What is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ)?
Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a grappling martial art that utilizes technique and leverage to impose strangle holds and joint locks while on the ground, allowing a person to defend him or herself effectively against a stronger and larger opponent. While many hand-to-hand martial arts rely on strikes using speed and power, Brazilian jiu-jitsu takes a different approach: speed and power are not a requirement and are oftentimes not necessary. Rather than relying on strikes, BJJ emphasizes closing the distance between you and your opponent and taking him or her to the ground where technique and leverage can be used to apply submissions or strike more efficiently.
What does Jiu-Jitsu mean?
Jiu-Jitsu translates to “the gentle art.” It is referred to this because the art utilizes leverage and balance rather than force and strength.
What is the difference between Classical/Japanese Jiu-Jitsu and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?
There are many differences. The main difference is 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 emphasizes on the positional strategy of using the submission only when one has obtained a dominant position over the opponent.
Why is Jiu-Jitsu so effective in real combat confrontation?
statistics have proven that 95% of all physical encounters end up on the ground. Most Martial Arts train mainly for stand-up fighting. That means that without grappling skills, you have only 5% chance of winning a street confrontation. Lack of grappling skills can result in serious injuries, and even death. Jiu-Jitsu addresses this area of Self-Defense like no other Martial Arts.
Will training improve my physical fitness?
Jiu-Jitsu training is a great way of getting in shape without getting bored by the same daily workout or routine. By using every part of the body while training, Jiu-Jitsu practitioners tend to lose weight, get lean and gain muscle. When at the gym, you basically work out one or two body parts at a time. Training Jiu-Jitsu will work all parts of the body, enhance flexibility, and increase cardiovascular endurance.
Who can do Jiu Jitsu?
Anyone can do jitsu – the gentle art. It is based more on movement and using an opponents own movement against them (in the same way that aikido does). Gender, size and age are irrelevant for the majority of techniques taught in jitsu and although they some are indeed difficult to master, once they are they can make any jitsuka a worthy adversary.
Will it hurt?
From the beginning safety is stressed in jitsu. The first things a novice jitsuka is taught are how to move out of the way of attacks and how to protect themselves if they fall onto the dojo mats (breakfalling out of throws). A tapping system is also used where if a lock is applied successfully the jitsuka need only tap the other jitsuka to let him/her know that the lock worked and that they should release it. Basically at some point you will feel pain when you do jiu jitsu, but this is no different to any other martial art, and safety is always a primary concern.
Why should I do Jitsu?
Jitsu is F, U, N, FUN! If you don’t find jitsu fun then it probably isn’t the martial art for you – try something else instead. Jitsu is supposed to be enjoyable as well as useful. It’s an opportunity to meet people as well as learn one of the oldest and most effective martial arts in a safe and controlled environment. Getting thrown is also really great for stress relief!
What can BJJ and your school do for me?
BJJ is a highly effective form of self-defense that promotes a healthy lifestyle through numerous side benefits, including exercise, flexibility, self-confidence, discipline, and structure. Adding BJJ to your routine can help you get in shape, gain confidence, and release stress, all while forming a network of like-minded people sure to motivate and inspire you. Our academies not only excel in this great martial art, but offer a safe, friendly, and family-style atmosphere that many of our students consider their second home.
Do I need to be in shape to learn BJJ?
We are proud to cater to all fitness levels at GatorPit BJJ and have many students whose exercise routines were limited or non-existent prior to joining the academy. Our team will ensure a progressive and gradual plan to help you acclimate to our programs while achieving your fitness goals. Training in Jiu-Jitsu will also focus on muscle strengthening, endurance, cardio and flexibility. GatorPit BJJ also offers separate fitness classes as part of the BJJ program to assist in reaching your fitness goals.
Am I too old to train?
We have students of all ages, each with different goals in mind. Whether you are 5 or 59, our classes and programs are designed to provide results at any age and are enjoyed by both younger and older students.
Do you offer classes for kids and at what age do you start at?
Yes. Currently we offer kids classes, and enroll students as young as five years old. We have classes divided into two age levels during the week- Ages 5-8 and Ages 9-14.
What are some of the physical benefits of training Jiu-Jitsu?
BJJ will improve balance, coordination, flexibility, cardio vascular capacity and muscular endurance.
Is BJJ beneficial for women?
Absolutely. BJJ is excellent for rape prevention and other forms of self-defense necessary for women since most attacks occur on the ground. Also, because jiu-jitsu was designed for smaller people, women will not find their smaller stature a hindrance.
What are the Belt Rankings in Jiu-Jitsu?
As with other martial arts, the progress of a student is marked with a series of colored belts. Unlike other martial arts where Black Belt marks a person’s proficiency in a style, in BJJ the rank of Black Belt is conferred to individuals who have mastered the art of BJJ. The belts are: White, Blue, Purple, Brown and Black. Often schools award four stripes for white through brown belts. Black Belts are typically awarded one stripe every three years up to ten stripes. The ranks for children are different. Blue belt and higher ranks have age requirements so children have the following ranks beginning with White, Yellow, Orange and Green. Each belt has four stripes. These belts are utilized until age 16. For more info, please see the tab under Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Grading and Promotions.
How long does it take to earn a black belt?
Although this varies for each individual, it usually takes between 8 and 15 years to attain the rank of Black Belt in Jiu-Jitsu.
What is a Gi and why do I need to wear one?
A Gi (referred to in Brazil as a Kimono) is the uniform that is typically worn when training Jiu-Jitsu. It consists of 3 pieces: a jacket (or top), pants and a belt. The material in which the three pieces are made is specially reinforced to withstand the rigors of daily practice. Many Jiu-Jitsu players regard their Gi in the same way a knight would their armor. Most practitioners of Jiu-Jitsu who advocate the usage of the Gi cite the more technical aspect of grappling with a Gi. You will wear a Gi because it 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. In addition, the Gi creates a lot of friction in between you, your opponent and the ground, helping your stamina and overall conditioning.
What is a typical class like?
We begin each class with light calisthenics. Following the warm-up period, we then begin drilling techniques. These drills when done over and over help form muscle memory and help our students retain technique. After our drilling is completed, we begin to spar (roll). Rolling is when students are able to put their techniques to the test with training partners who can resist and counter just as they would in an actual fight, providing valuable real-world experience should the techniques ever need to be applied in an actual fight.
Do I have to enter competitions?
Competition is encouraged, but is totally optional.
What is the cost of membership?
Pricing will depend on each individual’s needs. We encourage prospective students to try out an introductory class so that we can assess each individual’s goals and determine what he or she would like to get out of training. We can then make a recommendation for frequency of training and what classes would be best suited for each individual.
When do you offer classes?
We offer BJJ classes 7 days per week and at various times throughout the day to accommodate your schedule.
- No matter how good you get, someone else is going to be better than you (unless you are Marcelo Garcia). So don’t get down on yourself… if you are struggling in training, keep at it, the only way that you won’t get better is to not train.
- Jiu-Jitsu friends are the best when it comes to helping you move… they can all lift heavy stuff and they’ll let you know where the best spot at your new place is to put down some mats.
- True strength comes from within… but weak hands will never finish a choke.
- Happiness comes from eating a doughnut and not from having six pack abs… but if you train hard enough… you can have both.
- To tap or not to tap, that is the question.
See you on the mat!