Frequently Asked Questions

What is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

In 1914, the Japanese art of Jiu-Jitsu immigrated to the county of Brazil, where it began a process of testing, development and refinement into what is referred today as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ); also known as Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, the name “Gracie” referring to the Brazilian family that, for decades, challenged and defeated all skeptics to test and prove the effectiveness of this ancient art. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is one of “the” premier martial art systems in the world today, and has gained international prominence as both an effective self-defense system, and an athletic/combative sport. First introduced to the U.S. by the Gracie family via no-holds-barred / Ultimate Fighting Championship competitions, BJJ specializes in submission grappling when both fighters are on the ground. BJJ techniques include primarily positional control, and submissions such as chokes and arm locks.

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Is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone?

Absolutely. However, as with any endeavor worth doing, BJJ does require a deep sense of hard work, commitment and dedication. The beauty of BJJ training is that it’s safe, fun, and can be performed by anyone regardless of skill level, physical stature, experience level or gender. As a child, can you ever recall rolling or wrestling around on the ground with your siblings or friends, well add to this a few technical pointers on control and submissions, and at its’ essence you have BJJ training. I’m sure along with this you could also recall being extremely short breathed and exhausted from such physically demanding play, well this is also an important part of BJJ training. You will be hard-pressed to find any workout more demanding and gratifying than a BJJ workout. While the BJJ workouts are indeed tough, the great thing about a BJJ classroom environment is that there is always enough informality and safety to allow each person to do as much or as little as they desire. Beyond the workout, let me also be honest in adding that BJJ is by no means a hypothetical art where one achieves proficiency by practicing against imaginary or cooperative training partners; and thus in BJJ training, you will discover that the daily challenges and tribulations will be as varied as the size, shape and skill levels of each of your BJJ classmates. It may be reassuring to know that regardless of belt ranks, this is indeed a normal part of the BJJ learning curve that we must all experience and endure; if you truly believe that failure and adversity are a normal part of learning and essential for growth, and you are prepared to lose, and lose often, before progressing on the path of proficiency, then you’re ready to enjoy this most dynamic and stimulating of martial art systems.

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What is so special about the Brazilian Freestyle Jiu-Jitsu Academy?

No doubt the answer to this question is our people. Our students and staff range in ages from 5 to 50, and vary in backgrounds from doctors to professional fighters, and regardless of their ages or profession we all share a common passion in the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu -- which in turn translates into a deep respect, concern and sportsmanship among one another.

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What advice can you give someone starting out at BFJJ?

The first piece of advice would be to “know when to say when”. Meaning from our opening warm-ups to our closing free-training segment, our 2-hour classes from beginning to end are fairly physical and demanding, so proceed at your own pace and tempo. When you feel you’ve had enough and are near your personal limits, please do not feel afraid or ashamed to express this to our staff and allow yourself to take a breather. The second piece of advice would be to “leave your ego at the door.” As in any classroom environment, you primary goal while here is to learn, and an unfortunate part of learning in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is knowing when to say when, or in Jiu-Jitsu terms, knowing when to tap-out; being unwilling to do so will surely hamper your overall BJJ development.

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Does BFJJ train for street or sport?

We at BFJJ train for many reasons, primary of which includes leisure, sportsmanship, fitness, fun, camaraderie, and a simple enjoyment for the science of the art of Jiu-Jitsu. While self-defense is not the primary goal in our daily training, it is a definite by-product “of” training, simply because it is our belief that the skills that are developed from training, attributes such as conditioning, confidence, athleticism, and awareness, are what will be most critical in the end; the end being that moment in time when you are confronted by an assailant and called upon to defend yourself. Because the realities of an assault are that they are almost always “prowling & predatory” in nature, which means you will often be out-numbered or out-classed as to size and strength, or may be confronted with a weapon of some sort -- faced with these odds, and more realistic than Hollywood’s version of a kick-butt response, will be your quick thinking, quick feet, and God’s speed – of course a little bit of Jiu-Jitsu know-how couldn’t hurt, but ultimately it will be your mental and physical attributes, more so than martial technique, that will be most important in situations such as these. As a side note, please do not confuse the realities of an assault and the innate need to defend yourself, with the common myths surrounding street fights, and the egocentric desires to prove yourself; with a little maturity and common sense, street fights are often a matter of choice, and avoidable; personal assaults on the other hand, are not. Again, while we at BFJJ primarily train for leisure and sport, I can assure you that there are few styles beyond Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu that have proven to be more effective in the ring, or out on the streets.

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