Answering A Few Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Don’t see the answer to your questions here? Contact us and we will be happy to help you.

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WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING TO MY FIRST CLASS?

  • athletic shorts or leggings

  • a fitted t-shirt or tank top with crew neck (nothing low cut please)

  • water bottle

  • small towel

  • deodorant

  • short finger & toe nails

  • a change of clothes

  • hair elastics

  • We will lend you a uniform for the duration of your trail week!

WHAT IS A GI?

GIs are the traditional training uniform worn in Jiu Jitsu, Judo, Karate and other martial arts. Typically made of cotton, they come in different weaves for weight and breathe-ability. They consist of loose fitting pants, a jacket and are tied with a belt. In Jiu Jitsu, the belt wraps around the body twice to keep the jacket closed and to show the individual’s rank. We sell 2 kinds of GI’s, but If you choose to buy your own GI from another vendor, the GI must be a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu specific uniform. No other martial arts uniform will be accepted.
NOTE: if you or your child intend to compete, you will need to stick to the traditional colours (white, blue or black).

WHAT IS A RASHGUARD?

Rashguards are worn under your GI. Rashguards are designed to minimize skin on skin irritation and friction burn from the mats and GIs. Their breathable material draws moisture away from the body which protects against rashes and makes training with other individuals more enjoyable. The third function rashguards serve is sanitary. They create a barrier between your own skin and your opponent’s. Adult males are not allowed to wear rashguards in competition however they are mandatory for all students training at 4Points.

DO I HAVE TO SIGN A 1 YEAR CONTRACT?

No-no. We offer a variety of payment options including a one year contract. All payments can be made in-full or in-monthly instalments. Memberships can put on hold for up to 2 months or cancelled with 30 days notice (minor fees apply).

IS BRAZILIAN JIU JITSU GOOD FOR KIDS?

Jiu Jitsu is great for kids for so many reasons. Aside from being really cool and popular, (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is the fastest growing martial art in the world right now) Jiu Jitsu builds confidence, friendships, discipline, focus and fitness.

Because there is no striking in BJJ, it is widely used as an anti-bullying system so the kids can confidently and effectively defend themselves and immobilize bullies if needed. However, it is often found that the confidence that arises from BJJ makes kids less of a target to begin with. Bullies tend to prey on the weak.

AM I TOO OLD TO START?

There’s a famous quote by BJJ founder Helio Gracie: “Jiu Jitsu is for everyone”. He practiced until his death at 95. It’s the perfect martial art to start a little older because it’s not striking based and you develop great cardio and flexibility. Jiu Jitsu is about technique, composure and problem solving. It keeps the mind and body sharp and loose.

IS THERE A RISK OF INJURY?

Many people get intimidated watching experienced BJJ players do their thing. They assume that this is what’s expected of them or that this is what they can expect if they start training. The result? they back-out before even giving themselves a chance to learn! The truth is that your first month of classes are fun but basic and designed to carefully condition your mind and body for the next steps.

In any athletic activity, there is always some risk of injury, however with the absence of kicking and punching as well as the fact that we practice on the ground, BJJ is famously low impact. An important and often overlooked element in practising safely is the level of instruction and dynamic of the club you choose. Our program is known for being very beginner friendly. Our members are welcoming, helpful and protective of each other. We will teach you to fall properly and carefully guide you on safely executing your techniques as well as advise you on your pace.

HOW DOES THE BELT SYSTEM WORK?

The use of belts was introduced in 1907 for Judo replacing the traditional kimonos with GIs. The BJJ ranking system was made official in 1967 and has since been regulated by the various Jiu Jitsu sport federations.

There are two belt systems, one for youth and one for adults.

Youth Belts (Under 16):

There are 5 youth belts. It is important to note the difference in grading for BJJ vs. other martial arts. Depending on the art and how commercialised the school is, belts ranks and grades can be given out quite quickly. Often times kids or adults simply have to be members for a certain amount of time, before being guaranteed a promotion. This is not how we operate.

