Glossary-of-BJJ-Terms-for-New-Students-Rolles-Gracie-AcademyWhen you take on learning something new, like Jiu-Jitsu, it can sometimes feel like information overload. Getting to know the terminology can be like speaking a new language, but it is part of the learning process.

To get you more familiar with the vocabulary used in Jiu-Jitsu, here is a glossary of BJJ terms that can be helpful for new students:


Base refers to your base of support. Forming a good base while grappling means you are stable and balanced, and it will be more difficult to push you over.


The belt you wear in BJJ denotes your rank. Belt rankings in include white, blue, purple, brown, and black.


The bridge is one of the basic BJJ movements where you forcefully lift your hips from the ground to escape a mount.


A technique used to get out of a disadvantaged position.


BJJ is traditionally performed while wearing a gi, or kimono, with a belt.


A dominant position where you are above your opponent’s body.


No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu refers to training without the gi. Instead, students typically wear board shorts and a rashguard (a form-fitting polyester or spandex shirt).


In BJJ, rolling refers to sparring. It’s a way for students to apply their skills against an opponent and practice techniques on each other.

Tapping Out or Tap

Tapping is the most common way to signal defeat or withdrawal, and it’s a way to keep you safe while training. Students can tap their opponent, hit the mat with their feet, or verbally tap out.

There are many more terms to learn in BJJ, but this is a good place to get started. The best way to get more familiar with BJJ is to get on the mats and give it a try!

If you’ve been thinking about trying Jiu-Jitsu, now is a great time to make it happen! Rolles Gracie Academy in Old Bridge offers Jiu-Jitsu programs for kids and adults. To learn more about the classes we’re currently offering and how to get started, contact us today.