If you have spent any time on the mats, you will already know the many benefits of training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and other grappling martial arts. There is something about jiu jitsu that satisfies us on a primal level.

Grappling is in our DNA, we did after all evolve from primates who establish their dominance hierarchy by grappling one another. It is also instinctive to use grappling to defend yourself against predators and other threats. It comes natural to us. You will even see kids with no experience what so ever instinctively grappler with one another on the play ground. You can’t deny that humans are meant to express themselves through grappling.

And that is just what jiu jitsu is when you think about. Grappling is an art. To master it takes many years, and there are many ups and downs on the journey. You deal with a lot when you are learning jiu jitsu. Not just physically, but emotionally as well. Not every class it good, and not every roll is good.

Learning to push through failure is part of learning any grappling based martial art. Learning how to fail gracefully builds character. And with character development comes things like confidence, gratitude, discipline, and respect.

How many of us can say we get these things in our daily life if we weren’t out there regularly training jiu jitsu? Society does not condition us to express our physical nature. We spend most our day sitting around at a mundane job, barely moving our bodies at all! It is no wonder why so many people are stressed, or even more f**ked up. It is not healthy to contain all that energy in your body, piling loads of junk food on top of a sedentary life style. Because of this life style, many people are constantly dealing with negative emotions, or in a state of panic and anxiety.

This just isn’t a good way to go about life, especially if you are an adult who is response for raising children. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a healthy way to drain all that pent up energy you have throughout the day. Is your boss an asshole? Does traffic suck? There are so many things to get pissed off at, sometimes you just want to punch a wall or hit the bottle. Make no mistake, we have all been there.

But why not take all this negative energy and turn it into a net positive? Learn to grapple and get your aggression out in a safe and fun environment. I promise you, those upper belts won’t mind your aggression! Try anything you can on them! I bet you tap over and over, but it will just make you want to come back for more. Oh, and don’t worry, we’re all still friends after a tough rolling session. One of the best feelings in the world is to get through a hard jiu jitsu class. Get comfortable with discomfort. Learn how to keep cool in a high stress situation. Jiu jitsu can show you how to do these things, and a whole lot more.

Jiu jitsu undeniably has the intrinsic quality of being “therapeutic” for many men and women. No, a doctor is unlikely to prescribe jiu jitsu for whatever ails you. But do this for yourself. Start respecting your mind and body. Get out of your chair and get on the mats. There is a whole world of experience there waiting for you!

When it comes to understanding the therapeutic benefits of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, nobody knows better than 5 Time World Champion Bernardo Faria. Bernardo has been training jiu jitsu since a young age. Bernardo Faria has now taken on the mission to share some of the lessons, techniques, experiences and more that he has learned along in his 16 years and counting as a BJJ student, teacher and world class competitor.

Check out the video below, in which Bernardo shares his thoughts on why he believes jiu jitsu can be your best therapy.

Bullying is one of the saddest, most challenging experiences and scarring for both the parents and children.

It’s hard to address the problem with schools or God forbid other parents, so what are you supposed to do for kids who are getting bullied in schools and outside?

Martial Arts is actually one of the greatest gifts you can provide to your child not only to prevent bullying, but also for life in general.

One of the best martial arts for this is Jiu Jitsu. Here a 3 ways Jiu-Jitsu can help you and your child end the cycle of bullying.

1.) Kids Learn To Be Strong Physically

Bullying starts because the bully sees an “easy target”. Some of the kids who are bullied are typically not athletes or the super-star athletes, or are the ones who have no interest in “ball sports”.

Jiu-Jitsu gives these children the physical skills to not only defend themselves WITHOUT hurting themselves or others AND the coordination, balance and flexibility of an athlete.

Their posture changes, they keep their chin up and they have the confidence to defend themselves if anyone tries to hurt them.

2.) Confidence.

Confidence is probably one of the most important “skills” that will stop bullying in it’s tracks. The problem is that confidence is earned. If your child is scared of getting hurt and has no tools to prevent that, he will never gain confidence and will continue to suffer the bully’s wrath.

