About BJJ

What does "Jiu-Jitsu" mean?
Jiu-Jitsu translates to “the gentle art” and it is referred to as such because the art utilizes leverage and balance rather than force and strength. Also, submissions are viewed as a more humane alternative to striking.
Is Jiu-Jitsu like grappling or wrestling?
Jiu-Jitsu includes takedowns, grappling and ground fighting techniques. It is a fact though that nearly all fights will end up on the ground, and BJJ always prepares its practitioners for a physically superior opponent, someone much bigger and stronger.

Some schools will focus only on the ground, mainly focusing on Jiu-Jitsu for competitions. We teach all facets of Jiu-Jitsu including defense against punches, kicks, and ground fighting. You will learn how to deal with an aggressive individual from beginning to end — diffusing the situation, keeping yourself safe, and controlling your opponent.

I'm not in the best shape. Can I still start at Jiu-Jitsu?
Yes! Our beginner classes are an excellent and fun way to get in shape. Not only will you learn the essential skills of self-defense, but you will also focus on strength, endurance, and flexibility. During a class you can even burn between 400 and 700 calories.

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What are some of the physical benefits of training Jiu-Jitsu?
BJJ truly is a total body sport. Without having to lift weights or run, your conditioning, strength, coordination, and flexibility will increase dramatically. All this while you get to learn a new sport, join a community, and have fun!
Is Jiu-Jitsu beneficial for women?
Yes! In addition to improving conditioning, strength, coordination, and flexibility, Jiu-Jitsu is also an excellent form of self-defense. Women can use the skills they learn through BJJ to prevent any sort of physical attack. Learning how to utilize strategic grips, and proper application of leverage and body weight allows women to escape from attackers regardless of their size — standing or on the ground.

The additional confidence you gain from knowing you can defend yourself is also one of the most empowering feeling you can have. Our members experience this confidence carry into every aspect of their lives, from family and friends to work.

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I have never done martial arts before and feel a little apprehensive. Is it easy to get started?
Most people feel some anxiety about starting a martial arts program which is why we provide individual attention in each and every class. Our focus on safety and community encourages each student to progress quickly and confidently towards their goals.

Ready to take the leap?
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Will there be other beginners there beside me?
Yes, we have new members every week all of whom are feeling the same as you. One of our favorite parts about BJJ is the community, so come in have some fun, and make some new friends!

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How are classes structured?
Every class begins with a warm up to get the blood flowing. These include plyometric exercises and movements to help improve conditioning, coordination, flexibility and strength. Once you’re warm you will learn the techniques of the week and practice it with a partner. Throughout the class the instructor will add details to the techniques, and give you personal attention to increase your learning.

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I have a busy schedule, how often should I train?
Each of our classes is 60 minutes long. If you can make at least 2 classes per week you will see exceptional results. However, many of our students love BJJ so much they train every day of the week! Individual lessons are also an excellent alternative to speed up your learning process, in case our class schedule conflicts with your work hours.

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Is Jiu-Jitsu effective against other styles of martial arts?
In mixed martial arts (MMA) competitions, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu has consistently proved its supremacy. Evidence of this can be found in stories of BJJ practitioners defending themselves in real-world situations, during every fight in the UFC, or in the videos like Gracies in Action — a documentary in which the Gracie Family took on and defeated all comers for over 70 years.
What is the basic etiquette while in class?
These are some general rules to follow during training:

  • Keep your body and uniform clean. Nobody wants to be the smelly kid in class.
  • Respect everyone. The instructors are your friends, but you must still maintain good conduct. Show respect to get respect.
  • Check your ego at the door. Your ego is you worst enemy when learning something new, so have fun and laugh at yourself when you make a mistake.
  • Keep it safe when you train. Make sure to focus on your technique, that is the only way you’ll improve.
  • Be on time for class. If you’re late please ask the instructor for permission before you enter class.
  • Please let the instructor know if you need to leave class early.
  • Always bow or shake hands before rolling. This shows respect to your training partner, and the tradition of BJJ.
What is the belt system in Jiu-Jitsu?
In Jiu-Jitsu belts are used to indicate not only a practitioners skill level, but also the amount of responsibility that comes with that knowledge. There are two belt systems in BJJ, one for children, and one for adults.

