Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a self defense system that promotes the concept that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend against or overcome a bigger, stronger assailant. This is achieved through using proper technique, leverage and taking the fight to the ground where elements such as speed and strength can otherwise be nullified. A BJJ practitioner develops an arsenal in position wrestling, joint locks, and chokeholds. Traditional Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is practiced in the “Gi” or “Kimono”. BJJ also focuses on the manipulation of the Gi as part of its techniques. Gripping the Gi to obtain additional leverage, limit an opponent’s movement, or to be used as part of a choke are examples of how the Gi comes into play! This is why the BJJ Gi is thicker in feel and material (heavy cotton) than the traditional Japanese martial arts kimono. Training to utilize the Gi directly translates to utilizing street clothes in a “real life” scenarios as an added benefit.
BJJ has exploded into a self contained, increasingly popular worldwide sport. It has its own set of superstars, sponsorships, regulations, and champions. While you may hear the term Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu often associated with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), it is not a form of mixed martial arts competition. There is no striking involved in BJJ training or competition. However, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a staple foundation for the skill set required to be the most successful UFC and mixed martial arts competitors in the world.
Like many other systems of self defense in martial arts, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu does have a colored-belt ranking system. In order, the ranks/belt colors are White, Blue, Purple, Brown, and Black. There are belts above black, but let’s get to black first! In many schools (including ours) stripes are also given out accordingly from White to Brown belt to show progression between belts. There is no “set time frame” to go from White to Black belt. It all depends on the individual, their dedication, and their instructor. The key to getting to Black Belt is putting your time in on the mat, and NEVER getting discouraged enough to stop your training. Every single belt earned is an achievement in itself, no less than the Black belt. Like life, everyone’s BJJ journey is different; but concentration should be on the step ahead not the destination.
The focus of BJJ is to drill proper techniques to build strong foundation and to keep skills solid. Students are shown material from how to properly escape inferior positions to defending submissions. More advanced techniques are worked in and covered while still never losing sight of the fundamentals. Classes start with open rolling or drilling. After that the instructor will begin the curriculum of the day. Our instructors don’t just focus on just the how, but the WHY of each movement. Grappling is as strategic as it is physical where often advanced BJJ practitioners are thinking moves ahead like in chess. The class material is accompanied by drilling of the material with a partner, while obtaining individual attention to detail from instructors. The class typically concludes with live grappling! It doesn’t have to end there. Quite often students will continue to roll after the conclusion of class!
For classes you’ll need a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Gi, BJJ belt, and a t-shirt or rash guard. If you do not have a Gi yet or would like to try a class, we do have clean loaners Gi’s and belts available for use. If you find a passion for BJJ and would like to continue classes, we also have great Fuji Gi’s available for sale (Belts as well). Recommended equipment includes an athletic cup and a fitted mouth guard. We do have equipment available at the front desk. And if you have any questions regarding Gi sizing or anything else, please do not hesitate to ask/contact any of the staff! We look forward to seeing you in class!