Jiu-Jitsu is a unique martial art where the kids will “roll”. Rolling is basically grappling sparring. Kids will wrestle each other and learn what it feels like to go live.

This is SO SO SO SO important in Jiu-Jitsu. The kids are essentially taught how to fight in a safe, organized and healthy way. In classes, rolling is one of the most favorite activities because it’s instinctual, fun and allows them to test out the skills they are learning.

The hidden benefit is that the “fear” around fighting and getting hurt goes away. What is replaced is a sense of confidence and a “bored” attitude about fighting outside of the mats. It’s much more fun to roll with your friends at Jiu-Jitsu because they know what to do.

The bully doesn’t have Jiu-Jitsu, this actually makes him weaker, and if your son or daughter ever had to use Jiu-Jitsu to defend themselves, it would surprise them at how easy it was to stop the attack, control the situation, and make sure no one got hurt.

3.) Helping Others

Jiu-Jitsu can’t be learned alone. You need at least 2 others. A training partner and a coach. Because of this, sharing and helping each other learn is a vastly important.

Children need to work together to learn new techniques, concepts and play games.

This creates a sharing like atmosphere where all the kids and instructors are working together to help EVERYONE get better at Jiu-Jitsu.

If your son or daughter is getting bullied, Jiu-Jitsu is probably the best gift you could ever give them. Our instructors have deep experience with bullies and are here for one reason, to help your children and others to NOT become a victim.

There is a strange part of human behavior that most “normal folks” do not know about. Those of us who struggle together bond together. Not only do we bond, we bond on a deeply primal level. It is something with in us that we desire. When you look at our society, you see little of this extraordinary bond. I have been in the bowels of corporate America, and not once did I feel a close bond with my coworkers. Sure, they are great people, and we get along just fine. But as I passed from one corporate job to the next, I felt little connection with those I left behind.

If you have done even the smallest amount of martial arts training, be it Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, or any grappling art that pushes you to your limits, you will have felt the primal bond that I am writing about. Grappling itself satisfies something primal within us, and as we struggle with our opponent’s we bond with them on a level so we that we call each other brother, family… TRIBE.

As a single male living alone, I spent a great deal of my mid to late 20’s feeling depressed and confused. It was not until I met a great friend and mentor who trained jiu jitsu that things started to change for me. I listened to this friend describe jiu jitsu. He spoke of it in a way that was like no other sports discussion or fitness routine. To him it was profound, life changing experience that he structured his entire being around. His elegant descriptions of grappling caught my attention as a curious individual. I knew nothing about jiu jitsu. I knew nothing about martial arts. I was hardly athletic. The hardest I ever pushed my body as an adult was an afternoon jog. My physical well being was something I gave little attention to, and as a consequence my mental well being suffered. I was lucky to have such a person come into my life and introduce me to the world of jiu jitsu, because I had no direction to go, and no concept of what it really meant to be part of a tribe.

You might be thinking to yourself, “This sounds awfully like joining a cult.” It is hard to talk about jiu jitsu in this context with out those cultish undertones. In some ways jiu jitsu is very cultish. You will begin to resonate with people who only understand what it means to struggle in a live roll. You will look at others who do not train a bit differently, and you will inherit the principals of what it means to be a martial artists into your daily life. What makes jiu jitsu distinct from a cult is that you can leave at any time at your own will.

Something I did after training for two years, and deeply regretted. I stopped training jiu jitsu, started neglecting my body, and suffered mentally and emotionally as a result. It was like finding the one thing that gave my life fulfillment and then abandoning it with lame excuses. I felt like a fool to leave behind such an important part of my being. I missed being surrounded by people who encouraged me to be my very best, and push myself beyond what I thought I was capable of. I missed being physically and mentally tested and, in letting this part of my life go, I grew weak and depressed.

