“Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), what to expect as a Legion 13 White belt!”

Your first lesson: Expectations vs reality

So you’ve decided to do Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, congratulations! It is a martial arts you won’t regret. So you walk into a BJJ dojo, hopefully lots of people are smiling and greeting you, introducing themselves. We pride ourselves on our family and friendly atmosphere. Not sure what you expected from your first lesson doing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Most people understand martial arts as kicking and non contact, but in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, your expectations and attendance in class may surprise you. BJJ is a contact sport but there is no striking or punching, it is all grappling, this means we rely on leverage over strength, submissions, escapes and control instead of punching.

Positions and promotions

As a white belt you will learn submissions, such as the triangle, arm bar, arm locks and escapes. As you progress into your Brazilian Jiu Jistu journey you will learn sweeps and will add more detail to your foundations. What I always tell my beginners is to drill, drill and keep drilling and training and doing the same moves over and over, until the move natural. The more time you spend on the mats, the more you will build on your skill. A BJJ practitioner must have the basics down pact before they can progress to their next belt. Although skill is important it’s not the only thing I look at when I grade my students or promoting someone to blue belt. Attitude becomes everything. Regular attendance is paramount, having respect for our members of all levels and skills on our mats, will prove to me that you are ready for your next belt. As Francisco Mansor once said “No aspect of Jiu Jitsu is invented, only discovered. Every possible submission, sweep or throw already exists… progression is a matter of revelation, we have to learn to see what is there.”

Character Building

The lessons you learn doing Brazilian Jiu jistu will have an overflow affect on your character and personal life. The proud become humble, the egotistical becomes outward focused and the loud mouths become quite. How you might ask, well let me explain!

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, like with any martial artist quickly learns there is always someone quicker, stronger, faster, and more skilled than you. So if you think about it, someone who thinks a lot of themselves, the moment they get submitted, is the moment they lose their pride, because they are defeated. That is the truth in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, you don’t always win. This isn’t just for BJJ white belts and beginners, but it happens with all belts from white, to blue, to purple, brown and black belts,  no matter how many years you’ve been training martial arts, there is ALWAYS someone better than you. When a practitioner learns to lose, they understand life. The mindset they learn through BJJ gets carry through into their personal circumstances off the mats. Most BJJ practitioners usually train several times a week, so they learn to win and lose regularly. If you think about your child or teenager, the more they do something the more resilient, and the better they get at learning.  

The best part of the journey is the group of people your doing BJJ with. They become family. Not just our dojo but we are also part of Legion 13. Legion 13 is one of the biggest gyms in Perth and by signing up at C2 Martial arts allows you to become part of the Legion family too. You can train at any of our 12 gyms around Perth! Free. The benefit of becoming part of the Legion 13 family is that you get to train with hundreds of people with a different game and different styles. Our gym in Ocean Reef isn’t massive, so our classes won’t be overwhelming, but when Legion 13 hosts in-house competitions, the varying skill level becomes obvious. We are proud to be part of a family so much bigger than our Ocean Reef dojo.

Strength vs technique

The BJJ white belt doesn’t always remember the lessons taught, so the martial artist uses a lot more energy, muscle and strength in the early days. It is like a game of human chess, and the white belt takes time to remember the submissions, escapes and how to control their leverage instead of using strength. A white belt has no idea how to control what the other person is doing either, so frustration does sometimes set in. The person who’s been BJJ practitioner training longer already knows the white belts next move and how to counteract the white belt’s current move. The more years of training, the better a practitioner gets at counteracting their opponents move. One thing that I always tell my students is to relax! They often ask how to relax when someone’s body weight is  heavy on them, or when they can’t escape the position the are in, or how to loosen the grip that’s choking them. But remember, when people are under pressure they don’t think straight, if you want to think logically how to escape you need to slow down, not stress and think.  It’s human chess. The truth is, white belts will get submitted. Often. Accepting that it takes time to fill the memory bank with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu moves, escapes and piecing the puzzle together, over time which is incredibly important. Some Brazilian Jiu Jitsu martial artists, who use strength realise they hurt their opponents while training, they may becomes the person no one wants to wrestle. This is another important lesson to understand, people come to training to learn Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, not to get injured. So it’s important to remember to relax, use less strength and more leverage and positioning. This only comes with time on the mats, wresting different people, and giving yourself time to grow your knowledge, so you can calculate your next move.


In the early days, after a long day at work, you may or may not get worn out learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. You know that one extra thing that you got to do because your paying for it? Yeah, we hear you, but the truth is you will be worn out and exhausted. It’s normal!  Keep going!! When we talk to some of the guys we’ve been training with for a few years now have admitted that they crave Brazilian Jiu Jitu after a tough day. This is because you don’t think about the fight you had with your husband/wife earlier, or your tough day at work when you’re being submitted, or getting caught in compromising positions.  The Journey is worth the peace you get from being on the mats.

If you want to join our C2MA and legion 13 family, make sure your sign up on our website.

Looking forward to seeing you on the mats. Until next time!

Crimson Cruz

Head Coach