We have had an increase in enrollment over the past few weeks. This is awesome because we want to be able to teach full time. The thing is that there is always a new guy who thinks he knows it all. Recently we have had three instances with beginners. All three would not STFU during drilling and to make matters worst flat out ignored our directions or pissed one of us royally with asinine comments.

Grant it we have a check system in place. It could be viewed as an ass whipping if you didn't know better. We just call it sparring. If your gym has such a system in place then you should be thankful. Then you should try real hard to not be that guy.

Here are some tips if you are going to start at a new gym.

1. Don't talk about prior training in karate, TKD, or an RBSD mcdojo when you were 10. It has no relevance to learning BJJ, Judo or MMA. If asked did you take a MA before be honest and say yea I got a BB in karate when I was 12 but haven't practiced in 10 years. In other words don't brag about it because you will seem like a douche.

2. It takes roughly 10,000 repetitions to become proficient with a technique. Do you honestly think that you have it mastered in the 10 reps you did on the first day and should be trying to add your own shit to it?

3. Do not over correct your partner. It's one thing to say move your arm here and put your foot there. It's another to give you philosophical break down of the technique. If they are having that much trouble call over the instructor. If its going to take him some time to get there then switch positions and get more reps in while you wait.

4. When rolling/sparring with a higher rank belt

Generally that is what the instructor is waiting for you to do when you are rolling with him or one of the higher ranks. They want you to do that and most of the times will allow you to work through it to completion with a little resistance.

5. Tap and tap often. We do not go in the office after class and mark on a chart how many times we made people tap in class. No one is keeping score in the gym. When you hear higher ranks talking about how they made each other tap or what they caught each other in is entirely different than white belt/beginner rolling. Those guys have been training together for many many years. They will go weeks without tapping each other. They are past the ego and now its about getting better and MAKING THEIR TRAINING PARTNERS BETTER. No one gives a rat's ass about your ego. Tap it will make you better.

6. Do not goad a higher rank. After you have been tapped 6 times in 2 minutes do not restart and say "come on bring it". The next 3-5 minutes should be a living hell. Don't get frustrated either. You are not going to be the next BJ Penn on your first day of class. Hell not even your first year.

7.Learn from your mistakes. The only people who make mistakes are the ones that are doing something. In the beginning if you are not fucking up you are not learning. The key is not not make the same mistake over and over again. As time goes on you are just making fewer mistakes. You came to class to learn not to have your ego stroked. It takes years to become comfortable in grappling. This is a tedious and heart breaking sport. Just be happy to be on the mat and grappling. It could be worse you could be playing soccer<insert equally mind numbing sport>.

I could probably list 20 more things but I won't. The thing is your instructor will tell you these things in a nicer way. You will misconstrue his kindness for weakness and blow him off. Then when they jump your shit in front of the class for being a retard you will get your panties in a wad.

Don't think that I am trying to say you need to kiss your instructor's ass and bow and grovel at their feet. That is not it at all. The reason many of the TMA are the way they are is because of that. BJJ and Judo are not on the level of karate and TKD when it comes to the whole protocol and "tradition" thing. What we do expect from people is a level of respect for someone who has been training for many years and is only looking to teach you the same skills that have given them and their students success in the venues that they choose to compete.