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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)
short finger & toe nails
a change of clothes
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.
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 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 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.
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+):
The first belt all beginners wear for an average of 1-2 years. This belt represents the learning of the fundamentals of BJJ.
After 1-2 years, most students will be move to blue belt. A blue belt signifies advancement in technical BJJ skills.
Moving from blue to purple belt generally takes 2-4 years. A purple belt is generally considered qualified to instruct lower ranked students.
It generally takes another 2-4 years to achieve brown belt status. It represents the refinement of advanced techniques.
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.
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”.
“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.
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.
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.