Embarrassment is the cost of entry. If you are not willing to look like a foolish beginner, you will never be a graceful master.
– Ed Latimore
Generally, it is a good idea to show up around 10 minuets early, so you can introduce yourself to the instructor and familiarize yourself with the gym. It is not a bad idea to stretch a little bit before the class, but it is not a necessity as classes will have an official warm up/ stretching routine.
Feel free to introduce yourself to people who are already there, most will be welcoming to new people. Don’t be intimidated by the upper belts or upset if you cannot get the technique down flawlessly. It will be easy to think that the upper belts were always better than you are now, this is NOT TRUE. Everyone remembers their first day of grappling and no one was good day one.
Jiujitsu has captivated a wide range of highly effective, interesting, and successful people, why is that? I believe that is because, much like chess Jiujitsu is a problem solving game. More specifically, it is a game of rapid hierarchical problem solving.
The problems are rapid because they are being presented by a person trying their hardest to counter your moves while trying to use their own. The problems are hierarchical (arranged in order of rank) because the top goal of submission/victory is only facilitated by solving the problems underneath it. These smaller order problems include getting a dominant position, winning the grip battle, and any issues a fully resisting opponent can throw at you.
This is important because LIFE is a problem solving game, or at least it can be interpreted as such with great results. In order to get anything done in life one must first solve a ton of problems, both big and small. Therefore, Jiujitsu can act as a test bed for life at large and if you are able to get better at the process of improving your Jiujitsu game you will understand how to be better at life.
It depends on what you are looking to get out of it. If you want to be able to fully dominate a hypothetical version of yourself that walked in on day one, probably a month and some change if you are consistent. The time frame for doing well against trained opponents is longer. The best way to see what you can get out of Jiujitsu is to try to become good enough at it, that you can get a submission on someone of a comparable size and skill level. From there, you should have enough of an informed idea to see if this is a path you want to go down.