Our grading system is built solely on merit, it takes some people longer than others to graduate from one level to another. You are awarded a stripe or belt only when you are able to correctly demonstrate, teach and implement all the techniques for your grade during rolling (training with a resisting opponent).

Demonstrating leadership skills, respect, work ethic and perseverance are also taken into account, especially in our youth program where character development is as important to us as the attainment of physical skill. We will often task a kid or teen with a non-physical challenge to overcome before they can be graded.

We are very careful not to use grading in exchange for proper behaviour or as a leverage. For this reason we remind parents not to judge their kid’s overall performance based on grading. When your child is ready, they will set grading as a goal on their own and work hard to achieve it. This is one of the most valuable lessons we aim to teach the kids and we are very patient in having them learn it.

WHITE

Some kids take a year to earn a stripe while others are physically ready after a couple months but they may struggle with non-athletic challenges like leadership or work ethic and vice versa. It’s important to keep them focused on small goals and keep a count of their individual victories. We give 3 stripes in this belt with a specific list of requirements for each stripe that they kids work with. Other schools have different stripe systems.

GREY

Grey belt is generally spent reviewing and perfecting the skills they learn as a White belt. By now the kids are no longer focused on stripes and belts as they are focused on specific goals as part of a larger picture. There are 3 grey belts and 3 stripes per belt in this category. The same structure of curriculum and character development is carried over into this belt and those that follow.

YELLOW/ORANGE

Yellow and Orange belts are a review of Grey and White belts and the introduction of variations on techniques is presented. Depending on the age of the child, they may begin to learn or focus more on submissions and competition skills. There are 3 yellow belts, 3 orange belts and and 3 stripes per belt in this category. The same structure of curriculum and character development is carried over into this belt and those that follow.

GREEN

Although only a maximum of 15 year old, a green belt will be equal to or sometimes more advanced than a an adult blue belt. This is due to their many years of focus and dedicated practice at a young age. It is always interesting to note their humble confidence, work ethic and perseverance at this stage.

Adult Belts (17+):

WHITE

The first belt all beginners wear for an average of 1-2 years. This belt represents the learning of the fundamentals of BJJ.

BLUE

After 1-2 years, most students will be move to blue belt. A blue belt signifies advancement in technical BJJ skills.

PURPLE

Moving from blue to purple belt generally takes 2-4 years. A purple belt is generally considered qualified to instruct lower ranked students.

BROWN

It generally takes another 2-4 years to achieve brown belt status. It represents the refinement of advanced techniques.

BLACK

One must be a brown belt for at least a year but will usually take another 2-4 years before moving on to Black Belt. A black belt denotes expert level practical and technical BJJ abilities.

RED & BLACK (CORAL)

This belt achieved at one’s 8th degree as a Black Belt and pertains to the impact the practitioner has made on the sport of Jiu Jitsu.

RED & WHITE (CORAL)

This belt is for the 9th degree Black Belts who have made significant impact on the sport.


RED BELT

In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu the red belt is reserved "for those whose influence and fame takes them to the pinnacle of the art" in lieu of the 10th degree Black Belt. They are addressed by the title “Grandmaster”.

Source: FAQsaboutBJJ

10 Great Reasons to Start Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Talk to virtually anyone who has been doing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for about a month or more and you may not be able to shut them up about it. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu players come in all shapes and sizes and from all walks of life. Depending on who you talk to, you’ll get different but equally extensive lists of benefits people have personally experienced as a direct result of training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Here is a list of benefits you will hear repeated often. NOTE TO PARENTS: This list still applies to kids and teens however we have a list of benefits just for them HERE.

ENOUGH PROCRASTINATING

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1. IT’S EMPOWERING

You start making less excuses and as a result, start getting more of what you really want out of life. As you train with your new teammates in a welcoming environment, it's easy to become invested in getting better. Your mind and body are presented with stimulating new challenges AS WELL AS the opportunity/resources to conquer them. BJJ is a game not based on chance but on choices, hard work and experience. The harder your push yourself, the better you get. YOU are in full control of your progress and all you have to do is keep showing up. This attitude adjustment creeps into every aspect of your life making you more proactive in going after the things you want and more disciplined in achieving them.