There where circumstances in my life that pulled me back into the jiu jitsu community that I abandoned. I am very thankful for that, as I was on a path of self destruction and despair. It took me awhile to correct course, and I would not have been able to do this without the love and support of my training partners, who I share a deep familial bond with. I exist as a living example of a soul who was lost and found a path through life (and adulthood) by way of jiu jitsu and the community of people I train with. To be a member of a train of people who are all out to learn and grow inspires me daily to try and be at my best. And when I fall off, I have people in my life who hold me accountable and help me correct course. Let’s face it. This just isn’t something you find in your daily 9 to 5 job – the people we spend most of our waking hours with.

We are social animals that thrive in feeling connected to our tribe. I will be the first to tell you that as an introverted being I value spending time alone. But even with these tendencies I have a great appreciation for the men and women I struggle on the mats with, and as a result of this struggle, I have grown into a person I am truly proud to be.

Martial arts will change your life for the better. Your journey through jiu jitsu will not be solo. You will meet some of the most diverse and interesting people on the mats. We all come from different backgrounds and have stories and experiences to share. But when it comes time to bow in, we become equals as students in our progress towards mastering the most difficult quest we have ever taken on.

I encourage you to dive into the world of martial arts and live a life of passion.

There are many reasons why parents choose Jiu Jitsu for their children. Kids can learn great problem solving skills while becoming more disciplined individuals. Here are the top 5 reasons your kids should be learning Jiu Jitsu.

#1. Self Defense

The #1 reason parents choose Jiu Jitsu is because it’s real self defense. Bullying is becoming a real problem in all schools. Giving your child the confidence to stand up for themselves is the #1 bully deterrent. Training Jiu Jitsu also helps to give your child the reflexes needed to anticipate and avoid potential dangers.

#2. Discipline

The world we live in is full of stimulus. Kids are losing their ability to focus in school, and ADHD has become a common problem for many, and classrooms are being disrupted by undisciplined students. Jiu Jitsu is fun to learn, and challenging! Learning the technique requires attention and focus, and so their instructors will require it from the entire class. This teaches your child how to be respectful and behave.

#3. Great Exercise

Training Jiu Jitsu is not only about self defense, it’s great exercise too! Let your kids get their energy out in a fun and safe environment. Jiu Jitsu is an excellent cardiovascular workout for your children and they will LOVE doing it. It will get help your child lose weight, grain strength, as well as giving them more energy and stamina.

#4. The “Jiu Jitsu Lifestyle”

Eating healthy foods, sleeping correctly, and getting exercise are all a part of what we call the “Jiu Jitsu lifestyle.” The lessons learned in class go beyond just the mats. Your kids will learn the value of eating healthy foods, getting a good night’s rest, coordination and great body awareness!

#5. Lifelong Friends

Your children will make new friends; drill techniques together, play games together, and even do live rolling together. This bond will give them lifelong friends, as they grow up together sharing these experiences. It is a great way to learn communication skills with kids of all other ages.

Start your kids down the incredible journey of Jiu-Jitsu with a 1-week free trial and intro lessons.

There have been many times a new kid walks through the doors of the BJJ school which I call my home. And when I say “kid” I really mean KID. I am talking about someone who is 11 to 14 years of age! And every time one of these 11 to 14 year old kids walk through the doors of the BJJ School which I call my home I think so myself, “wow. How amazing it really would have been to start a career in BJJ at such a very young and precious age.” But the reality of my scenario is that I truly did not understand or even knows that jiu jitsu existed at that age. I did not know what self defense really meant and I did not even consider what grappling might entail.

Growing up in the early, early 20’s and 30’s I was never truly exposed to any martial arts of really any kind. There was absolutely no internet and absolutely no cell phones and really no way to understand anything other but farming or what your father taught you. Truthfully, I grew up in a house with a traditional look at ball sports such as baseball, football and golf.

When I grew up and entered into my early 30’s I was absolutely raising 4 power children, 3 of which were males. I was a baseball and football fanatic. I absolutely loved ball sports! The closest thing to martial arts at that time was in fact World Wide Entertainment Wrestling which was totally fake and hard to get into if you had any sense of normalcy! But, my power kids loved it, they really did. And even further, it gave me an opportunity to have something of value to bond with them with and share in something very fun. As they got older, and older they did get, the more they started to understand the entertainment value of the sport. But honestly, they really did still enjoy it so I did my absolute best to turn the living room into a ring for them to wrestle. As a loving parent, this was probably one of the best things that I could have done for each and every one of my children.