The adult’s belt progression is

  • White
  • Blue
  • Purple
  • Brown
  • Black

The children’s belt progression is

  • White
  • Yellow
  • Orange
  • Green

As you progress and grow your Jiu-Jitsu game you will also be awarded stripes or degrees on each belt. These are a great way to track smaller steps in you Jiu-Jitsu development.

How long does it take to obtain a black belt?
Unlike many other martial arts, Jiu-Jitsu belts are given on a individual basis. Our instructors keep careful track of each practitioners progress, and awards belts not only on skill level, but an individuals ability to help those less skilled than him or her become better. On average our members train three or four times each week. At this rate it usually takes one year to achieve Blue Belt, 3-4 years to achieve Purple Belt, 5-6 to achieve Brown Belt, and 8-12 years to achieve Black Belt.
What is the difference between Classical or Japanese Jiu-Jitsu and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ)?
There are numerous differences. The main one being that BJJ focuses more on ground grappling while Classical Jiu-Jitsu places a greater emphasis on standing grappling and striking. All types of Jiu-Jitsu are based on submitting your opponent; however, BJJ is the only form of Jiu-Jitsu that heavily emphasis on strategy and control to do so, which will allow you to be in a completely dominant position, safe and calm to apply a finishing hold.
What is the difference between Gracie or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ)?
There is no fundamental difference between Gracie or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu; however, a school named Gracie either belongs or has strong roots to the Gracie Family, creators of this style.

For Parents

How old does my child have to be to start training?
We recommend that children start at 5 years old. However, since no two kids are the same there can be significant differences in coordination and maturity. If you believe your child is ready, and are eager to get them started we are willing to evaluate children younger than 5.

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Why Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy?
Besides learning directly from a member of the Gracie Family, you will notice that unlike most martial arts schools, our classes are technique based. In our program, kids learn self-defense, respect, discipline, and honor while discover that hard work and effort always pays off and brings positive results. To keep your child engaged we mix these lessons in with games and exercise, giving your child a unique outlet for their energy.
What is the difference between Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and other forms of martial arts for kids?
Jiu-Jitsu will teach your children that they don’t need to punch and kick in order to control someone and protect themselves from bullying. We have a strong focus on situation de-escalation. However, at some point your child may have to defend themselves, and this is where BJJ is most effective.

Instead of learning moves through katas or prearranged sets of movements carried out on a cooperative training partner, they will learn how to apply grappling techniques on a resisting training partner who’s counteracting with his own moves. Not only does this prepare them for real-world situations, it will build the required self-confidence to walk away from any physical encounter.

How large are your class sizes?
Class sizes range between 10 – 35 students in each class. However, to give each child the individual attention they deserve we maintain have 1 instructor for every 10 children.
My child is already very energetic. I'm afraid martial arts training will encourage aggression.
Training at our academy will provide an outlet for children to channel aggression and excess energy. Our children’s programs focus on developing behavioral and attitudinal aspects inherent with martial arts such as respect, confidence, discipline, and control. By providing a fun and safe atmosphere for kids, we foster a healthy environment in which they can learn and develop not only self-defense skills, but life skills as well.
Are there local tournaments for my child?
Competing is a great way to allow your child to show off their skills, as well as teach them life lessons such as how to overcome adversity adn deal with both successes and failures in life. We encourage children who are interested to participate in the many local and regional competitions available to help them develop focus, team spirit, and hard work.
Teaching kids is not easy. What make your instructors so succesful?
All of our instructors are highly skilled Jiu Jitsu practitioners and have been certified to teach through the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Belt System. Our goal is to provide a safe, fun environment where the kids will improve their social, behavioral, and self-defense skills.
Is the curriculum safe for my child?
Our number one priority in all of our programs is safety. Martial arts training is inherently a contact sport, and just like any other sport accidental injuries will occur. However, to minimize injuries our instructors are always supervising your children, making sure they obey the rules and keep themselves and their training partners safe.