Jiu Jitsu Etiquette

Advice for a new BJJ white belt.
July 15, 2016
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Jiu Jitsu Etiquette

You’re here! You’ve made it to the next step. Gi is on, you’ve started classes, and you are ready!  You’re going to attend your assigned blocks and classes, take notes, and fill your brain to capacity with all things Jiu Jitsu.  This is awesome!!  We’ve all been there, but sometimes. Forget what it was like to be the newbie on the mats.  So to help you out with some of the unspoken but forever present Jiu Jitsu etiquette “rules” I’ve made this little list.  Schools vary from program to program, so if you don’t know, ask!  It’s always better to ask questions than make assumptions.


  1. Footwear is required at any time you are not on the mats; even off you’re only grabbing a quick sip. This is the case at tournaments as well.
  2. Bow on and off the mats
  3. Bow and/or shake hands with your training partner before rolling; also, before and after a match
  4. When lining up it is in belt order. Color, stripes, newbies on the end
  5. When training, defer to higher belts. Lower belts move, higher belts continue their roll.
  6. Your instructor is Coach, Professor, etc. show respect when addressing them and keep it professional. Even if you are friends or spend time together outside of Jiujitsu, within the school mind those parameters and boundaries.
  7. Do not enter or leave the mats without informing your instructor first
  8. Don’t be “that guy,” wash your gear. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
  9. Follow the curriculum. Don’t start working on some move you saw on YouTube when your instructor is teaching.
  10. Enjoy yourself. Everyone progresses at their own pace. Don’t compare yourself to this or that person. It’s your journey. Own it!


Happy Rolling!