2. IT’S FUN… REALLY FUN

BJJ has a unique playful and game-like quality that is reminiscent of wrestling with friends and siblings for fun as a kid. You don't mind being sweaty, out of breath and defeated by your training partners. You're playing HUMAN CHESS! Your mind is too busy having fun, learning and being rewarded to care that your body is engaged in an intense workout. You are pumped full of endorphins and after a healthy meal and some rest, you can't wait to go again! You start looking for ways to train, find solutions to areas of difficulty and enthusiastically try to out do yourself every class.

3. IT GETS YOU IN AMAZING SHAPE

Your body is constantly in motion at various intensities throughout your 1 to 2.5h at the academy. Whether you are slowly reviewing steps or trying them out when rolling, your body is gaining agility, speed, strength, flexibility, endurance and muscle memory. You are burning a lot of calories a couple times a week and you're surrounded by people who are also interested in adopting healthier eating habits and lifestyle choices. This mentality becomes contagious so the way you care for your body begins to change on it's own.

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4. IT'S “BODY CHESS”

As you observe everyone around you use failure constructively, you yourself will begin to view “defeat” as a valuable tool in your own success and take pride in your growing resilience.Your creative problem solving skills are sharper and and your strategic planning skills are faster and more efficient. You begin to view challenge and adversity as an exciting game of chess, making it easier to tackle more opportunities and challenges that once intimidated you in your day to day life.

5. YOU DON'T FEEL LIKE YOU ARE WORKING OUT

If you are the kind of person who has to drag themselves to the gym or cant seem to make it there at all, there's a good chance you're the kind of person we will have to drag OUT of the academy at the end of the night. Many BJJ practitioners will tell you that they were never able to stick to a traditional workout routine or healthy eating habits until AFTER they started training BJJ. Usually BJJ gave them the reason and desire to further condition and fuel their bodies as well as the support and company of peers to get them motivated to stay accountable.

6. INSTANT SOCIAL LIFE

Once you own a GI and a belt, you become a card-carrying member of a massive international community that starts right here at 4Points BJJ. As you continue to train and post pictures in your GI, you notice new followers on social media who share your passion for the sport. You will start to recognise some of them as you attend tournaments to support your training partners or compete yourself. When you travel, you pack your GI, send out a few messages to local BJJ players you'd like to meet and academies you’d like to visit. You'll make friends all over the world who welcome you with open arms and add a whole new level to your travel experience.

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7. PERSONAL GROWTH TOGETHER

BJJ is unique. You are fully responsible for yourself, your training and your performance but we work very closely as a team. In fact, you can't do BJJ without your teammates. Your 4Points teammates become your friends and you build close bonds with them based on mutual respect, shared experience, support and acceptance. They push you, encourage you, teach you, learn from you and rely on you not just to do your best, but to push them to do the same. Many students use BJJ as a way to strengthen existing bonds with friends, family and partners. We have parents who train with their kids, couples, siblings and friends who start their BJJ journey together and become closer as a result.

8. SELF DEFENCE

Stephen Kesting said it best: “The single most important thing you can do is to become comfortable with close proximity and non-sexual physical contact. If you’re talking to a cashier 5 feet away then you’re probably feeling comfortable.  If that person comes out from behind the register and stands with his or her forehead 2 inches away from yours then things just got weird and you might freak out and/or freeze.  But that’s exactly what happens in a fight or in an assault.  Unless you train in grappling and desensitize yourself to this range, your brain can shut off on you, and you need to keep thinking all the time in situations like this!”

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9. MENTAL HEALTH

Endorphins Endorphins Endorphins!!!!! In addition to the physical benefits, there are also fantastic mental and emotional benefits. Jiu Jitsu training conditions you for mental endurance, problem solving, critical thinking, patience and creativity. It teaches you to stay cool under pressure and deal with stress gracefully. Additionally, there are also all of the general mental benefits of exercise such as higher natural release of endorphins, confidence and overall brainpower. 

