What is Jiu-jitsu
Jiu-jitsu is an ancient form of hand to hand combat. Developed centuries ago, and evolved over all that time, primarily in Asia, until the skills were demonstrated to a family in Brazil who took the basic concepts and over decades expanded those concepts to be more useful in the real world in self defense situations.
Can you get injured learning it?
You can get injured falling asleep watching TV; as happened to the person composing these FAQs. Studies have shown that injuries in Jiu-jitsu are among the lowest frequency of all martial arts.
What is it like when you start training?
Nothing taxes the cardio and overall body like grappling. Most sports use muscle groups from limited areas on the body. Jiu-jitsu, being grappling, amazes even marathon runners and cross fit athletes when they begin training at how it taxes the entire body. To add to that, it is called by some “physical chess” because the mind is needed (to quickly figure out what to do next) as much as the body from any other sport in total. The mind begins to learn to react calmly to jeopardy and threatening circumstances. It is this that becomes the initial surprise to the new students. You start rolling with veteran players and you feel helpless. All the things you have thought you can use to defend yourself do not work. It can cause one to lose confidence fast upon starting. But the culture of the academy is critical in promulgating a sense of mercy and helping each other to learn as opposed to “beating” a fellow classmate in a submission. After a few months you realize you have become a different person physically, mentally, and confidence-wise. One who now possesses a new body of knowledge; knowledge your friends and or classmates do not share.
How long does it take to get good at Jiu-jitsu?
There are two parts to the answer. The first is after about 6 months of training a student should be able to deal with untrained people if the situation arises. The second part is you never catch up to the students already in the academy because their learning doesn’t stop; it keeps expanding ahead of any newer student. Finally given the limitless nature of how many things can happen in a match or fight there almost is no end to learning the art. To get decent by most definitions takes about 1-2 years depending on how much you train and or whether you are coming in as an experienced grappler with prior experience.
What is this I hear about Jiu-jitsu being the best thing for self defense in general. Wouldn’t alot of boxers dispute that?
Three things make Jiu-jitsu the best fighting skill for self defense. While most cowboy movies and such always show fighting as a stand up contest of people throwing strikes. Punches and kicks. The fact has always been most fights end up on the ground. Once there the power of strikes is reduced and the grappling ensues. Whoever has really good ground skills and submission skills always has a chance to prevail even against much larger people.. Untrained people, even untrained tough guys, are humbled by much smaller people who have these skills. It is the only martial art that was specifically designed to assist the weak against the strong using leverage and control to subsequently overwhelm. In striking mass rules so, simply stated, size matters. The bigger the person the more advantage over the smaller. Jiu-jitsu was designed to negate the advantages of size. Which makes it the best thing for women and kids.
Is womens self defense using Jiu-jitsu real or hype?
Carlos Gracie weighed about 140 pounds. He used to run ads in the paper in Rio goading 200 pound dock workers and other big strong brawlers to fight him for money contests. He won every time until the tough guys in Rio refused to respond to his ads. A trained woman, particularly once they get to purple belt level, have no trouble submitting college age boys/men when they start even if they played football. Again its the power of submissions and control, as opposed to strikes where size means everything, that the techniques work very well for women in defending themselves. There is also another dimension to women’s self defense when it comes to things like date rape and or assaults. That is, there are simple, efficient, and deadly techniques that enable a woman to overwhelm an assailant by reacting quickly and precisely during an assault. There is an entire chapter in the curriculum in Gracie Jiu-jitsu focused specifically on teaching such critical techniques to women. The key is that submissions end the contest and without knowing how to defend against them untrained men can be dealt with.
What is the difference between Gi and No Gi jiu jitsu?
The big difference is that in the GI there are many techniques that involve using the GI and its sleeves and lapels to enact techniques. In NO gi you learn to use a whole different set of things from the opponents limbs, shoulders, etc to enact the same basic technique. Also the Gi absorbs the persons sweat while in No gi training extra focus is placed on consideration of a more “slippery” opponent and how to accomplish the control you must gain.
If Im just starting is there any preparation I need to do before starting?
In that, when you start, or in the course of any workout, you can always “stop” even in the middle of a drill when you think you might be ready to pull a muscle, you can proceed at your own speed. You can also adjust the number of times per week you train to make sure you are giving your body time to adjust to its new demands. Its a process of monitoring your body. You are going to use a whole set of new muscles; many you did not know you had, so soreness is inevitable. If you havent trained at anything in a while and consider walking your pet your “comprehensive” conditioning program, you might want to first take the Academy’s conditioning class program a couplke times before you start the Jiu-jitsu classes, and see how you feel.
Lastly Marks specialty is helping the new students, especially those over 45, to attain a higher level of conditioning and evaluate where you are condition-wise so you get up to speed. You should talk to him if you have any question aboiuyt ghow :”in shaope” you are.