents and guardians are aware of and support their children’s participation in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
What to Wear
You don’t need to own a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gi for your first class. T-shirts, rash guards, board shorts and sweat pants are all fine (these are the standard for no-gi class). You can also wear a gi or uniform from another martial art for the first few classes. You will need to buy a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gi if you continue training. They are generally heavier, and can take the constant pulling and grappling that other gis cannot.
Do NOT wear anything with extra pockets, snaps, belt loops or baggy fabric. These are dangerous since fingers and toes can get caught in them. Baggy cargo shorts are a common example of what not to wear.
If you already own them, you can wear any protective gear (knee braces, ear guards, mouth guard, cup, etc.) you feel you need, with the exception of wrestling shoes. Athletic tape can be used to protect injured fingers or toes.
Make sure you are generally clean and your finger and toe nails are well-groomed. If you have long hair, you’ll want to put it up in a ponytail or bun during class. You should also remove any jewelry and piercings to prevent injuries.
Your First Class
You’ll want to show up a couple minutes early to introduce yourself to the instructor and check out the school (if you haven’t visited already). We have a full gym that you will want to look at. You’ll also need to sign a waiver before taking a class.
Before class starts, you’ll have a chance to get dressed and stretch out on the mats. We have a changing room in the back. Be sure to get everything ready before class starts so you don’t have to miss anything.
We are pretty informal at Hybrid. However, we do have a couple traditions during class. We will line up at the beginning of class highest rank to new guys/gals left to right and bow in. At the end of class, we do the same thing, bow out and shake hands with the instructor. Other than that, we don’t use a formal name for the instructor such as Sensei or Sifu. We show respect by listening while the instructor is teaching and being a safe training partner.
We usually start the class with a fairly heavy-duty conditioning session. You are expected to do only what you are comfortable with. You’re not expected to keep up with the experienced students. Most classes start with a group warm-up, such as running laps and doing push-ups, followed by solo drills like forward and backward breakfalls and shrimping. Those last three moves will probably be new to you, so just watch what everyone else is doing and try to copy them. These are to help you learn how to fall safely and move your hips and escape on the ground.
Don’t worry if you don’t get the exercises correct at first—no one does on their first day, and they take a little practice. Just give it your best try and the instructor or a higher belt will make sure you learn to do it right.
After warm-ups, you’ll be partnered with someone and go to your own section of the mats to be taught your first lesson. At Hybrid, we do practice a beginner curriculum and also have advanced classes. An example of a beginner curriculum might be learning and drilling the following four techniques:
1. Upa mount escape.
2. Guard pass to side control.
3. Taking mount from side control.
4. Americana armlock(no-gi) or cross collar choke (with gi).
Usually resistance drills and sparring follow the instruction and repetition of techniques. This will be your first chance to try out what you just learned against a fully resisting partner in a live drill. And as such, it’s important that you understand some basic rules for all live drilling and sparring:
• No striking, punching or kicking.
• No eye gouging or hair pulling.
• No twisting or grabbing fingers.
• No slamming (picking someone up and dropping them).
• No heelhooks (twisting the foot or knee).
• No neck cranks.
Remember that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is designed to be trained safely without serious injury. These rules are to help keep you and your training partners safe and healthy.
The normal way you signal submission in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is to tap on your opponent or the ground. When you tap, make sure you do it hard enough that your partner can feel it; or tap yourself or the mat where they can see and/or hear it; or verbally tap by saying “Tap!”; or loudly tap the mat with your foot so they can hear it.
Likewise, be aware of your training partner tapping and stop whatever you are doing when he does so.
Tapping is just part of training and there is no shame in it. Don’t worry about winning or losing. Just try the techniques you’ve learned to the best of your ability and tap when you need to, ideally before it hurts.
At most schools the class concludes with live sparring. You may be assigned a sparring partner(s), and usually you’ll change partners after every round. At Hybrid, sparring follows the last class of the evening and is usually an open mat format.
At the start of each round, you’ll begin by facing your partner on your knees. When you’re both ready shake hands and start to “roll”: try out your techniques, stopping whenever one of you taps and restarting from knees.
With class over, you might have more questions, now you’ve trained for the first time. If you enjoyed the class and want to continue training, you can also discuss prices and setup a schedule.
You will need a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gi for continued training. We do sell gis, but can also recommend good places to purchase them at online stores.
I hope this answers any questions you might have about what your first day could be like at a Brazilian Jiu-jitsu/submission grappling class. Good luck in your future training.