FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is "Brazilian Jiu Jitsu"?
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a martial art that utilizes leverage, joint manipulation, and the weight of an opponent against them. It is practiced in our gym in the competitive style, i.e. no weapons involved. A “gi”, or kimono, is used in classes and training. Jiu Jitsu is traditionally a Japanese martial art, however, you will see more references to it as BJJ, or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Alternatively, it is a way to see friends who learn how to choke each other and have a great time doing it.
What is "No Gi Jiu Jitsu"?
No Gi is simply....jiu jitsu with no gi. It is jiu jitsu adapted for competition and combat without the traditional gi (or kimono).
What is "Striking"?
Our striking classes are a combination of Western and Dutch boxing, kickboxing, and Tae Kwan Do geared toward an application in MMA (Mixed Martial Arts). You can expect a good cardio workout, lots of partner drilling and pad work, and occasional light sparring.
What is "Sparring"?
Sparring is live rounds of kickboxing and/or boxing. This class is technical and controlled.
What is "Wrestling"?
Think high school or college wrestling, not WWE. It's what you'd see in the Olympics. Our competition style is heavily influenced and built upon by the sport of wrestling. Wrestling is a series of takedowns and position dominance. The movements are very explosive. If you’ve ever wanted to get into superior shape, this will get you there while improving your grappling game.
What is "M.A.C. Fit?"
"M.A.C." stands for Martial Arts Conditioning. This class is a system of exercises designed to improve your strength, conditioning, and coordination using kettle bells, body weight, and martial arts movements.
See also: Classes
What does "Open Mat" mean?
Open mats are for active members only. Open mats are scheduled and sometimes created by gym members. This is a way for people with varying schedules to still practice and roll with a variety of teammates. These sessions can be gi or no gi.
What gear do I need for these sessions? What do I wear?
We have loaner striking gear/gis & belts for trial periods.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu - Gi & Ranked Belt. Comfortable, athletic clothing can be worn underneath.
No Gi - Comfortable, athletic clothing. The tighter the better for grappling. Spats, shorts, rash guards, etc.
Striking/Sparring - Boxing gloves (12-16oz)(16oz. for sparring), shin guards, hand wraps (if preferred), and mouthpiece (mandatory for sparring sessions).
Wrestling - Comfortable, athletic clothing. Wrestling shoes are not required but can be worn if preferred.
M.A.C. Fit - Comfortable, athletic clothing.
A cup is not required, however can be worn for MMA, grappling, and sparring sessions. Cups are not allowed in Jiu Jitsu tournaments.
Anyone on the team would be more than happy to recommend brands and a point in the right direction!
What can I expect from my first class?
Fun! Excitement! Confusion! Abrupt humbleness! A lust for more! So! Many! Emotions!
Please feel free to introduce yourself to the instructor and let them know it is your first class. No reason to be nervous, you're in good hands! Our gym is a tight family, so other students will naturally have training partners, but never be afraid to ask to partner up. Most classes are structured with a 10-15 minute warm-up of calisthenics followed by 30-40 minutes of technique and instruction with active drilling. Striking classes end with short cardio drills to put the techniques together. Jiu jitsu classes are followed by a period of time to roll with teammates.
What is "Rolling" and "Sparring"?
"Rolling" is a live practice training of ground fighting. After learning and drilling techniques in jiu jitsu, students will then have the option of staying after to “roll” with one partner at a time. During this live practice, partners attempt to utilize what they have just learned or any other techniques they may know to submit their partners.
"Sparring" is the live practice training of striking techniques. It is utilized during sparring and MMA sessions. Opponents pick one partner to work movement, strikes, sometimes takedowns, and other fighting styles into a “real life” face off. During sparring, partners are expected to show control in their strikes and self-restraint. This is a time to not only make yourself better but your partner as well. This is how a team grows.
Do I have to roll and/or spar?
No! However, rolling and sparring are an integral part of learning and training in martial arts. It may seem scary at first, but understand that each student is held accountable to practice safe training. We are not out for blood on the mats and anyone who does punch, kick, or roll too hard is taken care of, immediately and without hesitation. We're here to build one another up.
Our school system is set up as a competitive training facility. We believe that the best way to truly understand techniques and your personal ability to use them is tested by active (or live) rolling and sparring.
What is the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu belt system and why is it significant?
