Frequently Asked Questions


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What is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?

Brazilian jiu jitsu is a sport, self-defense system, and a fitness program. It has proven to be the most practical and effective self-defense system in the world. It relies on leverage and technique, rather than strength and size. This allows you to defend yourself against much bigger, stronger attackers. As a result, BJJ is a great sport for everyone – including women and kids.

It is one of the fastest growing martial arts, due (in part) to its great success in the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) and Mixed Martial Arts in general. BJJ focuses on grappling and ground fighting with the goal of getting into a position to force an attacker or opponent to submit or give up.

BJJ is also an intense, aerobic and anaerobic workout so your overall health and fitness will improve, including your flexibility, strength, cardiovascular fitness, ability to burn fat, and muscular endurance.

What is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?

Brazilian jiu jitsu is a sport, self-defense system, and a fitness program. It has proven to be the most practical and effective self-defense system in the world. It relies on leverage and technique, rather than strength and size. This allows you to defend yourself against much bigger, stronger attackers. As a result, BJJ is a great sport for everyone – including women and kids.

It is one of the fastest growing martial arts, due (in part) to its great success in the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) and Mixed Martial Arts in general. BJJ focuses on grappling and ground fighting with the goal of getting into a position to force an attacker or opponent to submit or give up.

BJJ is also an intense, aerobic and anaerobic workout so your overall health and fitness will improve, including your flexibility, strength, cardiovascular fitness, ability to burn fat, and muscular endurance.

Who can/should do BJJ?

BJJ is for everyone – regardless of sex or age. Brazilian jiu jitsu was originally formulated for use by smaller, weaker people to allow them to defend themselves against larger, stronger attackers. In that way, jiu jitsu is perfectly suited for women, kids, young and old. Anyone and everyone can participate!

Who can/should do BJJ?

BJJ is for everyone – regardless of sex or age. Brazilian jiu jitsu was originally formulated for use by smaller, weaker people to allow them to defend themselves against larger, stronger attackers. In that way, jiu jitsu is perfectly suited for women, kids, young and old. Anyone and everyone can participate!

What do I wear for practice or to train?

You generally wear either a gi (sometimes called a kimono) or nogi attire to practice/train. If you are in your trial classes, you can wear any comfortable clothing and we will loan you the appropriate attire. When you sign up, you will receive a gi as part of registration.

A gi consists of a cotton jacket, reinforced cotton pants, and a belt. It was adapted from the uniforms used in traditional martial arts like karate.  When using the gi, you and your opponent have more “things” to hold onto and use against each other.

We also practice and compete (for those who want to compete) without the gi. This is called “nogi” jiu jitsu or “submission grappling”. The “nogi” attire consists of fight/board shorts and a rash guard.

*Both Males and females should wear a rash guard and a spandex shorts under the gi.

What do I wear for practice or to train?

You generally wear either a gi (sometimes called a kimono) or nogi attire to practice/train. If you are in your trial classes, you can wear any comfortable clothing and we will loan you the appropriate attire. When you sign up, you will receive a gi as part of registration.

A gi consists of a cotton jacket, reinforced cotton pants, and a belt. It was adapted from the uniforms used in traditional martial arts like karate.  When using the gi, you and your opponent have more “things” to hold onto and use against each other.

We also practice and compete (for those who want to compete) without the gi. This is called “nogi” jiu jitsu or “submission grappling”. The “nogi” attire consists of fight/board shorts and a rash guard.

*Both Males and females should wear a rash guard and a spandex shorts under the gi.

How should I prepare for my first class?

No preparation is required. Just bring your attire (gi or nogi), flip flops, and come ready to learn and have fun! If you don’t have a gi, you can borrow one of ours for your introductory classes. Once you sign up, you will get a gi. If you already have a gi, ensure is without any other academy patch.

How should I prepare for my first class?

No preparation is required. Just bring your attire (gi or nogi), flip flops, and come ready to learn and have fun! If you don’t have a gi, you can borrow one of ours for your introductory classes. Once you sign up, you will get a gi. If you already have a gi, ensure is without any other academy patch.

Why is BJJ more effective than other martial arts?

