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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?

For your trial class at our academy, it’s important to wear a gi (jiu-jitsu uniform), and we’ve got you covered! We provide a loaner gi for your first class, so you don’t need to worry about having your own right away. This way, you can fully experience the class as you would in your regular training.

What is a typical class like?

Fundamentals Class: Dive into an hour-long session focused on basic drills and a constraint-led approach to games. This class is meticulously designed to ensure a deep understanding and practical application of BJJ fundamentals in an engaging and dynamic way.

Advanced Class: Building on the foundation, the advanced class also runs for an hour and introduces more complex techniques, following a similar drill and games approach. A key component of this class is the inclusion of sparring sessions, allowing students to apply their skills in real-time scenarios, under the guidance of our experienced instructors.

Do you offer a free trial?

Absolutely! We welcome newcomers with open arms. Dive into the world of BJJ with a complimentary intro class and a 7-day trial membership. It’s the perfect way to get a feel for the art and our academy. Sign up here.

Do I need to be in shape to start BJJ?

No, you don’t need to be in top physical shape or have any martial arts background to begin your BJJ journey. In fact, our classes are the perfect starting point to get fit. Through regular attendance, participation in warm-ups, drills, and live training sessions, you’ll naturally improve your fitness. Our beginner’s program is specifically designed to gradually develop your physical, technical, and mental abilities, starting from any level. Plus, our coaches are always ready to suggest additional exercises and stretches that you can do at home to complement your training. So, no matter where you’re starting from, we’re here to guide and support your growth in BJJ.

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?

Absolutely, women can and do excel in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu! BJJ is an incredibly empowering martial art for women, offering a unique blend of self-defense skills, fitness improvement, and the opportunity to compete in tournaments. It’s also a great way to be part of a supportive community. The beauty of BJJ lies in its focus on technique and finesse rather than sheer strength or size, making it an ideal martial art for women of all sizes and strengths. Many women find BJJ a rewarding way to enhance their physical capabilities while building confidence and camaraderie.

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?

Absolutely, cross-training at other schools is encouraged! We fully support the BJJ Globetrotter values of openness and learning through diverse experiences. At Inverted Gear Academy, our instructors have developed their skills by training with a wide array of people from across the globe. We believe that exposure to different styles and techniques enriches your learning experience and broadens your perspective in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Feel free to explore and train with various partners and schools – every new encounter is an opportunity for growth and learning in the BJJ community.

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.

Not at all. Competition is optional, though we do encourage trying it at least once. Many find it a rewarding experience that enhances their skills and confidence. However, whether you compete or not, our coaches are committed to helping every student reach their highest potential.