Maybe one of the grossest and most repulsive things you can face in jiu-jitsu is training with someone who has either really long and/or dirty nails. Besides the aesthetic repulsiveness, dirty long nails are potentially a danger to you and your partners. Not only can you badly cut your partner and yourself but the chances of an infection are higher due to all the bacteria that can be under a long and dirty nail. Furthermore, longer nails can break from impact and that can be quite painful and annoying itself – so make sure to maintain those nails on your hands and feet.
Don’t come late to class.
It’s just annoying for your professor and your teammates. It shows a lack of effort and discipline. In many traditional judo classes, you aren’t even allowed into the class if you are late. Every BJJ school has different rules, depending on the professor, but being late is considered disrespectful in most.
Wash your gi.
Coming to class in a clean gi is important, not only from a hygienic perspective, but you don’t want to torture your partners with the many different nasty smells that a dirty gi can produce. So again, due to respect for your partners, come with a washed gi.
Greet your opponent.
People always slap hands before they start a match – it’s a sign of respect for your opponent. Whether it’s at a tournament or in a class, you have to either shake hands, slap hands, high five, low five, fist bump, bow or whatever else to show good will and sportsmanship. In more traditional martial arts, a bow is mandatory – you must always bow to your partner or opponent. In our more modern sport of BJJ, the tradition varies from school to school, but either way, it’s there and you shouldn’t forget to do it.
Don’t speak while your instructor is demonstrating.
You’d think this would be common sense, but there are plenty of moments where guys either have a chit chat about something in the back while the professor is explaining something. When the professor calls everyone in to explain something, you listen and you stay quiet. It’s annoying for the professor and for the other students trying to focus on the lesson. Feel free to tell the people to zip-it next time you hear chattering while the instructor is doing his thing.
Don’t crank the submissions.
Believe it or not, it’s more important to make sure your partner is not hurt than get the submission. Then again, it is also your partner’s responsibility to tap early enough. However, there are submissions and moments that can come on so quickly that most people won’t have a time to properly tap before getting hurt. So it’s also up to you to identify those moments and save people some trouble.
Yield mat space for higher belts.
These rules may vary from school to school, but generally, if you’re rolling dangerously close to another pair of partners, the pair with the lower belt has to stop and restart in a less busy area. Not only does this show respect for the higher and more experienced belts, but it’s a quick way of deciding who should move and avoiding some serious injuries.