American Jiu Jitsu _ MIT

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					                           American Jiu Jitsu @ MIT
                  A beginner’s guide: What you need to know before you begin.

Welcome to the American Jiu Jitsu club at MIT. We are both a club sport (under the Department of Athletics and
the ASA) as well as an official MIT PE class during the Fall term, 2 quarter. The purpose of our club is to learn self-
defense. Specifically, we practice the American Jiu Jitsu System of Self-Defense. We are open to anyone willing to
learn in a fun, safe environment. In addition to self-defense, ancillary benefits include better health, stress
management, and increased self-confidence. We have created this document in the hopes that it may aid you in the
beginning stages of your journey into the martial art of Jiu Jitsu.

Dojo Etiquette:

        Your belt – All new members or potential members who have a gi should wear a white belt. If you have
        earned a black belt in another form of Jiu-Jitsu/Jujitsu/Aikijitsu/etc., you may wear your black belt, but talk
        to the head instructor first.

        Your gi – Keep your gi clean. No one will work with you if your gi is dirty, smelly, or in any way unsanitary.
        Black gis/gi pants are reserved for certified instructors. Blue gis/gi pants are reserved for the student of the
        year and black belts.

        Bowing – We bow to the front of the room and the instructor, the mat, and other students as a sign of
        respect as well as for safety.

        Responding – When responding to an instructor with a black belt, refer to them as sensei (teacher)… such
        as in “Thank you, Sensei” (Domo arigato gozimasu, Sensei), or “Yes, Sensei” (Hai, Sensei). When referring to
        anyone of higher rank, especially non-black belt instructors, refer to him or her as sempai (older student).

        Mutual respect – Always show the utmost respect to anyone and everyone! Never let your temper flare.
        Never do something out of frustration. We are all here to learn and to have fun! Safety is always our first

        Safety – Safety is the number one concern of the instructor. Having a fun, enjoyable class is number two.
        Learning something is number three. Always keep safety in mind. If you are unsure of something, ask. If you
        feel something is unsafe, let an instructor know immediately. Always let the instructor know of any previous
        injuries or medical conditions. If you receive a cut, make sure to cover the injury and clean up any blood
        before continuing practice. If you feel uncomfortable doing something, don’t do it until you feel

        Confrontation – Any sign of confrontational behavior (abusive language, challenges, etc...) will lead to
        immediate dismissal. We are not here to fight. We are here to learn self-defense.


                              WE ARE HERE TO LEARN AND TO HAVE FUN!

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        Mate (ma-tay) – Pause! (stop for additional instruction after finishing the current technique).
        Yame (ya-may) – Halt! (immediately stop anything you are doing, and wait for instructions).
        Hajime (ah-ja-may) – Begin! (continue practice).
        Seiza (say-za) – Sit down in the kneeling posture (or cross-legged if more comfortable).
        Kioskai (kee-o-skay) – Attention! (stand at attention: place your hands at your side, with feet close together).

Your first class:

        What to wear: Wear standard workout clothes (such as sweats, sweat shirt, etc…) or a gi if you have one. It
        is suggested that you wear pants and not shorts. Sneakers may not be worn on the mat; however, you may
        wear socks or wrestling shoes if desired (no shoes may be worn when using the canvas).

        Who to talk to: Anyone, but let one of the instructors know who you are, and if you have any previous
        experience or medical conditions before the class starts. If the instructors are unable to speak with you
        before class, they will come introduce themselves during class.

        What type of discipline is there? You should be mature enough to know what is and is not appropriate
        behavior. As a new student, we do not want you to worry too much about formalities. You will learn what is
        expected of a student, in terms of behavior, attitude and aptitude with time. We are here to learn and have
        fun – and that is what we expect of you.

How are classes run?

