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Laying the ground works for success

So, you’ve just completed our Beginners course?  Or perhaps you already have some Brazilian Jiu Jitsu experience and you want to better prepare yourself before jumping into our Advanced classes? Maybe you’re looking for a learning environment where you can be introduced to the sport at your own pace?

Avant Garde Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Fundamentals has been designed with all these questions in mind. We know that learning a new skill can be tough, especially a martial art. But remember, we were all beginners once! In fact, Avant Garde BJJ has only been open since early 2016, so most of our students had no prior experience before coming.

After you get acclimatised through our Beginners course, you will be able to manage and keep up with our ongoing Fundamentals classes. Even our highest-level students often come back to Fundamentals to touch up their knowledge of the essentials, which account for 90% of everything you’ll do in the sport. Nail the basics and you’re set for a long and prosperous BJJ journey.

What should you expect during Fundamentals?

Fundamentals classes take place every day from Monday to Thursday. We have a diverse range of students (different genders / skill levels / fitness levels / competitors / non-competitors) and due to the broad range of topics being taught, these classes are some of our most popular. This means you will never find a lack of students to practice against in your own weight group or skill range.

Fundamentals is always practiced in the Gi and if you do not have your own Gi, you are able to borrow one for a small fee. We recommend getting your own as soon as possible because although we practice both Gi and No Gi at Avant Garde, it is our belief that if you learn a technique in the Gi, you can always adapt it to any situation!

The warm up

Classes always begin with a dynamic warm up, to get your blood pumping. We start with a series of movement exercises followed by gym like sets of push ups, jumping jacks or similar actions. The actual warm up moves vary sometimes but the structure is relatively uniform every time because our goal here is to help build your cardio and strength through consistency.

Our dynamic warm up finishes with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu specific movements. Shrimping, alligator walking, break-fall to technical stand up and side roll inverts are all typical at this stage. These are all movements you can practice by yourself at home, however they are also movements you will incorporate into your actual BJJ techniques later on.

Techniques of the week

Following the warm up, your instructors will teach you a series of progressive moves focusing on a specific area of the BJJ game.

Let’s say our focus this week is Guard Retention or Guard Sweeps, we’ll start by reiterating the important principles about stance, balance and go-to grips. This will be followed by a specific move set which will be demonstrated to all the students in the centre of a circle, giving everyone the opportunity to view the breakdown of the details from all angles.

We start with each component, demonstrating the ‘need to know’ aspects slowly and clearly, followed by an opportunity to ask questions and fine tune any details that students are unsure about.

Once the move is demonstrated and everyone is satisfied, students will divide themselves into pairs (usually based on weight or skill level), before drilling that technique repetitively until both training partners feel confident in their understanding.

At first, we encourage the details to be practiced very slowly. BJJ is not about brute strength, you should be able to complete a move based on position and grip alone. Speed and force can be incorporated later to improve your effectiveness; however, it can actually hurt your understanding if used too soon.

Implementing your new technique – Live sparring

After all the techniques of the class have been taught and drilled, we finish the class with sparring exercises. Sparring takes place in rounds of five minutes, and the goal is to try and put your learning into practice in a real situation with a resisting partner.

Sometimes we also do what is known as Positional Sparring, which is where you start in a particular position and you have a specific goal to achieve; for example a sweep, pass or submission.

Sparring is without question the most enjoyable part of BJJ! But it is only fun when practiced safely. We discourage the use of unnecessary and uncontrolled force. Our goal isn’t to destroy our opponent, it’s to improve our game and practice our skills.

Beginners and students who are new to the sport tend to rely on strength in absence of technique and practice, but overtime this naturally flattens out. The important thing is to keep training! Consistency is king in all things, and this certainly reigns true for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Can’t get enough? Learn at home too!

Did you know that we have invested in our digital infrastructure to enhance the learning experience for all academy members at Avant Garde? For all the exciting moves we cover in class, you can load up multi-angle videos from the comfort of your own home to go back over them… Just don’t get angry at us if your boss catches you watching Avant Garde videos at work! With full voice over narration and 300+ techniques of premium HD content, you’ll be learning wherever you are.

Please take note!

As with all our classes, please do the following:

  • Arrive to class on time or before so you don’t miss out on the warm up
  • Trim your nails – personal hygiene is an absolute must
  • Bring a big bottle of water, we will have the fans blasting when it’s hot but don’t underestimate the physical demands of the sport
  • Bring a sweat towel, no one like a human shower! You’re going to be very close to your training partners

For specific training times, please refer to our timetable by clicking here.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • ✔️ Can I join the BJJ Fundamentals class?

    Students who have previous Brazilian Jiu Jitsu experience, or students who have completed the Avant-Garde Beginners course are eligible to join our Fundamentals program.

  • ?‍? Who teaches this class?

    Arete Head Coach and BJJ Black Belt Thomas Vander Eecken from Belgium and his brother David teach Fundamentals.

  • ? Do I need a Gi?

    Fundamentals is taught in the Gi. If you do not own one, you can rent one from us by speaking to the coaches. That said, we encourage you to buy a Gi as soon as possible if you’re going to continue coming!

  • ? Where can I buy a Gi?

    Speak to Thomas and David and they’ll help you out. Avant-Garde stocks an inventory of super high quality Gis which you can purchase or receive as part of your specific payment plan.

  • ? Will I survive the warm up?

    Yes, you’ll get used to it. It’s not too bad! In the summer months, Malta does get incredibly hot but we make sure to keep the wall fans blasting. Just remember to bring a water bottle.

  • ? What techniques will we cover?

    In BJJ Fundamentals, we cover every technique you need to earn your Blue Belt. Also, students can head over to our Avant-Garde Online Academy to refresh their knowledge after class, since we cover everything that’s taught in person, online too! Pretty cool, right?!

  • ? Where are you located?

    No 4 Triq Gerolamo Gianni San Ġwann, SGN 3500

  • ? When are BJJ Fundamentals held?

    Please refer to our training schedule.