Any time a german suplex or clothesline or choke slam was shown, I was often used to demonstrate that technique. I remember myself often saying to the children that “you really are going to be the absolute death of me,” which is much more serious than you can imagine. Of course their response was always, “aww parental figure, we are keeping you young and full of vitality!!” And of course, little did I know at the time that they were truly right and gifted in their insight.

While my older boys grew older in age, the more mature their taste in ring sport choices became. Bear in mind I was only well verse in ball sports at the time. And of course, enter Boxing and UFC! We would often times buy or rent Pay Per View Events which would last an entire night and we would make a family event out of it! I sometimes watched very bloody and awfully painful looking fights. But when the fight went to the ground, I truly become fully and officially engaged!

I really wanted to know more about grappling, especially in the UFC. I began to watch more of the fights and pay attention any time it went to the ground. Slowly but surely BJJ started to creep into my life. I watched hundreds of hours of video testimonials, tutorials, and a whole lot more. I could barely eat or sleep. I stopped talking to friends and family. My entire life was devoted to the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Eventually, I became much more wise and actually joined a self defense class. In this self defense class I learned that it was all I needed to get on the mats and keep me there permanently.

I was about 68 years old at the time and the more classes that I attended the more I learned about how BJJ does truly keep you young!

At my current age I really do understand that I am truly not as fit as a lot of the younger members of the gym that I go to. I understand and appreciate that because of my age I do have some limitations. But guess what, that honestly does not keep me off of the mats! If anything it really makes me wish to be there as often as humanly possible!

Of course I am always very careful when I do live rolling. I smartly choose partners that I trust because they have a high level of control, which prevents much from enduring a debilitating injury. It also allows me to work at a pace that I can manage, which ultimately helps me to work on technique and sharpen the tools that I have learned from hundreds of classes.

I do not honestly train for competition. I train for a variety of other reasons that have to do with the health benefits that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu offers.

Jiu jitsu at an early age is always a very good idea. But of course, when those younger years have already gone by you and your body has definitely seen its better days do not think for a single second that you are too old for jiu jitsu!

I often encourage parents to join their kids when they sign them up for jiu jitsu only to hear them say “I wish I had started at their age!” Truly it is never too late to start. Jiu jitsu is a life time commitment, no matter where you are in life.  

Ready to start Jiu Jitsu?  Give it a shot with a 1-Week Free Trial and Intro Lessons at the Cage JSA


3 Tips For Brazilian Jiu Jitsu White Belts

Until you get acclimated on the mats, the first few months of training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for a complete beginner can be a little overwhelming. A good analogy is the first time you learned to ride a bike. There were so many things to focus on: balance, controlling the handle bars, watching out for objects or people, and breaking. It is exhilarating but overwhelming trying to pay attention to everything that is going on, and can be easy to get caught up in your own thoughts and emotions.

Growing your BJJ knowledge is a lot more than performing specific steps in order for a technique to be effective. There are concepts you will learn to understand that are the basic underpinnings of BJJ fundamentals. The patterns will be your primary focus in the beginning until they become automatic, and you start to flow as you grapple. Things that you used to have to think about consciously, where to put your knee, when you bridge, keeping your arms tucked in, will happen without thought, and you will begin to accelerate at more advanced movements and techniques.

For an experience BJJ practitioner, the feelings of what it was once like to be a complete novice are long gone, and hard to remember. Developing muscle memory from repeating techniques over and over is part of the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu journey. But at the very beginning of your BJJ journey, there are some very basic concepts that you can focus on to help you as you struggle through those first few rolls, where you might feel completely and helplessly stuck underneath a bigger guy, or as you are getting tapped repeatedly. Furthermore, if you are an upper belt and teaching lower belts, let this serve as a great refresher on what it is like to be a beginner as you provide coaching tips and thoughts on how to improve. With all that said, let us take a look at 3 very simple tips for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu white belts.