All martial arts are essentially codified systems of combatives. Hierarchy is needed in order to practice, prove, and progress oneself inside a certain system. All beginners start as a white belt. After that, it’s up to you to train and dedicate yourself accordingly. Belt progression is determined and awarded by your head instructor. Rankings are also used as a barometer for competition. Belts are not worn in no gi jiu jitsu.
Where do I stand at the beginning and end of a Brazilian/Gi Jiu Jitsu class?
In keeping with the hierarchy and honor of the jiu jitsu system, each Gi Jiu Jitsu class begins and ends with students lined up according to their belt color. Black belts are at the front of the class facing the students, as they have proven themselves to be not only proficient in jiu jitsu, but also as teachers and mentors. Students face black belts in descending order: brown belts first, then purple, blue, and white belts make up the back row. You will be able to see the dedication it takes to achieve black belt by the decreasing number of students in each row as the belt color moves up in rank. To pick partners and roll after class, students line up against the wall in ranked order as well. Stripes do not pertain to this line up. This system is not practiced in No Gi Jiu Jitsu classes.
What is the expected etiquette at this school?
Martial arts is a practice that blends physical training with mental fortitude. Practicing respect towards your fellow teammates, strangers, instructors, and the gym itself is expected. Be kind and be clean!
Am I supposed to help mop after I take class?
Always help where help is needed! We sweep and mop between every class and we pride ourselves on our clean mats. Respectful training is clean and hygienic training. Please participate in any capacity as a sign of respect for your fellow teammates' health and towards the gym we all utilize.
What else can I do to contribute to gym/team cleanliness?
Be diligent with your personal hygiene! There’s a lot of people out in the world and a lot of germs. You will be coming into close contact with training partners whether you are ground fighting or striking. Please remember to:
- Brush your teeth (or chew gum!).
- Wash your hands before and after training.
- Cut your nails.
- Wash your clothes and bring changes of clothes if you take more than one class.
- Do not wear shoes ON the mats and wear shoes OFF the mats! Especially in the bathroom.
This seems like a lot. Do I need previous experience?
Absolutely not. We are one big family who look out for one another. Besides, other white belts will relish the opportunity to pounce on you and prove themselves to absolutely no one. We teach our classes so that beginners and more advanced students can enjoy and learn every time they are on the mat. The best thing to do is to watch and learn. Also, remember that no one is training to kill you during practice so go easy until you find good partners to work with and become proficient and controlled with your techniques.
Do I need to be in good shape before I try this?
Half of our gym can’t fit into their rash guards after the holidays, so don’t sweat it. There is no better time to start being in “better shape” than now. Pushing off physical exertion because you aren’t in shape is just one more day you won’t be in shape. Start now. You'll thank yourself later.
Is it mandatory for me to compete?
Competition is not mandatory, however many students do compete in BJJ competitions. A few, select students are amateur and pro MMA fighters. We are a competition-based school because we believe competition is a great benchmark to test your training. We will never pressure anyone to compete, though.
Are all classes beginner-friendly?
Whatever your reasons to start are, there’s a place for you in class. Our classes are structured to benefit everyone from first time practitioners to professional athletes.
How can I best contribute and participate in this community?
We are a family who loves to punch, kick, and choke each other. While doing so we support each other, encourage others' training, and hold each other accountable to show respect to everyone. We are a team that also encourages cross-training and watching YouTube videos because we are nerds and want to keep learning what else is out there. Be respectful by not teaching other students, keeping the gym tidy, and safely rolling and sparring with your teammates.
Am I too old to start?
Nope! Our classes not only benefit competitors, but people looking for everyday self-defense or a fun hobby. We engineer safe training practices to mitigate unnecessary injuries and keep students on the mat learning. Many martial artists train for decades of their life.
Should I be concerned if I'm not comprehending all of these fancy words?
Many people who seem to know the exact words or techniques are pretending. Everyone feels quite lost in the beginning. It feels like you are in a foreign language class for the first time. Don’t worry. It is an immense field to learn and even harder to put into practice. As you gain more time on the mat, you will start to see techniques over and over until you are able to drill them on cue. Remember, everyone starts out as a white belt. Keep going until you, too, can speak the language!
Didn't answer all of your questions? Reach out and ask! We'd be happy to answer any questions you may have.