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

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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.

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