What is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu??

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) is a grappling martial art, which emphasizes the use of joint locks, chokes and strangles to submit your opponent. Practitioners of BJJ pride themselves on its effectiveness in many scenarios, including as a self defense system; in Mixed Martial Arts competition: and as a sport in its own right. A great deal of importance is placed on live sparring (or rolling) during which each person will attempt to submit the other by use of superior technique, guile and efficiency – the opponent, for their part, will offer full resistance, whilst trying to do likewise. BJJ is THE martial art, designed for the smaller person to thwart a larger aggressor… and it really does work!

BJJ, as a sport, is practiced the world over with huge international, and smaller regional tournaments, held throughout the year. Competitors are entered into divisions according to gender, age, weight and experience; and they compete to win matches of up to 10 minutes in length (with no break!) either by submitting their opponent or by points, which are awarded according to positional dominance. Open Mat Bermuda has a fine pedigree of competitors, including PanAm, European and World Champions, at multiple belt levels!

Sport BJJ is split into two main subcategories, Gi and NoGi – which essentially means, grappling whilst wearing a traditional gi or kimono… or grappling wearing shorts and t-shirt. The two disciplines offer different benefits – and here at Open Mat Bermuda, we put equal emphasis on on both!


What can I expect from my first class?

We’ll look after you, don’t worry. We all started this game with the same level of knowledge – zero! – so no-one expects you to know what you’re doing! Your first class will be a nice easy introduction to the art – we’ll hook you up with a gi to wear, and we’ll put you with someone who is a little more experienced, who will help you get the basic idea and give you pointers where you might need it. No one is going to leave you floundering around and everyone is there to make your experience a good one… we want you to come back, you know!

What should I bring?

Just bring a bottle of water and you’ll be set.

What should I wear?

You can wear any kind of gym-wear, something you won’t get too hot in, and something you’re not too worried about getting a bit sweaty. As long as its clean, we’re not too fussy. You’ll be barefoot, so trim those toenails – and trim the fingernails whilst you’re at it – no-one likes getting scratched by a long fingernail!

Can I bring a friend?

Of course! Bring a friend! Bring 2 friends! Bring all your friends if it makes you feel comfortable – the more the merrier!

Are there any girls training? I don’t want to be the only one!

Yes indeed! Our girls are very friendly and they’re always looking for more females to join the academy.

I’m a bit out of shape / I haven’t worked out in a while / should I try and get fit before I give it a go?

No. No. and one more time… NO! Jiu Jitsu is what will MAKE you fit! Everyone is tired after their first session on the mat – E V E R Y O N E ! – but with a bit of perseverance and grit, it gets easier!

Do I have to bow? Is there loads of rules and etiquette, that I won’t know?

Open Mat Bermuda is not a particularly traditional academy. There are a few “house rules” – mostly about safety and hygiene – but nothing too crazy and they’ll all become clear in due course. We like to keep a pretty relaxed atmosphere (except when it come to competition preparation) so don’t worry about all that.

What age do you take kids from?

We’re not fussy. 5 is a good age – much younger and they’re too much for our kids coaches to handle! Come in and have a chat – we’re sure we’ll be able to accommodate you.

Some of our friends…

Progress Jiu Jitsu
CrossFit BDA
Dollamur Sports Surface
Open Mat MMA


Most academies will offer you a free lesson or two. In our opinion, that’s not enough time to know if BJJ is the martial art for you.

So, here’s an offer for you… come and try a class, and you’ll get to train until the end of that month FOR FREE! That’s right… turn up on the first of the month and you’ll get a full month of training for absolutely NOTHING… we’ll even lend you a uniform to get you started!