4 Parts of Every BJJ class

At True Fight Club we have two classes running every night at the same time.

I’ve been on both sides of the invisible wall that divides these two classes.  I know from teaching the stand-up arts (Boxing & Muay Thai) that many of those students would like to try BJJ, but it seems too foreign and intimidating to them. 

Today I’m going to demystify Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for you so that the next time you’re inspired to join a class, you jump right in.

There are 4 basic parts to every Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class.

1.  The Warm Up

2.  Technique of the Day

3.  Rolling (Live sparring)

4.  Line-up (Dismissal)


The Warm-Up

The warm-up at our gym and most other Ralph Gracie affiliate schools goes for 30 minutes. Warm up starts with jogging around the gym and is led by the highest-ranking student on the mat. 

In the warm up we drill basic movements that are often used in the live sparring portion of the class.

Here is a quick video of some basic drills we do in a BJJ warm up.  

The Technique of the Day

This is the meat of any BJJ class. 

The instructor will show basic finishing moves as well as set ups to get into the moves.  Examples of past moves of the day are armbars, triangle chokes, rear naked chokes and omoplatas (shoulder cranks). 

Students pair up, usually white belts pair with colored belts, and each student does the move 2-3 times.  Students learn both by doing the move and having the move done on them.  The instructor will walk around the class to make sure everyone is doing the move correctly.


The last 30 minutes of the class is usually reserved for rolling, or live sparring.  It is good practice to attempt the move of the day on an unwilling participant. 

When you can do that you’ll have confidence that you have total control of that move.  We start on our knees and shake hands before and after every round.  During this portion of the class people are moving all around.  Be aware, higher belts have the right of way.  If you’re a white belt and two black belts are rolling right next to you, you have to move out of their way.

Line up

Most academies line up according to rank at the end of every class.  This way the instructor can share important announcements.  The belt order is Black, Brown, Purple, Blue, and White.  We shake the instructor’s hand and are dismissed from highest to lowest belt.

Those are the 4 basic parts to every BJJ class.  I hope this article help you understand the basic structure of the classes.  Good luck with your training.  Try a class.  Have fun.

Blog by: Evan Esguerra

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