Hey, we understand that if you’re getting the bus from St Andrews or you don’t finish work till 6.45 then 6.15 may not be the easiest time to arrive. It’s cool. But we’re no fools – oh no – for we also know that some people who live ten minutes away will sit around for ages at home only to start making a sandwich two minutes before class starts, arrive at the gym still chewing and say: “Sorry I’m late, I had to make dinner”. You can guess that we’re more acceptant of the former’s lateness, and more discouraging of the latter’s.
Whichever group you fall into though, it’d be beneficial for all concerned if – even if you can never do it again – you arrive to class for 6.15 the first couple of times. It’ll be worth it, I promise! If that’s totally impossible and you can’t ever get here until, for example, 7.15, then yes, you’re still welcome to join us, but in this case it might be better to come to a Saturday session first to get the feel of things. But if you’d be so late for a Saturday session that you’d miss it completely, then just come when you can. You’re always welcome to get the feel of things.
But to get the feel of which things? In short: warm-ups, jiu jitsu and us.
Even if you’ve done jiu jitsu (or any other sport or martial art) for years elsewhere, you may still think a decent warm-up consists of pulling your arms across your chest, then behind your head, swinging your hips a few times and saying “yup, I’m ready”. Fortunately for you, you’ll do something a bit better than that with us. Say thank you. (Our pleasure)
Nothing gruelling, nothing ridiculous or unnecessary – just a sexy, health-enhancing, mood-lifting, positive feeling, energy-giving, injury preventing warm-up.
All too often late-comers battle with us instead of just doing the warm-up. This is unfair on the rest of the class and it’s not a good use of your own time. We know “you’re ready”, we know you’re still warmed up from yesterday, we know you think the jog from the bus-stop was enough. It wasn’t. It doesn’t matter. Go.
So it’s often easier for all concerned if you’ve seen us do a warm-up before and know where things are going. It only takes 6 or 7 minutes, and soon you’ll be refusing to train until you’re properly ready. “Not quite” you’ll say. Or “two more minutes”. It’s a sign of good sense and experience when folks view the warm-up not as a chore, but as really very useful.
So can you arrive late? Sure, but it’s better you arrive on time for a while until we’re both sure you can do a proper warmup under your own steam.
Obviously if you don’t have a clue what jiu jitsu’s about [click here for a clue…], and you arrive late, you’ll maybe – and of course it depend on the class – find it hard to catch up. You might not. Who knows, eh?
Our classes are taught differently to most martial arts. Each begins with a beginning and moves forward to an end – makes sense, huh? Arriving late to class when you don’t understand jiu jitsu can make everything seem weird and irrelevant. It can be like arriving late to a tense thriller film, and again some people are good at this, they arrive half way through the movie, immediately work out who’s who and what’s what and ask questions like “I take it his brother’s the one who hid the gun earlier…” Others aren’t so good at it, and they ask “so what’s happening?”, “who are they?”, “what are they looking for and why can’t they find it?”
So can you arrive late? Sure. Of course. But how well you handle it depends on who you are. If you can’t make it early once or twice, we’d recommend a Saturday session first. If you can’t do that, dive in and hope for the best. You’re always welcome.
Feeling separate or not getting to know anyone
All classes are more fun when you like the people in them - and you need to get to know them before you can know you like them. And there’s a simple rule: if you want to get good, talk to people. Those who are social get better fastest. If you wait a while to chat, you’re waiting a while to start getting good.
As you can see once again, the “can I come late?” question isn’t going to get an easy answer. (Apart from “yes”). Some people arrive late and immediately it feels like we’re in their house and they’re making us a cuppa. Others arrive late and because they don’t know anyone yet, feel they should hide, be nervous all night, and not have so much fun. If you can feel the latter but be the former, you’ll be just perfect. Either way, get here on time if you can. If not, aim for a Saturday so you can get to know people. And if that’s just not possible, just dive in and hope for the best.
Don’t, whatever you do, put off coming along for weeks and weeks hoping for that elusive “Saturday off” before you can come along. Come as soon as you can, everything else pales into insignificance once you get the hang of things.