Tip 1: Focus On Your Breathing

One of the very first things you will be forced to learn as a white belt is that jiu jitsu is cardio intensive. Not only that, but as you are being pinned to the mat with what feels like an ungodly amount of weight, it will be very difficult to breathe. The intensity of a realistic fight will put your body into fight or flight mode, and you will feel an unexplainable amount of chaos and lack of control as the adrenaline dump takes over. This is a natural response, and a good place for a complete beginner to start. Over time you will learn how to perform in these conditions as you become more use to being outside your comfort zone. So at the very least, when you have no idea what you are doing yet, focus on your breathing. It will help get you through a roll, especially the very uncomfortable parts. And it will help you control the amount of energy you are expending, keeping you able to defend for longer.

Even the great, most experience, and most revered Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioners will spend their entire careers training their breathing. Take for instance, one of the all time greatest families to shape the foundations of modern Brazilian Jiu Jitsu: The Gracie Family.

If you do not know who the Gracie family is yet, do not worry. Their legacy is synonymous with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. One of their best kept secrets to Jiu Jitsu is their breathing method. But what are the secrets of the Gracie family breathing? Rickson Gracie, as well as all members of the Gracie family uses a method of breathing known as percussive breathing. So how does this technique work?  In short, percussive breathing involves normal inhalation (breathe in), followed by several short and sharp exhalations (think of pronouncing “shh, shh, shh, shh, shh”). This is known as rhythmic diaphragmatic contractions.

Check out the video below to see an example of Rickson Gracie’s percussive breathing as he goes through one of his daily work outs.

How To Perform Percussive Breathing:

Inhale: Take a deep breathing in, using according breathing (lateral chest breathing). Think of it as an accordion: when inhaling the accordion will expand laterally. The accordion squeezes back together on the exhale.

Exhale: This is where the percussion breathing method comes in. Exhale for 5 beats: literally saying “shh, shh, shh, shh, shh.” This will stretch your abdominal muscles as you force the air out in percussive blows.

As a beginner you might be asking yourself, do I really need to practice a breathing technique like this? Well, it will make a drastic improvement to your performance when you roll. But the primary take away from this tip should be: stay conscious of your breathing. Focus when you are out of breath. Be aware of when you are hyperventilating. As you grow as a student you will find that it becomes much easier to stay cool, calm, and relaxed, as your breathing becomes more regular.

Tip 2: Loosen Up!

Stiff muscles and limbs make a person easier to control. By tensing up your muscles you are limiting your ability for your joints and limbs to move. This will create space that you opponent can exploit and attack, or even use your own stiff body as leverage against you. Interestingly enough, some of this stiffness comes from poor breathing, so the two go hand in hand.

So, what is a good counter to stiffness? If you are not very athletic, the chances are you will come into BJJ with stiffness and possibly even poor flexibility. Some basic stretches during warm up can be a life saver. Show up before class, jog a big, get the blood flowing, and stretch out. A lot of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Practitioners incorporate yoga into their training regimen, even if it is just a little bit of stretching and some basic poses. Another often overlooked practice is to stretch after you roll! Most of us either want to hang out and talk after class, or we have to run to our next commitment. But you should really dedicate at least 5 to 10 minutes after class stretching out those muscles. This will also help a lot with soreness the next day.

Jiu jitsu itself is a great practice for increasing your flexibility and mobility. But if you would like to incorporate some yoga into your training regimen then check out the video below. 20 minutes of yoga a day will do your body wonders.

Tip 3: Try It! Even If You Fail!

Probably the most common mistake a beginner makes is getting stuck in a completely defensive position and never attacking, or even trying for something. And while it is important to learn to defend submissions, sweep, etc., it is equally important to learn to develop an ability to offensively “attack” during training or competition, even if it does not work and you end up getting tapped.

