3 Simple Steps to Get Started in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Sometimes when there are so many class options to choose from it can be challenging to determine which class is best suited for your interests. Martial arts classes such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) are increasing in interest amongst new demographics including women and youth.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art and combat sport that teaches a smaller person how to defend themselves against a larger adversary by using leverage and proper technique. The Gracie family, credited as the founders of BJJ, modified Judo and traditional Japanese Jiu-Jitsu to create the art.
So, how does BJJ compare to other martial arts? Every martial art is unique even when it may be influenced by another martial art. In some martial arts training, students are trained to rely more so on punches, kicks, and standing defensive maneuvers whereas in BJJ, the focus is ground-based training. BJJ students are ranked through a belt system based on color and in addition to the belt system, most academies award stripes as an intra-belt recognition of progress. Lastly, some classes require the use of a Gi (a lightweight two-piece garment worn with a belt) or No Gi.
So how do you determine which BJJ class is best for you? We can help.
1. Observe a class
Seeing this martial art live will help showcase how students practice drills and maneuvers. Additionally, observing the instructor will also allow you to view how they conduct their classes. Talk to the instructor afterwards and share any questions or concerns you might have so they can better direct you down the best path.
2. Decide Gi or No Gi
Now it’s time to decide if you would prefer a Gi or No Gi class. While it may appear to simply be a preference in clothing, there is more to consider. Gi classes use belt rankings which means you’ll be given belt promotions based on your progress. Also, the Gi’s thick woven material makes it more capable to withstand many styles of takedowns you’ll learn in a BJJ Gi class. No Gi classes will not generally offer this type of progression and tend to move at a faster pace. If you still feel undecided, you can always begin with a No Gi class and later transition to a Gi class.
3. Be patient
The skills practiced and instructed in a BJJ class are meticulously learned over time. If you are new to BJJ, be patient with your progress. Your instructor will help you learn all the skills you need at the appropriate pace. BJJ is a full body workout that teaches valuable fight skills and delivers athletic results. BJJ is a combination of tactical skill and physical prowess which takes time to master.
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