Skip to content


What is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art that focuses on grappling and ground fighting. The art developed out of the early judo that made its way to Brazil around 1914, where practitioners like the famous Gracie family refined it over the next century. BJJ became known to the rest of the world in the 1990’s when Royce Gracie won the first UFCs with ground fighting and submission holds. Since then, BJJ has remained a major part of mixed martial arts (MMA) and has developed internationally as a sport and hobby.

What should I bring to my first class?

Please arrive 15 minutes before class time so you can meet the staff, get a tour of the academy, and sign a waiver.

You’ll want to bring flip-flops or sandals. No shoes are allowed on the mats, but you’ll need footwear when walking off the mats or going to the bathroom.

Recommended outfit:

  • Athletic t-shirt or rashguard (no tank top)
  • Athletic shorts, leggings, or track pants
  • Athletic underwear
  • If you own a gi (BJJ, judo, karate, taekwondo, etc.), you can wear that, of course.

A water bottle is highly recommended.

What do I need to know before my first class?

You should read the quick start rules which will help everything go smoothly:

Don’t wear shoes on the mats. Wear shoes when off the mats, especially in the bathroom.

Remove all jewelry, including earrings, rings, necklaces, and wristwatches. Tie back long hair.

Let the instructor know if you have any health concerns or injuries to be aware of.

Ask an instructor for help if you have any questions or don’t understand anything.

Let an instructor know whenever you leave the mats, such as when going to the bathroom or leaving early.

Shower as soon as you get home and wash your training gear right away.

I don’t own a gi. Do I need to buy one to do class?

You are welcome to do your first classes without a gi (jiu-jitsu uniform). Once you get hooked on BJJ and want your own gear, you can take advantage of special discounts on the InvertedGear.com store for academy members.

What is a typical class like?

A class is typically an hour long. Classes start with warm-up movements and drills, then learning and practicing techniques, and then rounds of live drilling, games, and/or sparring. Our classes are designed using the current best practices in sports science which emphasize learning through guided self-discovery and a balance between structured vs. “random” practice.

Do you offer a free trial?

Yes, new students are welcome to sign up for a free intro class and a 7-day trial membership. Sign up here.

Do I need to be in shape to start BJJ?

No, you don’t need to be in shape or have previous martial arts training to start BJJ. You will get in shape by attending classes, doing the warm-ups and drills, and participating in live training. Our beginners program is designed to take someone with zero experience and develop them physically, technically, and mentally. Our coaches are also happy to show you additional exercises and stretches you can do at home.

I’m over 40. Am I too old to start BJJ?

No, that’s not too old! Many of our students found BJJ later in life and really enjoy it. The first months can be challenging for anyone (at any age), but our beginners program is designed to prepare students of any age, experience level, or fitness level. If you want to be smart about training for longevity, you’ll need to listen to your body (rest if you need it), not push yourself too hard too soon, and communicate with your training partners so you’re matching the right intensity.

Can women train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

Yes, BJJ is great for women! Many women train BJJ to learn self defense, get in shape, compete in tournaments, and enjoy a sense of community. As a martial art, BJJ is focused on using technique and finesse to defeat strength and size, which appeals to many women who can’t count on being the biggest or strongest person around.

Can I wear a gi with patches from another school or affiliation?

Yes, you can wear a gi with whatever patches! Your gi can be any color, too. As a BJJ Globetrotters academy, we believe in welcoming anyone to come train, regardless of affiliation or academy. Read more about that below.

What does it mean to be a BJJ Globetrotters affiliate?

BJJ Globetrotters is a world-wide community of traveling jiu-jitsu practitioners who run camps and schools across the globe. All of our instructors have been deeply involved with BJJ Globetrotters camps. We believe in the BJJ Globetrotter values:

  • We don’t pay each other any affiliation fees
  • We wear any patches we like on our gis
  • We are free to represent any (or no) team in competition
  • We encourage training with anyone regardless of affiliation
  • We are willing to promote anyone who deserves it—members or not
  • We arrange camps, seminars and visit each other for training and fun
  • We believe everyone is equal both on and off the mats
  • We strive to enjoy life, people and the world through Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Can I cross-train at other schools?

Yes, you’re welcome to train with anyone anywhere! Check out the BJJ Globetrotter values above. All the Inverted Gear Academy instructors got to where they are by training with all kinds of people from all over the world.

What are the BJJ belt ranks?

The adult belt ranks are white, blue, purple, brown, and black. Each belt below black can earn up to four stripes. Black belts earn degrees based on time. At 7th degree, the black belt becomes black/red. An honorary 10th degree red belt is reserved for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu’s founders and original practitioners.

How long does it take to get a BJJ black belt?

The average time to earn a BJJ black belt is about 10 years. Each belt promotion usually takes 2-3 years. Some people earn belts much faster, and some take much longer. Each person is on their own BJJ journey. Instead of worrying about the color of your belt, it’s best to focus on how to better yourself and your training partners each time you step on the mats.

Do I have to compete?

No, you are not required to compete in tournaments, but we encourage everyone to try it at some point. You may discover you like it, even if it makes you nervous. Even if you don’t like it enough to continue competing, we think you’ll learn a lot from the experience. If you do decide to compete, our coaches are 100% committed to preparing you to perform at your best.