Whether you’ve been to your first BJJ class or seen a video of BJJ training on YouTube, you’ve surely heard the word “Oss” spoken by coaches and practitioners. You will hear that word when a class end and the coaches and practitioners greet each other.

Oss is not used in BJJ only, but it is used in many martial arts. But, what does that word mean?

Let’s jump in and find out.

What does OSS mean?

Oss is a term that is used broadly in BJJ to complement, greet, and show respect toward other practitioners. It is mostly said when bowing, which is done and the beginning and the end of the class.

Sometimes written as Ossu, there are many different theories about the meaning of the word, but the most widely accepted are:

  • “Persevering when pushed” – meaning that you never give up and keep pushing forward under difficult circumstances.
  • “Please” or “If your may” – when inviting another person for practice.

The Origin of OSS

Oss is derived from the Japanese term “Onegai Shimasu” (お願い します), which translates to “please”, or “please, if you will”, and is a polite invitation. It has been shortened for the western world to “Oss”, which is now being used in BJJ, and other martial arts, including karate and MMA.