Frequently Asked Questions

What does “Jiu-Jitsu” mean?

Jiu-Jitsu translates to “the gentle art”.  It is referred to as such because the art utilizes leverage and balance rather than force and strength. Also the finishing submissions are viewed as a more humane alternative to striking.

What is the difference between Classical or Japanese Jiu-Jitsu and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

There are numerous differences the main one being BJJ focuses more on ground grappling while Classical Jiu-Jitsu places a greater emphasis on standing grappling and striking.

What are the rules in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

Each academy has certain rules or regulations regarding what is allowed within its doors.  We strive to create an atmosphere that inspires results, allowing members of all ages to approach fitness in a positive and safe manner while learning the art of Brazilain Jiu-Jitsu.  Please see our Academy Rules page for some specific rules for our academy.  Please refer to http://ibjjf.org/rules for competition rules for the IBJJF.  Please keep in mind that each tournament will have its own set of rules or guidelines, so please familiarize yourself with the specific rules for that tournament before competing.

Why do Jiu-Jitsu practitioners wear the gi?

The gi 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. Please refer to http://ibjjf.org/uniform for IBJJF Uniform Requirements.

What is the belt system in Jiu-Jitsu?

Belts in BJJ for kids include white, gray, yellow, orange and green.  For adults they include white, blue, purple, brown, and black. Each successive belt represents an increased mastery of the art. How belts are received in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: There is a minimum time you have to remain in each belt. It can be anywhere from 6 months to over 2 years depending on your hard work and class attedance.  Please refer to http://ibjjf.org/info/graduation-system for IBJJF Graduation Guidelines and Belt System.

How long does it take to obtain a black belt?

This varies for each individual however it is usually between 8 and 15 years.

Why does Jiu-Jitsu focus on ground fighting?

First of all, it is a fact that nearly all real fights will go to the ground. Also, BJJ always prepares its fighters for a physically superior opponent, someone much bigger and stronger. On the ground, leverage can be used to control and submit even the largest of opponents. It has been proven time and time again that if you can’t fight on the ground, then you can’t fight.

Is Jiu-Jitsu effective against other styles of martial arts?

In MMA (mixed martial arts) matches, Jiu-Jitsu has consistently proved its supremacy.  Evidence of this can be found in the videos  “Gracies in Action I & II”, a documentary in which the finest Jiu-Jitsu fighters took on and defeated all comers.

What are some of the physical benefits of training Jiu-Jitsu?

-Self Defense
-Creative Expression
-Increased Muscle Tone
-Rapidly Reduce Body Fat
-Intense Abdominal Workout
-Increased Self Confidence
-Excellent Cardiovascular Conditioning
-Supreme Stress Reducer

If you’re bored by exercise machines and can’t face another aerobics class for fitness and exercise training, you might consider putting some submission, grabs and throws into your exercise routine.  Besides being fun, the benefits of martial arts for exercise and fitness training are tremendous; they include increased self-confidence, energy, strength, stamina and mental capacity. Many forms are no slouch in the calorie and fat-burning department, using as many as 600 calories per one-hour class. Martial arts fitness training also report reduced stress levels, fewer physical injuries and illness, and a strengthened immune system.

Just find a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu club that is most suitable for you, as to location and class times; and no matter which aspect of the art you like most. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu will not only bring you to a next level of fitness training; they will also provide you with a great sense of achievement!

Is Jiu-Jitsu beneficial for women?

As for WOMEN, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is considered the best form of real self defense against a rape attack. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu works because of BODY MECHANICS, not strength. During most attacks on women a victim will end up in a bottom position. But in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu this is considered a very favorable position to effectively attack and finish the aggressor.

How are classes structured?

Most schools begin with a warm up of stretching and calisthenics, then a series of grappling related drills, followed by technique instruction, and finally a long period of sparing (also known as rolling)

Do I need to be fit, young and very athletic to learn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ?

No you don’t. Because the key to correct Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Self Defense is to learn how to use BODY MECHANICS and leverage, you do not need strength or agility to execute a technique. There is a saying in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: If you are using strength to apply a technique that means you do not know that technique.

Is it possible to learn Jiu-Jitsu simply by reading instructional books and watching videos?

No, those mentioned above should serve simply as supplements to a Jiu-Jitsu program. In order to learn and progress in the art one must have a qualified instructor and numerous training partners

What does "Ossss" mean?

The term, "Ossss" is famously revered in the world of Mixed Martial Arts and is coming to the forefront in the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu - more now, than ever before.  Some define it as the lifeblood for introductory to your opponent(to begin a fight) and/or to conclude a match.  The term is typically used as a genuine display of respect. Some coin the word in show of respect to their sensei or "professor" for having taken the time to demonstrate a technique or to conclude from a hard day of training.  Either way, "osss" is frequently used within the ranks of the BJJ community and it continues to grow in usage around the world in all forms of martial arts.