Etiquette - Shibusa Jiu Jitsu Studio | BJJ Canberra | Belconnen, ACT

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If we were to look up the definition of the word etiquette we would see this - "The customary code of polite behaviour in society or among members of a particular profession or group".

This is especially true in Jiu Jitsu. We don't have too many rules, but the ones we do have mean a great deal to us.


  1. Outside footwear is not permitted
  2. Always check-in before class begins
  3. Foul language and derogatory remarks are not allowed inside of the studio
  4. Be mindful of classes in session. Speak quietly and respectfully
  5. Shoes, food and electronic devices are not allowed in the training area
  6. No filming or videotaping
  7. Bowing before stepping onto and off the mats is not necessary, although many members do so.


  1. All jewelry, piercings, necklaces and other items should be removed before training
  2. Fingernails and toenails must always be neatly trimmed and clean before class
  3. Don't train while sick
  4. A clean white uniform must be worn in every class
  5. A rash guard must always be worn under your uniform
  6. If you are late for class, wait outside the mat until you have permission to join
  7. Always clean up after yourself (tape, water bottles, equipment, etc)
  8. Footwear must always be worn in the bathroom
  9. If you get a cut or scratch while training, leave the mats until you have stopped and covered any bleeding


  1. Mindful Training: Always be mindful of your training partner's skill, weight, and age level. Respect their boundaries and capabilities.

  2. Respect: Bow and/or shake hands before and after live sparring and practice. This is a symbol of mutual respect and sportsmanship.

  3. Hair Protocol: If you have long hair, tie it up to prevent any discomfort to your partner.

  4. Verbal Taps: Understand that yelling, grunting, or wincing is considered a verbal tap. Upon such cues, the match should be restarted.

  5. Forbidden Actions: Slamming, scratching, or striking are not allowed. 

  6. Prohibited Moves: Be aware of all illegal techniques and those considered bad ettiquette during training. The most important are highlighted in the illegal techniques section below.

  7. Hand and Finger Safety: Do not grab individual fingers or bend them backward. Such actions can lead to serious injuries.

  8. Gradual Submissions: Apply submissions gradually. This gives your partner ample time to tap and helps prevent sudden injuries.

  9. Respect for Tap Outs: Always respect a tap out. It's your partner's way of indicating their limit. Release the submission immediately when a tap out occurs.

  10. Emotional Control: Stay calm and composed during the session. Overly emotional reactions can cause dangerous and reckless decisions that risk injury.

  11. Surrounding Awareness: Keep an eye on your surroundings to avoid accidental collisions with other sparring pairs.

  12. Hygiene Standards: Maintain personal hygiene. Keep your gi (uniform) clean and your nails trimmed. This creates a comfortable training environment for everyone.

  13. Coaching: Avoid coaching or giving instructions during a roll, unless asked for advice. Sparring is a time for applying what you've learned.

  14. Open Communication: Speak up if you're uncomfortable or in pain during a technique or submission. BJJ is about learning and growing, not proving toughness.

  15. Restrained Dominance: Practice techniques and strategies rather than using brute force. Overpowering a smaller or less experienced partner is not the goal of sparring practice.

  16. Positive Attitude: Keep a positive and supportive attitude. Everyone is here to learn and grow, so encourage your fellow training partners.


  1. Never brag about or celebrate tapping (or not tapping) an opponent during training
  2. Check your attitude and ego at the door. This is the wrong place to bring negative energy
  3. Work on your weaknesses in class. Remember that this is training not competition
  4. Use what you learn in class constructively and defensively to help yourself and others and never to be abusive or offensive



In our commitment to ensuring a safe and respectful training environment, we outline the following guidelines regarding illegal techniques during live sparring:

  • Flying submissions, scissor takedowns, and jumping guard are not permitted in live sparring due to the high risk of injury. These techniques may be practiced in a controlled setting for both offensive and defensive training.

  • Back Trips and Tani Otoshi Techniques: To protect all participants, back trips and Tani Otoshi style techniques are strictly prohibited during live sparring. These techniques pose a significant risk of knee injuries. We encourage the practice of techniques that are effective yet considerate of everyone's safety.

  • Heel Hooks: These are allowed for purple belts and higher under a "catch and release" policy during live training. This ensures safety while allowing advanced practitioners to refine their skills.

  • Leg Locks: Beyond heel hooks, toe holds and knee bars are permitted for blue belts and above, and only when sparring with other blue belts or higher. It's important to communicate with your partner before engaging in leg locks during sparring. This ensures both participants are comfortable and knowledgeable enough to train these techniques safely. If a partner is not familiar with defending against leg locks, they have the right to decline their use in sparring.

  • Neck / Spine Cranks & Slamming: These are prohibited at all experience levels due to the severe risk they pose to spinal health.

  • Wearables: The use of foot gear, head gear, hair pins, jewelry, cups (genital protectors), or any other hard material that could injure a training partner is strictly forbidden.

  • Fingers: Inserting fingers inside an opponent's sleeve or pant leg is not allowed.

Our priority is the safety, respect, and well-being of all members. Adhering to these rules helps maintain a positive and injury-free training environment for everyone at Shibusa Jiu Jitsu Studio.


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