Frequently asked questions

I am not sure if BJJ is right for me. Can I try it out first before I sign up?

Of course. You can train a whole week for free before you have to make a decision.

I am only visiting Zurich, can I still train?

Yes of course. The first week of training is free. If you plan to stay longer, please talk to an instructor before or after a class.

Should I get fit before I try BJJ?

The best way to get fit for BJJ is by training BJJ. Just show up to class. Your fitness will improve and your BJJ will get better at the same time.

I don't have a Gi. Do I need to buy one before I can try a class?

No. We will provide you with a loaner Gi if you need one for a trial class and don't have one. Please show up 10-15 minutes before class starts so that we have enough time to find a fitting Gi for you.

For our basic course you don't need a gi.

What do I wear? What should I bring to my first class?

Comfortable athletic clothes. A t-shirt or rash guard and shorts or pants without zippers. Don't forget to bring water.

Which class should I go to for my trial class?

The best place to start if you are new is our basic course. If you have more than 3 months of grappling experience, check out our fundamentals instead.

Are you a blue belt or higher already? Try both our fundamentals and advanced classes.

What can I expect from my first class?

Our basic course starts with a short warmup. After that, the instructor will show techniques and you will partner up to drill the techniques that the instructor showed.

At the end of the class there are a few rounds of positional sparring from the position that you were learning.

The sparring portion is optional. You can just watch until you are confident enough to give it a try.

Do you offer kids classes?

Yes. Please visit our kids page to learn more.

I enjoyed the trial classes and want to sign up. What do I have to do?

Talk to an instructor before or after training. Or you can send us a message online.

I need a Gi. Where can I get one?

We sell Gis at a very reasonable price to our members. Send us a message if you want one.

Of course you don't have to buy one from us, you can pick any brand that you like and order one online. If you are not sure about the size, ask someone in training that owns the same brand if you can try it on.

Is BJJ good for self defense?

Yes of course. Former Navy Seal Platoon Commander and BJJ black belt Jocko Willink explains it best.

If someone attacks me and they want to punch or kick me, I can just run away. They’re not holding onto me. I can get away from them. It’s when someone grabs you that you need some technique to get out of there, or someone takes you to the ground — that’s when you need some technique to get out of there. If someone just wants to punch me, well, I’ll walk away from them or run away from them. That’s OK.
- Jocko Willink, retired SEAL and BJJ black belt

Click here to see his full explanation.

Can I train in the advanced class?

You need to earn three stripes before you can attend the advanced classes. There is less supervision and we want to make sure that you can roll safely with others before you can join this class.

The techniques covered are also harder to learn than the fundamentals. You have to learn how to walk before you can run.

How often should I train?

Being consistent is the most important part. Train as often as you can fit comfortably into your schedule. If you are starting out, try to get to as many fundamentals classes as possible.

How long does it take to earn a stripe?

That depends on how fast you learn and how much time you spend studying Jiu Jitsu. For white belts, it takes between 30 to 50 classes for the first stripe on average.

What belts are there in BJJ?

White, blue, purple, brown and black. You start every belt before black with zero stripes and progress to four. After the black belt, the stripes and other belts are based on time at black belt instead of skill.

You can read this blog post if you want to learn more about the philosophy behind the different belts at the BJJ Lab.

How long does it take to earn a blue belt?

The road to blue belt is different for each person. For some very gifted people who train a lot it might only take 6 months. If someone only trains once or twice per week with long breaks in between in can take five years or longer. On average, it takes about 2 years to earn a blue belt if you train consistently.

How long does it take to earn a black belt?

Usually somewhere around 10 years, give or take a few years.

It's not who is good, it's who is left. If you put in that time, natural athlete or not, you practice the art, you'll be a Black Belt. You're gonna be somewhere in ten years... Why not be a Black Belt too? You just can't quit.
- Chris Haueter

Do I have to pay for stripe and belt promotions?

No, of course not. At the BJJ Lab promotions are earned and not bought.

What should I focus on as a white belt?

In the beginning you will be very confused about what is going on. You don't know the positions and how to move between them yet. Learn the basic positions and what your goal is from each position.

When you understand the basic positions, you want to learn a few techniques from each position. You will learn everything that you need to know by attending the fundamentals classes.

How can I improve faster?

The more time that you spend studying Jiu Jitsu, the better you will become. The most important thing is time on the mats. Come to training as often as possible.

Watch instructional videos and competition videos. You will get most out of watching your own belt level and the belt level above yours.

Which instructional videos can you recommend?

These days there are a lot of decent videos on Youtube, but also a lot of bad ones. You will benefit most from learning the fundamentals of BJJ as white belt. You want something that is going to give you a good overview of all the basic positions and what to do from there.

We have a video library for our members where you will find all the videos for the fundamentals that we teach and much more.