Elements FAQ

>>> Getting Started with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

1. Which classes are best for me to book as a beginner?


Many classes in our timetable are suitable for new starters, such as our Fundamental classes or the Mixed Martial Arts classes.
Our structured fundamentals programme, in particular, will help fast-track your base understanding of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for use in self-defence or mixed martial arts and, at the same time, help improve fitness.


Wearing the Gi (uniform) for the fundamental classes is not compulsory. You will see many students not doing so. The Gi can be purchased at any point. Purchasing a GI will increase the options you have to attend classes once you start coming into mixed-level classes.

2. What does a fundamentals class consist of? What is a class like?



  • Before the class – It’s always a good idea to arrive a little early to introduce yourself so the instructor knows you’re there. You must check into your class and collect your attendance card to hand to the instructor.
  • Warm-up – We begin with a group warm-up, sometimes a little jogging and dynamic drills. These drills are designed to improve your movement, agility, speed, strength, and technique. The drills are also available to you on a video in our mobile app’s “community” section.
  • Escape of the week – Learning how to get out of bad positions is very important. If you can learn how to escape, you will increase your chances of attacking. This is why we put a lot of emphasis on this in the beginner’s classes. Before visiting our fundamentals sequences, we will focus on a specific position and how to escape.
  • Technique sequence – The instructor will then demonstrate the Fundamentals sequence in stages to the whole class, we will then pair you up with a more experienced student to practise and perfect these moves in light & uncontested manner.
  • Sparring – The last 5-10 minutes will be dedicated to pressure testing the escape practised at the class’s start.


You are welcome to partake in any of the classes in the timetable. We recommend making the most of our tried and tested fundamentals classes, designed to make it easier to understand the basics. Get the basics right, and your martial arts journey will become much easier.

3. Am I fit enough to train in BJJ?


If you have/had any medical condition, you should get permission from your doctor before any athletic training. If you have any ongoing medical conditions, please speak to one of the instructors confidently before training.

BJJ is based on techniques designed to allow a smaller, weaker person to defeat a bigger, stronger attacker, so it doesn’t necessarily matter how big or small you are. If you’re big, no problem. Small, skinny, even if you think you’re “weak”,… it doesn’t matter. Anyone can apply BJJ techniques because it’s based on leverage and positioning… and the added benefit is that you’ll get stronger, healthier and fitter from training with us.

  • You don’t have to be flexible…
  • You don’t have to be strong…
  • You don’t have to have previous athletic experience…
  • You don’t have to want to compete…
  • You don’t have to be in shape…

No matter your age, sex, previous experience (even if you have none at all), whether you’re in shape or out of shape, strong or not, no matter what kind of job you have, do what you can and over the coming weeks and months, you will improve. Training also helps build mental and physical skills and improves concentration, confidence, and tenacity, to name but a few.

4. What do I wear/bring to class?


For the fundamental and mixed Martial arts classes, shorts or tracksuit bottoms and a t-shirt will suffice for your first few lessons, but again, be aware that they may become ripped or stretched. Also, please ensure all the clothing you intend to wear has no zips, buttons or anything else that could damage the mats or injure your training partners! For the same reason, any jewellery, watches and piercings should also be removed.


If you want to take things seriously and intend on grading, we advise purchasing a BJJ Gi. A Gi or a Kimono is the uniform we use to train Jiu Jitsu. A BJJ Gi can be purchased online from various outlets.

Please note that shoes of any kind are strictly prohibited on the mats, and all training is done barefoot, but feel free to keep your socks if you wish! Please bring some sliders or flip-flops with you to use when you are off the mats. We do not allow students to walk around the facility barefoot if they train on the mats for hygiene reasons.


It is always a good idea to bring some water to drink with you, although we do have a filtered water drinking station that is free for students to use. You might break a sweat, so you may want to bring a towel with you.

>>> Progressing in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

5. How do I progress in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?


There are five belt stages in BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu). White, Blue, Purple, Brown and Black. Belts are earned in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This is why earning your Black belt takes 8-10 years on average. As a white belt, you must earn four stripes before progressing to a coloured belt. These stripes are periodically rewarded on your white belt at the end of the Fundamental classes.


There are several requirements needed for you to progress through your white belt. The first of these is attending the fundamental classes. Every time you attend the fundamentals class, you must give your attendance card to the instructor to mark off. Once you have completed the required classes, the prompt will be triggered to see other aspects required to progress.


On stripes 1 and 2, we will focus on gauging how much information you have taken on board and whether you have grasped the concepts we are trying to teach within the class.


Stripes 3 and 4 will put more emphasis on the application of the techniques taught within the class. This can be assessed through sparring in class. A way to fast-track the last two stripes would be by testing your newly gained skills in Competition. The assessment through active sparring and competition will play a pivotal role in your development throughout your coloured belts, too.

6. Do I have to compete?


Elements Martial Arts has an active and successful competition team, and if you wish to, you will get all the support you need to fulfil your ambitions; however, be assured that while you’re training here, you’ll get no pressure to compete.


Some of our students compete, and many don’t – it’s all up to you. You won’t get any pressure from us. What we do promise you, though, is that we will do everything in our power to help you achieve your goals in BJJ, no matter what they are.

