The purpose of this article is to answer any questions you might have about starting to train Gracie Jiu-Jitsu at Scranton MMA;  in particular your first class.

Just Curious? 

At most schools you can watch a class and ask some questions before ever getting on the mats. Not at Scranton MMA! Why? Because we aren’t most schools. At Scranton MMA your first class will be a one on one lesson with an instructor! In this one on one session you will experience a broad overview of Gracie Jiu Jitsu, including techniques and theories, and be able to ask all the questions you require an answer to!


What to Wear

Before your first class you will need to figure out what to wear. Assuming you don’t already own a kimono, wearing a t-shirt and board shorts or sweat pants are perfect. Eventually you will need to buy a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gi if you continue training. One very important consideration is to NOT wear anything with zippers, pockets, buckles, straps, loops, etc. Such clothing is dangerous since fingers and toes can get caught in them. Cargo shorts are an example of what not to wear.


Make sure your finger and toe nails are neatly clipped and free of sharp or jagged edges. If you have long hair, tie it back in a ponytail. You should also remove any piercings to prevent injuries to yourself or others.

Your First Group Class

Show up a few minutes early to introduce yourself to other students. You will find everyone at Scranton MMA to be extremely friendly and willing to help out a new member.


Most classes start with a group warm-up which consists of running laps followed by solo drills like planks, sprawls, forward and backward break falls, and shrimping. Many of the movements will be new for you but a fellow member will help you through it!


After warm-ups the class is called in for technique. The lesson taught will be in line with our beginner curriculum, a 36 week lesson plan! Don’t worry, you don’t need to start at lesson one – the curriculum is designed in such a way that in time you will be exposed to each and every lesson. Once you have viewed the lesson you will partner with another member and practice, or “rep out”, the technique.


Resistance drills follow the instruction. This will be your first chance to try out what you just learned against a resisting partner in a live setting. Depending on your comfort level with the technique you partner will provide you with anywhere from 50% to 100% resistance will you drill the technique.


The universal signal for submission in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is to tap your partner or the mat three times. When you tap, make sure you do it hard enough that your partner can feel it or loud enough on the mat that they can hear it. Likewise, be aware of your training partner tapping and stop whatever you are doing when he does so.

After Class

Be sure to hydrate while you hang out and discuss training with the other members of Scranton MMA!