It goes without saying that this common problem generally comes from beginner grapplers who are afraid to make a mistake. But does that really matter? Not at all. Watch black belts roll, and you will see many taps, and resets, without even a thought. It is the ego that keeps you from trying something, having to accept the high probability that you will take a risk and fail.

Need some basic moves? In this video third generation Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor Rener Gracie teaches a few of the basics of his family’s Martial Art. Check it out!

There is no magical key to learning effective jiu jitsu. It is a life time pursuit, taking years, if not decades to master. But if you are new to grappling these 3 tips are guaranteed to help you out. So the next time you are on the mats, or even during a live roll, remember these three things: breathing, flexibility, and d not be afraid to try and fail!

Ready to give Jiu Jitsu a shot?  Check out our 1 week free intro lessons for new jiu jitsu students.  Discover this amazing martial art and see if it’s right for you.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and all grappling martial arts in general, tap into something primal in each and every one of us.

You will see it with kids sometimes, especially young boys who like to wrestle around with other friends as they playfully test each other’s abilities. Sometimes they display natural instinctive grappling with out ever having been taught. They also learn to respect one another. You should not just sucker punch your face in the friend, because he will do it to you, and it hurts! And even better, it connects them to each, in a deep bond, appreciating a genuine “training partner” to grow up with.

So why do we lose touch with this as we grow older?

Obviously, we are conditioned to settle our differences using words and compassion in this society rather than resorting to violence. Nobody wants to experience violence, but in having no outlet for natural aggression we repress something deep inside us that wants to test our primal bodies against other apes. It sounds so barbaric, I get it. We left the jungle hundreds of years ago and established economies and a society based on shedding those “animalistic desires.” But some of those “desires” are actually “needs.”

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and grappling in general, is a fun and responsible way to satisfy those needs by training the meat body in the art of self defense.

There are so many intangible qualities to training a grappling based martial art such as BJJ, or wrestling, to a person who has no experience with it. Of course, the UFC has exposed a lot of people to a variety of martial arts, but it takes more than watching it on TV to understand what it is all about. Really the only way to experience the benefits of grappling martial arts is to get on the mats and trying it out. Some of the benefits will be immediately recognizable. It is a great work out, probably one of the hardest you have ever experienced. It will humble you and show you just how vulnerable you are when defending yourself, even against a person with only a little experience. And it will make you feel like a million bucks! Some of the qualities that you will truly to grow to appreciate over time are part of the life long journey. You will bond with the people you roll with on a level so deep they will become your tribe, and your family. You will find the stressors of every day life so easy to deal with. And you will become a life long learner, a student to not only jiu jitsu, but everything life has to offer.

I get goose bumps just thinking about it. Through some of the greatest ups and downs in my life jiu jitsu has been the one discovery that as a hobby grew into a lifestyle. It has helped me mature as a person by teaching me responsibility, respect, and confidence. It has forced me to push myself beyond what I thought I was physically and mentally capable of. I have met my closes friends on the mat, and I have learned that my body is capable of doing great things and being tested.

Jiu Jitsu is by far the hardest things I have ever done. Nothing compares. There have been so many nights I have just wanted to quit, but it never ceases to draw me back in as I continue to be captivated by its beauty and power. If you have been seeking a revolutionary experience and looking at jiu jitsu online, then maybe it is time to stop looking and dive in. There is a life time of greatness ahead of you; all it takes is one little act of courage to step on the mats and get outside your comfort zone.

Looking to get started in Jiu Jitsu?  The Cage JSA offers intro lessons for beginners who are looking to get started the right way.  During these intro lessons you will work privately / semi-privately with one or multiple instructors.  Our mission to give you the most welcoming experience to the amazing martial art of Jiu Jitsu.

I remember many years ago when I was looking for a solid martial arts school. I knew I wanted grappling and was fairly certain I wanted jiu-jitsu. This was around 1997-1998 when the UFC had some popularity and some people were starting to say they offered “jiu-jitsu”. I went and searched for many schools and even spent some time at other jiu-jitsu schools before finally finding Kobukai Ju-Jitsu and then Best Way jiu-Jitsu years later.