10. NO KICKING OR PUNCHING

No kicking or punching means you can train as hard as you want on a regular basis with a much lower risk of injury. Boxers for example cannot spar everyday as they will take too many shots to the head. We can spar every class and practice all our techniques keeping us ready for any real time situation we may encounter.

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The hardest part is breaking that old habit of making excuses long enough to let the new habit catch on. You question and judge yourself for not being perfect at something you’ve never done before.

You are not alone. We have all been there for a time.

Ask yourself: Would you support your kids in adopting this type of attitude towards their abilities, trying new things that interest them or confronting challenges? We encourage you to consider treating yourself with the same care, patience and belief as you want them to treat themselves.

No commitment, no equipment and no excuses required.

Defining Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

“THE BIGGEST LESSON I LEARNT FROM JIU JITSU WAS HOW TO TRULY KNOW MYSELF” – CARLOS GRACIE 

BJJ is founded on the concept that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend themselves against a bigger, stronger, heavier opponent. This is done by using technique, leverage, and most notably by taking the fight to the ground and then applying joint locks and choke holds to defeat the opponent. BJJ training can be used for sport grappling tournaments and in self-defense situations. Sparring (commonly referred to as "rolling" within the BJJ community) and live drilling play a major role in training and the practitioner's development. BJJ is considered a martial art, a sport, a method for promoting physical fitness and building character as well as a way of life.


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A BRIEF HISTORY OF JIU-JITSU

JiuJitsu was created in Japan as a battlefield art for samurai warriors. It had many variations (Ryu's) which included throwing, joint locks, strangles, striking, grappling and weapon disarms. One style derived and popularized from Japanese Jiu Jitsu is Judo, which consists of grappling and throwing. A student of Kano (The creator of Judo) named Mitsuyo Maeda was a guest of George Gracie in Brazil in 1912. Out of gratitude for George’s hospitality, he taught Jiu Jitsu to George’s son Carlos. Carlos passed on his knowledge to his brothers which led to the opening of the first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy in 1925.

Jiu Jitsu soon became synonymous with the Gracie name in Brazil. The Gracie boys began to teach Jiu Jitsu and test it in fights in public challenges. They had refined their style to ground fighting, a strategy they were able to use to neutralize strikers and larger opponents.

In the early 1990's, Rorion Gracie brought the sport from Brazil to the US where it would eventually be showcased in an event created by himself and Art Davies, The Ultimate Fighting Championship. His younger brother Royce, the smallest man in the competition dominated the fights, winning four in one night. This has led to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu being the fastest growing martial art in the world.

Jiu Jitsu is used by military and police. Its techniques and philosophies are used for anti-bullying programs all over the world. It is widely competed and practiced in many professional arenas. It is also very fun and thousands of people find profound enjoyment, satisfaction, fulfillment and meaning in it every day.

PHILOSOPHY

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In addition to being a complete self defense system, BJJ builds the mind and character which improves confidence in all areas of life. BJJ was developed to allow a smaller weaker opponent to defeat a larger stronger more aggressive opponent through technique and intelligent fighting. Using problem solving, principles of physics and building on character traits such as patience, humility, creativity and confidence, the smaller individual can turn their opponent’s strengths against them and immobilize them. Losing is welcomed in BJJ because of the opportunity for learning it provides.

BJJ philosophy places major value in not quitting, continually training, working with others as a team, self-awareness and remaining calm under pressure. Using energy efficiently, which entails the maintenance of a healthy diet and lifestyle as well as the mindful patience to fight strategically and control impulses are key BJJ principles. The most prevalent quality practiced in BJJ is the return to the mats to grind away at technique development, pushing through discomfort and frustration, expanding your comfort zone and making continual adjustments. BJJ is the fastest growing martial art in the world because of its effectiveness as a fighting style but the self development built up is immeasurably valuable.