Jiu jitsu has proven itself in actual 1-on-1 combat situations:  (1) challenge matches, (2) the Ultimate Fighting Championship (Mixed Martial Arts), and (3) the military/law enforcement

  1. One of the primary methods of advancing the sport during its early development was to issue or accept challenge matches to test the art against other martial artists, fighters, and/or tough guys.  Jiu Jitsu practitioners consistently won those confrontations, and losses or weaknesses that were exposed resulted in adjustments to the sport (less useful moves/positions were changed or eliminated and more effective techniques added). 
  2. Inspired by the challenge matches and subsequent videos, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was created in 1993 by Rorion Gracie, Art Davie, and John Milius to showcase the effectiveness of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  Royce Gracie (Rorion’s younger brother) entered the first four UFCs.  Despite being the lightest competitor in all 4 events, he won 3 of them (UFC 1, UFC 2, & UFC 4).  He withdrew from the finals of UFC 3 due to dehydration.  He didn’t lose a match and won 11 consecutive victories by submission, a record that still stands today.  Perhaps the only more meaningful attribution to jiu jitsu is that every Mixed Martial Artist and nearly all serious martial artists now incorporate Brazilian jiu jitsu as a core part of their training program.
  3. The US Army’s Modern Army Combatives Program (MACP) is based largely on Brazilian jiu jitsu, and its founder, Matt Larsen, is a black belt under Jacare Cavalcanti and a member of the Alliance family of jiu jitsu academies (which includes Lucas Lepri Brazilian Jiu Jitsu & Fitness).

Why is BJJ more effective than other martial arts?

Jiu jitsu has proven itself in actual 1-on-1 combat situations:  (1) challenge matches, (2) the Ultimate Fighting Championship (Mixed Martial Arts), and (3) the military/law enforcement

  1. One of the primary methods of advancing the sport during its early development was to issue or accept challenge matches to test the art against other martial artists, fighters, and/or tough guys.  Jiu Jitsu practitioners consistently won those confrontations, and losses or weaknesses that were exposed resulted in adjustments to the sport (less useful moves/positions were changed or eliminated and more effective techniques added). 
  2. Inspired by the challenge matches and subsequent videos, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was created in 1993 by Rorion Gracie, Art Davie, and John Milius to showcase the effectiveness of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  Royce Gracie (Rorion’s younger brother) entered the first four UFCs.  Despite being the lightest competitor in all 4 events, he won 3 of them (UFC 1, UFC 2, & UFC 4).  He withdrew from the finals of UFC 3 due to dehydration.  He didn’t lose a match and won 11 consecutive victories by submission, a record that still stands today.  Perhaps the only more meaningful attribution to jiu jitsu is that every Mixed Martial Artist and nearly all serious martial artists now incorporate Brazilian jiu jitsu as a core part of their training program.
  3. The US Army’s Modern Army Combatives Program (MACP) is based largely on Brazilian jiu jitsu, and its founder, Matt Larsen, is a black belt under Jacare Cavalcanti and a member of the Alliance family of jiu jitsu academies (which includes Lucas Lepri Brazilian Jiu Jitsu & Fitness).

Do I need to be strong, flexible, and in good shape?

No. You do not need to be strong, flexible, or in particularly good shape to start jiu jitsu. By practicing jiu jitsu, you will most certainly improve your strength, flexibility, and conditioning (plus balance, coordination, and more), but you do not need to have those traits to begin with. Disclaimer: Doctors recommend anyone who starts any strenuous activity, including Brazilian jiu jitsu, receive a physical examination to ensure they can safely participate in the program’s activities.

Do I need to be strong, flexible, and in good shape?

No. You do not need to be strong, flexible, or in particularly good shape to start jiu jitsu. By practicing jiu jitsu, you will most certainly improve your strength, flexibility, and conditioning (plus balance, coordination, and more), but you do not need to have those traits to begin with. Disclaimer: Doctors recommend anyone who starts any strenuous activity, including Brazilian jiu jitsu, receive a physical examination to ensure they can safely participate in the program’s activities.

Am I too old or too young to do BJJ?

NO. Anyone, at any age, can do jiu jitsu. Checkmat has students ranging in age from 3 to 70. ALL AGES ARE WELCOMED

Am I too old or too young to do BJJ?

NO. Anyone, at any age, can do jiu jitsu. Checkmat has students ranging in age from 3 to 70. ALL AGES ARE WELCOMED

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