Jitsu Canada

Beginner's Information for New Students

Equipment Requirements

To try jiu jitsu, all you need is comfortable loose clothing without buckles, or buttons. A pair of track pants and a t-shirt are appropriate. If you decide to continue in jiu jitsu, to start you will require: A plain white judo gi with association badge, (no manufacturer's logos, embroidery, etc) and a pair of ‘zori’ sandals for off the mat wear. Prices vary by size however this should cost approximately $85. Please contact the instructor for details on how to purchase the uniform.

As you progress in your Jiu Jitsu training, you may wish to purchase other equipment. You can discuss these options with your instructor.

What to Expect When Training

Although all sessions are varied, techniques are usually taught by demonstration to the group by the instructor followed by training with a partner while the instructor circulates giving individual attention. All sessions start with a thorough warm-up, followed by break-falling practice (this teaches the participant to land with safety). All sessions finish with a brief review and cool-down.

During the first three months, students will practice:

  • Break-falling techniques
  • Basic body movements, blocks and strikes:
  • Evading the attack
  • Blocking the attack
  • Taking control of the other person
  • Basic defence techniques from various body grabs
  • Basic defences against punches and kicks
  • Basic defences against weapons such as bottle attacks

Grading examinations for rank belts are every three months, although, as the participants progress through the grading structure, the time between grading examinations increases to allow them to develop a deeper understanding of the more advanced techniques.

Participants will also have the opportunity to meet and train with members of our other clubs as Jitsu Canada schedules regional events throughout the year. This allows participants to train with new people, receive instruction from different instructors, and benefit from the social aspects of meeting other jiu jitsu students.

Participants do not need a gi (uniform) to start with (track pants and T-shirt will do) but if the student is interested in pursuing jiu jitsu for an extended period, a gi is required.

Dojo Etiquette

To learn jiu jitsu it is essential to accept the etiquette and customs of the dojo (training hall). These assist both learning and safety.

A rei (bow) should be made on entering the dojo to signify mental preparation for training. A rei should also be made before leaving the dojo.
A rei should be made to the highest grade on the mat before stepping onto the mat. Likewise, the highest grade should be asked before leaving the mat, and a rei should be made before stepping off the mat.
Students should rei to each other before training together and similarly should rei when they finish.
Alcohol must not be consumed before training.
Gi (uniforms) are to be kept clean and tidy and the belt tied correctly.
Fingernails and toenails should be short and clean.
All jewellery must be removed before training.
Changing is not permitted in the dojo.
Club instructors and dan grades (black belts) are to be addressed as "sensei", senior grades as "sempai".
The correct way to stand when being taught is with the back of the left hand resting on the knot of the belt and the back of the right hand resting on the palm of the left.
Swearing, or loosing one's temper, is not permitted in the dojo.
When training, a student should always be mindful of the safety of those around him/her.
Grade Level Belt Colour
7th kyu yellow
6th kyu orange
5th kyu green
4th kyu purple
3rd kyu light blue
2nd kyu dark blue
1st kyu brown
1st dan to 5th dan black
6th dan to 8th dan red and white
9th dan to 10th dan red

Belt System

Advancement in jiu jitsu is recognised by a series of ranks. The student ranks are called "kyu" (meaning grade) and are differentiated by coloured belts. The ten black belt ranks are called "dan" (meaning degree or step).

A new student wears a white belt until they pass their first grading. The first two student grades have sub divisions called "mon" (meaning junior grade). A person testing for 7th kyu may be awarded a yellow belt, a yellow belt with one mon, a yellow belt with two mon, or a yellow belt with three mon. The same system applies to the 6th kyu (orange belt) grade. Mon are designated by orange stripes on the yellow belt and green stripes on the orange belt.

The student who trains regularly (at least twice a week) may initially progress fairly rapidly through the student grades. Progress from white belt to yellow belt takes a minimum of three months, from yellow to orange a minimum three months, from orange to green a minimum three months, and from green to purple a minimum three months. There is a minimum period of six months from purple to light blue, minimum six months from light blue to dark blue, and minimum six months from dark blue to brown.

Progress through the black belts is much slower. There is a two year minimum between brown belt and 1st degree black belt, and several years between each level of dan grade. High degrees of black belt therefore involve a lifetime of study and are consequently rare.


kiyotske attention / listen
yoi get ready
hajime begin
matte pause
yoshi continue
yamae stop
Other Terms  
dojo training hall
gi uniform
kata set form of moves
mokuso meditation
obi belt
rei bow
seiza kneeling position
sempai senior
sensei teacher
tatame mat
tori person performing the technique
uke person technique performed on
ukemi break-falling