Q: Are beginners welcome?
A: Yes! In fact, 95% of the students who walk in are brand new to martial arts. We have men and women from all walks of life. Our program is tailored to the individual and their experience level. Classes are taught in progression, ensuring a sound understanding of the fundamental techniques before moving on to more advanced material.
Q: What do I need to start?
A: The most important thing to bring to the gym is respect and an open mind. Martial arts is not about building better fighters, but rather, building better people. Learning to fight is just a benefit!
You do not need any equipment for the first day. If you decide that you are interested in pursing further training, you will have to purchase gloves and shin guards for kickboxing and a Jiu-Jitsu gi for grappling. All the necessary gear can be purchased at the gym.
Q: Can I train in both kickboxing and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu?
A: Absolutely! In fact, it’s encouraged. It is important for every martial artist to be well-versed in striking and grappling.
Q: Do I have to spar?
A: No. The decision to participate in sparring is the student’s. Level 1 classes are primarily focused on learning techniques and improving conditioning. Sparring is not part of the curriculum. If students are interested in sparring after mastering the basic techniques and demonstrating control, they can participate in Level 2 classes which adds contact drills and light sparring.
Q: How do I know which gym to join?
A: There are many options out there. Unlike men, not all martial arts schools are created equal. The most important factor in martial arts training is the quality of instruction. Do not be fooled by fancy equipment or low prices. Every reputable school will offer you a free trial. Try a couple different places. Find a school with qualified, well-trained instructors who are dedicated to helping you reach your goals. If you are interested in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, find a school with a black belt instructor who has trained under the Gracie family.
Q: How old is too old to start training?
A: Our members range in age from 18 – 60. Helio Gracie was practicing Jiu-Jitsu into his 90s. Unless you have any major medical conditions or have been advised to stay away from strenuous activity, you should have no problem participating in the class.
Q: Why do Jiu-Jitsu practitioners wear the gi?
A: The gi serves as a teaching tool for developing a strong grip, balance, and control. Fighting with the gi requires a high level of precision and attention to detail; two tools essential for good Jiu-Jitsu. It also simulates clothing on an opponent so in a self defense situation you can capitalize on the available tools. A fighter training with a gi will also be good without a gi, the opposite is not true.
Q: What is the belt system in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu?
A: There are five belts in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu: white, blue, purple, brown, and black. Each successive belt represents an increased knowledge of the art. There are also four stripes at each belt level to indicate student progress. After the fourth stripe, the student is promoted to the next belt level.
Q: How long does it take to obtain a black belt?
A: It depends. A student can expect to spend about 500 hours of mat time per belt (approximately 1.5 – 2 years). That being said, some students pick it up faster than others. BJ Penn earned his black belt in under four years.