First 10 things to teach?

How would you introduce BJJ to someone who has never seen UFC/Pride?

self defense moves!!

Show them something cool that'll get their attention... That always worked for me. Or if not... show them a tape of it(UFC tape or Jiu Jitsu tape).

pjay is also *somewhat* correct..."something cool" to someone who doesn't know anything can be the key lock from the side mount and the rear naked choke. i like to teach them these moves because they are easy, effective and it is something they can take back and show their friends and say "hey look what i learned". and everyone likes to be able to do that.

Great ideas, much appreciated!

Now, what if they are standup folks who have bought into the sport vs. street spiel?

You show them some basics and they say that's "ok" but in a real fight I would gouge/bite/groin rip?

haha...well, that's a different situation. if they are obviously beyond hope, perhaps older and been in traditional martial arts a very long time, then you need to just try to make them understand that a groin shot to someone who is 100+ heavier than you and already worked up because you are fighting doesn't have the same effect that a rear naked choke does. then there is the other type of person who says this that would best understand it by being shown. you can always say "OK, you can do anything you want to me, and I will only defend. I won't even strike back" once or twice around that block is all they usually need. I've found out that these types of talkers aren't really interested in learning but want to "test" out BJJ. my 2 cents.

"...and it is something they can take back and show their friends and say "hey look what i learned". and everyone likes to be able to do that."

This is a very good point as well.
Now when you say self-defense moves do you mean the standing jiu-jitsu stuff like vs. wrist grabs and standing headlocks shown in Royce's book? I am thinking you gotta show them ground fighting because all trad. MA have that type of stuff.

Why is it people watch UFC and you either "get it" (grappling/crosstraining is necessary) or you don't?


I've been grappling two years and still don't have a handle on the stuff you listed!

yes, sovann, alot of the stuff in the Royce book. Along, with the rear choke, key lock and also showing them all the basic positions of BJJ, i.e. guard, mount, back, etc. I realize BJJ is groundfighting, but I use the self defense moves to illustrate the leverage and technique that separates BJJ from other TMA's...Good moves to use to explain this are the headlock escapes, bear hugs, etc. It's also helpful to have them watch an actual class in session and the sparring that goes on after class.

Whew! I was wondering I was on the BJJ "short bus" and I should buy some brainQuicken.

LOL. I was worried there for a bit too.


Teach them ten escapes because that is what they will need the most.

Check their oil.

Show them the gracie in action tapes 1 & 2. That will open their eyes.


"what I think a rank beginner should be taught for the first several months of training"

One suggestion:


It's a skill which precious few BJJ'ers learn. Tournaments start standing up, and I know a few people who have cross-trained in judo and have fairly decent throws. If you walk into a decent uchimata and don't breakfall... well, let's leave it at that.

Guys thanks again. Forum bro Jacob Lamb and I went and taught a group of about 10 karate players 3 hrs. Showed them over view of positions and submissions available. Armbar and triangle from guard. Armbar from mount. Americana/kimura from side. Shrimping. Side mount escapes. Mount escapes. How to roll from knees.

Most had never sparred their standup or even heard of UFC, much less seen it. We were starting from square one.

The only folks with attitude were a brown and a black belt from another school that were invited.
I started of by asking why anyone would want to learn grappling. I think it kind of stuck in their craw to have to come up with a reason.

The two women were the ones who picked up and enjoyed it the most (other than the host instructor - who is stoked to learn)

I have had the easiest time teaching mainly positional control, and one escape and submission each day with many repetitions.

I'm just typing this off the top of my head, but probably:

Jiu Jitsu

1. Standing in base and applications

2. Elbow escape and applications

3. Bridge and Roll (umpa) and applications

4. Escape to knees and applications

5. Rear naked choke (Mata Leon)

6. Upward Fig 4 (Americana)

7. Straight Armbar

8. Downward Figure 4 (Kimura)

9. Front Choke (Guillotine)

10. Basic Sweep

Defesa Pessoal (Self Defence)

1. Single Hand Wrist Grab

2. Double Hand Wrist Grab

3. Front Bear Hug (Arms over)

4. Front Bear Hug (Arms under)

5. Rear Bear Hug (Arms over)

6. Rear Bear Hug (Arms under)

7. Standing Headlock (Hitting)

8. Standing Headlock (Holding)

9. Headlock Escape (Prone)

10. Shoulder Grab

Position is all well and good once you have decided to make jiu jitsu your art but if you are new you are coming for the submissions. I feel that you teach 4-5 submissions first along with holding and maintaining basic position. This way the student is pumped that they learned something that they can show their friends as well as try out in the live training. Now the submissions start to open the other areas of teaching. Once the student starts to ask why the submission is not working or why they can never get anything when they are in anothers guard, the position questions begin to pop up. Unfortuatly, new students do not come to class to learn a hellish guard pass.

I agree with Breeze05 100%.