Frequently Asked Questions

Gracie Jiu-Jitsu has proven to be the most effective and most humane system of self defense, the only one in which a smaller person can defend successfully against a more athletic, bigger, stronger attacker. One of the reasons why this is possible is because its unique set of principles based in the philosophy of the founder of the art, Grand Master Helio Gracie.

In the early 1900’s Mitsuo Maeda arrived in Brazil from Japan and started teaching Japanese Ju-jutsu. Due to his frail physique, Helio Gracie couldn’t perform the fast and explosive movements of this art. Instead he had to adapt and refine the techniques taught by the Japanese Master to make them work for him. By doing so, he created Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, a new martial art based on leverage, timing and natural body movements rather than strength, speed and explosiveness.

Some of them are:

-In a fight instead of exchange strikes one should learn to manage the distance to stay safe from potential knockout punches.

-The goal of the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu practitioner is to achieve a dominant position where he can control the fight, but also should be ready to remain calm and successfully react in the worst case scenario.

-When facing a bigger, stronger opponent, the Jiu-Jitsu practitioner must not worry about defeating his adversary. Rather, he/she should learn how to defend properly to avoid defeat at all cost.

-Gracie Jiu-Jitsu teaches that the only way to defeat a stronger opponent is by saving one’s energy and forcing the attacker to spend all of his in the process.

-The students should develop reflexes that will help them react instinctively in a real self-defense situation.

These and others basic principles along with the techniques that made them possible are taught and discussed in The Basics GJJ.

Gracie Jiu-Jitsu had been put to test by the Gracie family for over 85 years in countless real street fights. It confirmed its superiority against other systems in 1993, when in the first 4 editions of the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) the smaller fighter, Royce Gracie (Helio Gracie’s son), defeated bigger opponents from more traditional martial arts in a series of fights with no rules and no time limits.

Royce Gracie vs Kimo

Gracie Jiu-Jitsu doesn’t rely in flashy kicks or “deathly” punches like we are used to watch in the movies. Instead Jiu-jitsu relies mostly in grappling techniques using timing, leverage and natural body movements to apply takedowns, joint locks, chokes and minimal strikes. This is the most realistic and effective way to protect yourself and even have complete control of how much you can harm the attacker.

They are pretty much the same style of Jiu-Jitsu.
The Gracie family from Brazil adapted Japanese Ju-Jutsu and developed their own version of this art.
After teaching it for many years as a martial art for self-defense (since the 1930’s), a sportive version was created and Jiu-Jitsu competitions were born.

As the sport grew in Brazil there were many Jiu-Jitsu champions, some of them members of the Gracie family; however, as more and more people started training, other champions raised to the top of the new sport who did not have the last name Gracie.

The popularity of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu exploded worldwide when in 1993, Royce Gracie won the first two editions of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) defeating representatives of other martial arts in this no-holds- barred or “Vale tudo” event, proving the effectiveness of Jiu-Jitsu.

Shortly after, due to a high interest from the public to learn this style, many Jiu-Jitsu schools started opening all over the world, some of them run by members of the Gracie family and some by Jiu-Jitsu black belts from Brazil who did not have an affiliation with the Gracies.
Since they could not use the name Gracie, they began using the term “Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu” to refer to their style.

In short, they both share the same origin.
However, a difference can be mentioned in that Gracie schools would still teach techniques for self-defense versus Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu schools that would emphasize entirely in teaching Jiu-Jitsu as a sport.

It’s worth mentioning that schools affiliated with the Gracies also practice the sport of Jiu-Jitsu and that some Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu schools will also teach techniques for self-defense.

GM Helio Gracie did not create a sport that only the young, athletic and strong can practice. He himself was not an athlete, so he developed a martial art with a set of techniques that anybody regardless of size, age or physical condition can perform. Besides, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu’s unique teaching methodology has been perfected by three generations of the family, so we can guarantee that everyone can learn and execute the techniques.

You don’t need to get in shape before coming to Jiu-Jitsu, you get fit on the mats. We have many testimonies of students who got in shape by doing Jiu-Jitsu.

There is nothing to be afraid. After each technique is presented the students would drill the technique with a cooperative partner (not a fully resistant opponent), because the idea is to build the reflexes and give the opportunity for the student to experiment with each position. The instructor will supervise that each drill is performed in a very controlled manner ensuring the safety of the practitioners. We encourage the students to help each other and to give each other feedback so they all can learn together and benefit the most from the class.

No. Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is one of the styles that professional fighters have blend with other fighting arts to compete in Mixed Martial Arts events such as the UFC, which after its first editions decided to include rounds, judges, weight categories and points system to be more appealing to the general public. In the Basics Gracie Jiu-Jitsu we don’t train fighters for mixed martial arts events, we teach regular people to defend themselves in real self defense situations.

We believe that Jiu-Jitsu besides being a great martial art it’s also, and maybe even more important, a tool for self-improvement.
In Jiu-Jitsu we learn to defend against an external attacker but maybe the most challenging enemy is within, our own ego.

The principles used in Jiu-Jitsu to defeat and external threat are the same ones we can use to defeat our inner fears.
Once a student adopt Jiu-Jitsu as a lifestyle and consistently train his body and mind to use patience, resilience, perseverance and positivity; they’ll be on their way to achieve their goal of self mastery.

All martial arts are important and contribute positively in the education of people. Gracie Jiu-Jitsu’s approach is just different than the more traditional systems. There is a difference in the strategy, the mindset and the set of techniques used in a self-defense scenario. We believe in the efficiency of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu because its approach had been put to test by the Gracie Family and proven successful many times either in real street fights or in events where no rules and no time limits apply.

In recent years, where the cases of bullying in schools has become more notorious, we believe that teaching martial arts as part of children’s education will help do away with bullying. Gracie Jiu-Jitsu offers a set of effective techniques that rely more on ways to defend, restrain, control and neutralize the attacker rather than using violent strikes. The child will gain enough self-confidence to stand up for themself and avoid the need to fight altogether.

More important, the confidence that can be passed to a child through Gracie Jiu-Jitsu will without a doubt transfer onto everything the child does. Most children lack the confidence to face a bully so chances are they will lack the confidence to face future bullies or life obstacles. Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is a gift they will be grateful for forever.

Yes, our school is affiliated with Grand Master Relson Gracie who is the second oldest son of Grand Master Helio Gracie, one of the founders of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.
Our school follows the philosophy of teaching Jiu-Jitsu as a martial art for self-defense for children and adults, specially at the beginner’s level.
As the students advance in their journey, we also practice Jiu-Jitsu as a sport. Many of our students compete in local grappling tournaments.

No. You don’t have to stay and watch. You have the option to stay or leave.

Yes. We offer discount for families where the second member gets 15% off and the third member 30% off!
We also offer 15% discount to Military, Law Enforcement and First Responders.