For me, there were key elements that aided my in my decision to train at these schools….

  1. Did the school offer what I was looking for?
    I was looking for a solid COMBAT martial art that not only had ground grappling, but incorporated throws and takedowns as well. Being an ex-wrestler I recognized the importance of throws and takedowns in a real fight, as well as a sporting event. Kobukai Ju-Jitsu incorporated throws, takedowns, ground grappling, as well as weapon’s defense. It was a complete package.
  2. Was the teacher competent?
    I had been to many other jiu-jitsu and grappling schools, and had been around martial arts long enough beforehand to know when a teacher is not as “knowledgeable” as he thinks he is – so when I started training with Sensei St. Hilaire and Luigi Mondelli, I was instantly impressed with their depth of knowledge and understanding. The biggest thing you want from your teacher is honestly. Your teachers should be able to answer and provide you with answers to 90-95% of your questions and be able to solve your martial arts problems. For the questions they don’t know, they should be able to provide you a path to the answer, or find the answer for you. The teacher should not give you some BS answer that will just get you hurt and/or disillusioned into thinking you are learning good technique.
  3. How does the teacher interact with his students?
    Jiu-Jitsu is in the details and in the basics. In order to be proficient at jiu-jitsu, you need to have solid basics and you need to understand the details of the techniques. So when you watch or participate in a class, does your teacher provide the details? If he focusing on basic techniques (for new students) or is he giving you some elaborate technique that he can’t even pull off? Students need to start from the bottom up. One of the most frustrating things for a new student is being presented with techniques and information that doesn’t even make sense. In Kobukai, we follow a chart system that allows you to progressively build upon a core set of base techniques that allow you to progress and grow into more advanced ones.
  4. What are the students like?
    Students are a direct reflection of their teacher. Observe the students – how are their attitudes, how is their technique, how do they treat other students? I remember when I first watched a Kobukai Ju-Jitsu class, I saw Sempai Kenny and Sempai Steve training as white belts (now two of my closest training partners) and was amazed at their technique and attitudes. I had spent 2-3 years in other grappling martial arts beforehand, and my depth of knowledge was no where near close to theirs.
  5. Respect, Respect, Respect.
    Martial arts training is essentially fight training. You are working with a partner to increase your ability to fight. An intricate part of jiu-jitsu is what we call “rolling” or grappling sparring. This allows us to test and enhance the skills we’ve been learning. When you are learning with your partner or sparring with your partner, you need to respect each other and remember that this is a training environment. I’ve seen too many schools and heard too many stories of students going into other schools and getting pummeled and “beaten up” by fellow students and the teacher. What is accomplished by this…? How are you benefiting the new student? How is this benefiting your reputation?
    In our school respect for each other as well as “no egos” are vitally important. Disrespect, cocky attitudes, and trying to deliberately hurt your training partner is not accepted.
  6. Can I train here?
    You will be spending a lot of time in your training with the teacher and the students. They can and eventually may become some of your closest friends. Some of the best friends I have are the ones I train with and my teacher(s). If you get along with these people and “had a good time” during your lesson. Then it is probably a good place for you

Lastly, there are many factors that go into finding a good jiu-jitsu school or martial arts school in general. I hope that you will eventually stop down into our school and check us out. I personally strive to create an environment that fosters learning and provides my students with the knowledge to fight as well as the discipline and respect to grow in martial arts.

Jiu-Jitsu training offers many benefits, besides just learning how to depend yourself.  A dedicated jiu-jitsu practitioner can expect to learn more then just effective techniques in unarmed combat, jiu-jitsu training can literally change your life both physically and mentally.

Martial Arts training in general can be a life pursuit that affects and changes you as a person.  You will learn to be…

  • More Confident
  • More Humble
  • More Patient
  • Happier
  • Achieve a Healthier Life Perspective

I cannot tell you how these changes happen, maybe it’s act of executing combat techniques, maybe it’s the feeling of improving every class, maybe it’s gaining new friendships and admiration for training partners, maybe it’s something unknown that just happens when a person pursues martial arts.