>>> Health Concerns

7. What about Hygiene?



  • Cut your nails short – TRIM your nails and toenails. Why? Nails and toenails can cause nasty cuts and even nightmare-worthy cuts on someone’s eyeball. Keep your conscience clean, and trim your nails.
  • Clean your uniform after every class – Yes, EVERY class. To ensure that our academy is clean and safe from infections, we need to ensure that everyone is doing their part, keeping germs and bacteria away. You may read online that leaving your GI in the sun also kills bacteria. Don’t believe everything you read on the internet. When you wash your Gi, ensure the water temperature is too hot; they are cotton and will shrink.
  • Don’t let your gear ferment in your bag – If you can’t wash your gear right after training, remove it. Also, wash the bag so funk doesn’t grow on it. Pro tip: Bring a moisture-tight bag to training to take your sweaty stuff out in a neat package.
  • Shower after every training – Showering before training is also a courteous move. Jiu-jitsu is a high-contact sport; you will not only have your sweat on you but also be the sweat of other people. Showering immediately after training is the best move. Make sure you are odour-free when stepping on the mats for training.
  • Always have footwear on when walking off the mats – This is a very simple rule: never walk with footwear on the mats, and never walk without it off the mats. This prevents nasty floor germs from returning to our meticulously cleaned mats. If you only have boots or fancy shoes, use our emergency clogs.
  • Don’t train if you’re sick – Never train if you are sick with an easily communicable disease like the flu or the common cold. Not only is it not good for YOU to train when sick, but you’ve also brought a virus to your friends.
  • Never, ever train if you suspect that you have a skin infection and always ensure that any skin infection is completely healed before returning to training- If you are even a bit worried, show it to one of the staff or your physician. It’s incredibly important not to train because most skin infections are contagious.
  • Cover up your cuts and scratches – Properly cover your cuts and scratches before training; if you are unsure about the taping technique, ask one of our staff. Life has cut them many times; they are experienced in all kinds of taping techniques. We always have tape available at the gym so there is no excuse to keep those cuts covered.
  • Protect your hair – If you have long hair, get it under control by tying it tightly. This will save you time during the class and ensure your hair is safe.
8. What is your Gym Etiquette?



  • Always show respect to your instructors and training partners.
  •  Be a good training partner. Don’t be a limp fish when drilling with your partner. On the flip side, don’t aggressively resist every movement your partner makes when doing a technique; you’re both just now learning for the first time.
  • Don’t be afraid to “tap out” when grappling. This means that if you are in a hold and you want your partner to let go, tap your hand loudly on the mat or preferably on your partner. You can also shout “tap” or “stop” if your hands are tied up. If you are caught in a submission, you should tap when trapped, not when the pain starts to appear or when you are fairly certain something is about to break
  • You must never continue with the hold when your partner taps you; let go. Always be aware of the level of contact that you are using, and don’t try to hurt your partner.
  • If the instructor has not changed the task, then continue doing the task they were given (i.e., don’t sit around talking because you feel you have done a technique enough). You can NEVER do a technique too many times
  • Do not talk while the instructor is talking. It distracts those who are trying to learn and is disrespectful to the teacher, as well as other students.
  • Do not shout loudly or use profanity in the dojo. This should go without saying.
  • Please wear your Gi, a T-shirt, or rashguard whilst in public areas of the Gym; refrain from going topless!

>>> Practical Matters

9. How about parking and travelling to Elements in Brighton?


As we all know, parking in Brighton is not easy. We have a few options/solutions to this.

Morrisons car park is the closest option. Space is always available, and they charge £3 for 2 hours (the first hour will be refunded if you shop at Morrisons) – a 2-minute walk.

Street parking is also available. It is free between the hours of 20:00 – 09:00 daily. Parking is available and costs £2.30 for 2 hours.

Bus links are amazing as we are next to the Old Steine, where every bus route in Brighton and Hove passes by. Brighton station is approximately a 15-minute walk or a 5-minute Bike ride.


Driving from out of town? Want cheap parking? Bike Hire Hub! 

Your best solution is to park at the Brighton Marina multi-storey car park. This is the closest free Parking available. A Brighton Bike Hire Hub is next to the car park and opposite McDonald’s. Elements members are entitled to a generous discount on Annual membership, which will cost you less than 20 pence per day to hire a bike 365 days a year. The journey to our gym from Brighton Marina car park is less than 10 minutes away. The best and cheapest way to get to us is by walking or Bicycle. You can Lock your bike up on the Elements premises. Click HERE for a video on how to find us from St James Street.

10. Do I need an insurance?


When joining Elements, you must complete an online waiver before training. We also have an insurance policy that provides us with public & product liability coverage.


This is covered through the £30 joining fee when you first add your membership for your personal liability cover. Your coverage will be ongoing and will not need to be renewed unless you cancel your membership and re-join.


11. Do you have a Weights Studio membership for unlimited members?


For those of you looking for weights and cardio gym, we have a Rogue Echo bike, a Lifting rig, Kettlebells and free weights for you to use during open gym times. We also have an outdoor space available. This is included in your unlimited membership. If you do not have an unlimited membership, you can still book the studio for a small additional fee.


The weights area must be pre-booked via our Mobile App within the “Trainers” section.

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