Respect In Modern MMA Gyms
20 years ago, Jiu Jitsu was a sport mainly practiced by crazy Brazilian’s and tough as nails international competitors. Now, Jiu Jitsu is one of the fastest growing sports in the world with hundreds of gyms opening up all over the world every year, this means that the average Jiu Jitsu practitioner has become more of the average person and less of those rare savages of old.
As Jiu Jitsu becomes more business based, we are slowly starting to see the simple respect systems fade away. So here is your guide to the simple things and concepts that you can do to show respect for your gym and coach!
Respect Your Coaches
This comes in a few different ways, but here are the biggest ones.
- When your coach is talking, listen! It’s important to listen, be attentive and ask questions when necessary to ensure you and your teammates are receiving the best coaching available!
- Respect your coaches time. Arrive early to class, if you are late by chance then apologise to your coach and get straight into your training!
- Don’t dawdle off the mats. Only leave the mats for water when your coach says and ask to use the restroom if you need to. When you’re off the mats, try to get back on the mats ASAP to avoid holding up the class.
Now not all gyms believe/practice this but you have probably seen people bowing before entering the gym or stepping on the mats. This is the simplest and easiest way to show respect to your gym. Bowing indicates you are alert, present and ready to begin training.
Slap & Bump or Glove Touch
These practices are widely followed by all mixed martial artists. A slap and bump before rolling or a glove touch before sparring shows respect to your training partner and lets them know you are ready to begin.
Show Respect To Higher Belts (And Show Respect To Lower Belts)
There is an unspoken rule in most BJJ gyms and it’s to show respect to the higher belts. A good example of this is moving out of the way if two higher belts are rolling and coming into your space. However it is also important for higher belts to show respect to lower belts! If you notice someone drilling wrong or if they do something wrong in a roll, show them how to do it properly. As a higher belt, you are the Big Brother/Sister of the gym!
These are some simple ways to show your respect to your gym, coach and teammates. If you would like to do any further reading into respect in BJJ, I recommend this article from BJJBuddy which outlines general etiquette and guidelines for respect in a BJJ gym.