Frequently Asked Questions about BJJ Training

Who can learn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

Anyone can master the techniques in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The discipline uses leverage to its advantage instead of size and strength. One need not be in top condition to learn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, although the training will lead to improved flexibility and fitness to whatever level the participant desires. Children are easily taught Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Master Pablo Popovitch began training when he was 4.

Do you earn belts in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu like you do in karate?

Yes, there is similar belt progression in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, beginning with a white belt. Attaining a black belt in BJJ, however, is not as easy as it is in karate.

What kind of equipment do I need?

The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Center provides everything new students need.

Do I need to be in good physical shape to begin training with your school?

Absolutely not! The best time to start your journey is right now! Our Basic Programs are designed to lay a strong foundation of skill and conditioning. Whether you’re a beginner to the arts, or you’ve had previous experience, each student will progress at the pace that is right for them. All new members are guided through a basic training routine that is modified to fit each individuals needs and desires.

What is the History of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

The Martial Art known as Jiu-Jitsu (The Gentle Art) has existed in Japan for many centuries. Its exact origins are not entirely clear and some would argue that India is its rightful birthplace although there is not enough evidence to support this.

During the Feudalism period in Japan, warriors were taught jiu-jitsu as a form of combat which included throws, ground grappling and strikes. There were many schools that taught jiu-jitsu in Japan but as sociological changes took place, the art of Jiu-Jitsu began to decline.

Jigoro Kano (1860-1938), founder of the Martial Art known as Judo began his Martial Arts career studying Jiu-Jitsu. During his studies, Kano concluded that there were many problems with classical jiu-jitsu. One of these problems included unrealistic training methods where students learned by memorizing choreographed movements called kata. This method of training does not allow for testing your techniques with a resisting opponent, hence introducing his own Martial Art - Judo.

Judo allowed students to train using full force in their technique. These techniques included throws and submission holds. It became very popular in a short period of time. In his quest to spread the art of Judo, Kano sent representatives to the United States in hopes of the art becoming an Olympic Sport. One of the representatives was Mitsuyo Maeda (1878-1941).

Mitsuyo Maeda traveled to North, Central and South America and even Europe. In the Early 1920's, Maeda traveled to Brazil to start a colony in the North. It is here where Maeda would meet Gastao Gracie who was involved with politics. Gracie would use his political contacts to aid Maeda and in return, Maeda would teach Jiu-Jitsu to Gastao Gracie's sons.

Carlos Gracie (1902-1994), the oldest Gracie brother learned from Maeda for approximately 2-4 years. This left the Gracie family to learn among themselves refining their technique to the highest degree. They eliminated the useless and added or refined effective techniques. Today, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has proven to be the most effective form of unarmed combat available. The current generations of the Gracie family have proven this in today's Mixed Martial Art events and open challenge matches.