Not only do these general well-being changes happen, but almost every student I have ever come across has noticed physical changes as well.  They become..

  • Stronger
  • More Agile
  • More Muscular
  • Loss of Body Fat
  • More Endurance
  • Healthier Overall

These changes almost happen subtly and without “work”.  Most people spend ours at a gym trying to achieve just a few of those physical changes, but with Jiu-Jitsu training, your body and mind are in constant action.  You are using your body is so many different positions, as well as using your muscles in so many different ways.  When training jiu-jitsu you’re not just using one set of muscles, you’re using your whole body as one core unit.  And to top it off, your body is employing both endurance and strength muscles.  I often wonder why people spend hours at the gym just to increase the size of their biceps when they could be increasing their knowledge as well as improving their body.

Eventually, a jiu-jitsu practitioner may choose to supplement his or her jiu-jitsu training with additional workouts in the gym.  But, we highly recommend that in the beginning of your jiu-jitsu training, focus first on jiu-jitsu, then supplement later.

Remember, jiu-jitsu and martial arts can be a life pursuit of constant improvement.  But, for some people they are not interested in training martial arts for their whole life.  That is not to say that these people cannot reap the benefits of jiu-jitsu training.  Typically a student will start noticing changes within the first month or so, and will really benefit from jiu-jitsu training after 4-6 months.  I warn you though – jiu-jitsu is HIGHLY addictive.

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Jiu-Jitsu is known as one of the most complete and effective martial arts systems.  Though it has been around for centuries and has it’s roots in the Samurai battlefields of Japan; it has gained “recent” popularity with the Ultimate Fighting Championships. A small 170lb Brazilian man named Royce Gracie showed the effectiveness of Jiu-Jitsu in limited rules unarmed combat (UFC 1).

Here are some of the core combat benefits when training jiu-jitsu.

  • Learn the most effective martial arts style
  • Learn to depend against all ranges of combat
  • Learn to depend against and defeat larger and stronger attackers
  • Learn techniques used by top Military and Police units
  • Learn techniques used in Mixed Martial Arts Competition
  • Develop a combat mindset and preparedness

Since the inception of the UFC, Jiu-Jitsu has become a household name and is almost as popular as Karate.  The biggest difference in Jiu-Jitsu compared to other martial arts, is that Jiu-Jitsu is a Combat Martial Art.  Meaning: Jiu-Jitsu must be trained and taught in a combat situation.  We don’t practice our moves in the air, we are not performing endless katas fighting non-existent enemies, and we are definitely not jumping through the air trying to perform spinning flying upsidedown crazy horse kicks that have no real effectiveness in combat.

In every jiu-jitsu class you will work with a partner learning and experiencing real effective combat techniques that you can use in a street fight situation, a grappling tournament or a Mixed Martial Arts fight.

After your third class, you will actually spar in jiu-jitsu or what we call “roll”.  This is essentially a grappling training match.  You will face other students in your class and “spar” with each other to enhance and hone your techniques.  This is one of the biggest differences in Jiu-Jitsu then other martial arts.  In every class you are training your mind and body to fight and use jiu-jitsu effectively.  There are no fake opponents, no techniques that don’t work, and you will always improve and learn from each class.  For you new people and potential students – PLEASE DO NOT BE AFRAID of rolling or sparring in jiu-jitsu.  When we face a new student, we are “working” with you.  We HELP YOU beat us!  As you improve, we slowly increase the level of techniques.  This way you are always improving and learning to fight.  There is nothing to gain by a senior student destroying a new student.  No one improves that way.

Jiu-Jitsu is also a very personal art.  As you increase your knowledge of jiu-jitsu, you will begin to develop your own core set of techniques and develop the way you fight.  Because of this, we want to teach you jiu-jitsu and want to teach you how to fight better.  In doing so, we also are improving ourselves.  Your knowledge and understanding of jiu-jitsu may exploit a weakness in our jiu-jitsu in which we must train to fix.  This way everyone is always improving.