What do I need to bring to my first class?
You will need to bring a gi (Brazilian jiu-jitsu kimono) to your first gi class or a tight-fitting rash guard, spats, and fight shorts (or nogi shorts) to your first nogi class. We suggest bringing a bottle of water and a mouthpiece if you desire to wear one (some do and some don't). We can provide you with a loaner gi if you don't have one, or you can purchase one through us. We emphasize that the gi is from Brazilian jiu jitsu (judo gis can work as well) because the material needs to be able to withstand gripping, throwing, and pinning. Karate uniforms will tear very easily in jiu-jitsu and also cause undue injury because there is less padding in the neck areas and on the lapel.
I am out of shape. Do I need to be in shape for jiu-jitsu?
Absolutely not! There's no better way to get in shape then regular attendance to class. Some members can shed up to 80 pounds in a year's time with regular dedication and diet change.
I have a colored belt in another martial art. Am I allowed to wear that belt to jiu-jitsu class?
We only recognize the IBJJF (International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation) belt system. If you earned a rank at another jiu-jitsu gym and it's a color that the IBJJF recognizes, you are more then welcome to keep the rank you are. You earned it! Other forms of martial art don't count, and you will need to start with a white belt—which, by the way, is the hardest belt to earn and is the most important!
What should my hygiene look like?
You should be clean. Finger and toenails trimmed short (no long acrylics!). Please don't wear any metal jewelry, even wedding bands (if metal), as any could cause injury. Jiu-jitsu is a close-proximity contact sport.
I have past injuries. Can I do jiu-jitsu?
We are not medical professionals. Always consult your doctors before participating in a contact sport. Having said that, there are many levels of jiu-jitsu that can benifts many different types of people. Whether you're a professional athlete, competitor, hobbyist or just in it for the fun, not everyone has to be 100% to train. Of course it depends on the injury and severity, but just because you have an old injury does not rule you out.
Is jiu-jitsu safe?
Statistically speaking, vending machines have hurt more people than jiu-jitsu has. Jiu-jitsu is intense; that is why we do the sport: because we love it! However, it is very safe, and the rate of serious injuries is rare. Minor bumps, scrapes, and bruises are a part of natural training. We also encourage a healthy diet, proper sleep, and proper recovery practices to maximize your body's ability to train and grow. The poorer your diet or sleep regimen, the higher your likelihood of injury.
My child has behavioral problems. Is jiu-jitsu good for him, or will it make him more aggressive?
Jiu-jitsu is healthy and effective for children with behavioral or emotional issues. It teaches control, discipline, respect, and integrity. When a child learns how to do something challenging, it teaches them that they can overcome other obstacles in life—just like they did in jiu-jitsu.
I am a woman. Will there be women for me to train with?
Generally, yes, our classes include both men and women. Jiu-jitsu is great for women. Women can use the training for self-defense. The whole premise of jiu-jitsu is that with proper techniques and training, a smaller, weaker person could defeat a larger, stronger attacker.