        1.       After you walk into the dojo (workout room), take off your shoes.
        2.       Bow yourself onto the mat as a sign that you are ready to train.
        3.       When the instructor asks the class to line up, line up toward the back of the mat.
        4.       Classes begin with some basic stretches.
        5.       After stretches, we will usually start up with some brief calisthenics (such as jumping jacks or brief
        6.       After calisthenics, we will run through some basic strikes. If the instructor does not explain the
                 strikes in detail, just follow along as best you can. Go as slow as you like – you are here to learn.
        7.       After strikes, we will often do some falls and rolls to loosen up the body. If you do not know how to
                 do falls or rolls, or would like a refresher, the instructor will split you off with one of the other
        8.       After falling ways are complete, everyone will sit to the back of the mat in seiza (or cross-legged), as
                 the instructor goes over the day’s agenda and proceeds with questions and answers.
        9.       Everyone will break off with a partner and work on the techniques that have been described by the
        10.      If this is one of your first classes, an instructor will come around to get your name and e-mail, along
                 with some paperwork that MIT requires all students to fill out.
        11.      At the end of class, everyone will line up, and the class will bow to the front of the dojo as a sign of
                 thanks and respect to both the instructor and fellow students.

What to expect from class: Unless a class is advertised as being the first class of the term, or a beginners class, you
may see any variety of things. You may see/partake in a grappling class, a ground fighting class, a class on holds,
throws, locks, multiple attacks, or a weapons defense class, etc… We will try to accommodate you as best we can,
but some classes are definitely geared toward more advanced students. Don’t let this frustrate you; we always
alternate advanced, intermediate and beginner topics. When you come to the next class, it will seam much less
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Can I just sit and watch? Absolutely, but you are more than welcome (and encouraged) to get on the mat and

Club dues: Club dues are $40 for students, MIT staff, and MIT affiliates per academic term ($20 for the summer).
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Club dues should be paid once you decide to become an active club member (sometime between your 3 and 5
class). You may pay in cash or write a check to the club. Club dues help pay for guest instructors, seminars, club
dinners, federation-related costs, club workout equipment, the club library, first aid equipment, and class handouts.
First time-members will receive a yellow-belt list to aid in their study of Jiu Jitsu – don’t loose it and don’t forget it
on the mat when you leave! Gaining entrance into the DuPont gymnasium requires an MIT Athletics Card.

Jiu Jitsu gi: Once you decide to stick with Jiu Jitsu, you should purchase a gi. We recommend that you purchase a
white gi through the club. However, you may wear any white gi that you purchase. Just make sure that you get a Jiu
Jitsu or Judo gi. A Karate gi or Tae Kwon Do gi will tear too easily.

Jiu Jitsu PE: To get PE credit for taking Jiu Jitsu, you must sign up for Jiu Jitsu PE during the second quarter PE

How often do I need to come? You are welcome to come whenever you want. However, to make progress, it usually
requires that you show up between 2-3 times per week. Some members show up less, some more. As with any skill…
the more you practice, the faster you will progress, and the better you will become.

What if I have medical problems? Let the instructor know of any medical problems you might have before training
in Jiu Jitsu. If you have any previous medical problems that might adversely affect your training, you will need a
doctor’s note to continue (heart disease, limited lung function, major surgeries, etc…). As with any exercise, it is a
good idea to consult with your doctor before continuing.

I have more questions. Who do I ask? Our web page has an FAQ that is quite comprehensive. You may also ask any
student or instructor. We would be happy to answer your questions or address your concerns. If you would like to
ask questions in a more discrete manner, either let an instructor know, or send the head instructor an e-mail at or visit

American Jiu Jitsu @ MIT class priorities: (1) Safety (2) Have Fun (3) Learn

When do you practice during the school year? (Our summer and IAP hours tend to be different.)
Fall / Spring Hours:
                  Monday          9-10:30pm     Advanced Class (blue belt and above – open workout)
                  Wednesday       9-10:30pm     Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced Class (all students welcome)
                  Thursday        9-10:30pm     Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced Class (all students welcome)
                  Saturday        3-5:00pm      Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced Class (all students welcome)
                                  5-6:00pm      Grappling Class
                  Sunday          3-5:00pm      Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced Class (all students welcome)
                                  5-6:00pm      Grappling Class

Summer Hours:
                  Monday          6:30-8:00pm     Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced Class (all students welcome)
                  Wednesday       6:30-8:00pm     Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced Class (all students welcome)
                  Saturday        2:00-4:00pm     Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced Class (all students welcome)

        Note: All students are welcome (from newcomer through advanced) on all days. However, the content of
        each class type will differ. Advanced classes cover blue-belt and higher techniques and concepts.
        Intermediate classes cover orange-belt through red-belt curriculum. Beginner classes cover yellow-belt
        principles and the foundations of self-defense.

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