FAQ

started

* I haven’t exercised in a while. Do I have to be in shape before starting to take classes?
* I am not very athletic and I have never trained in martial arts. Are your classes too advanced for me? 
* I am no longer in my twenties but still would like to learn martial arts. Am I too old to take classes?
* I am a woman and I am somewhat intimidated by martial arts. Are your classes female-friendly?
* I have had some previous injuries and I don’t want to get hurt. Are your classes safe?
* I have a young son/daughter that would love to join your gym. How old do they have to be to take classes?
* I would love to train but my work schedule conflicts with your classes. Do I have any other options?
* I want to start training at your gym as soon as possible. How do I proceed?
* I would love to get to know your program but I am not ready for an intro class. Can I just come and watch?

 
TheMRJJA

* You offer so many different programs – what classes should I take?
* I don’t know what to expect. What are your regular group classes like?
* How do private classes work, and are they really worth it?
* What do I wear to classes, and what type of gear do I need?
* Once I start training, how long will it take for me to get good?
* I know of another martial arts school that charges less for classes. Why should I choose your gym?
* Why is Mario teaching martial arts instead of practicing Medicine and making a lot of money?

 
Grappling

* What makes Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Submission Wrestling different from other traditional martial arts?
I am confident in my striking skills. Do I really need to learn how to fight on the ground?
* What are the differences between Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo and traditional Japanese Ju-Jitsu?
Why do I need to wear a gi in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?
* How does the belt ranking system work in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

 
MixedT

I have no interest in being a fighter. Should I still take MMA classes?
* Is MMA safe? How can I train realistically for fighting and not get injured?

 

QuestionsI haven’t exercised in a while. Do I have to be in shape before starting to take classes?

Absolutely not; there is no such thing as being too out of shape to begin training! At the MRJJA we pride ourselves in getting our students in the best shape of their lives. After all, that’s a big reason why many take up martial arts training in the first place!  Your first months of training are guaranteed to transform your body, and our instructors will be there motivating and helping you every step of the way.

QuestionsI am not very athletic and I have never trained in martial arts. Are your classes too advanced for me?

Our classes are designed to accommodate martial artists of every skill level. From your very first visit you will notice that our instructors and students are extremely friendly and will go out of their way to help beginners out. This is the kind of training atmosphere you can expect to find at our gym. We welcome beginners and we guarantee that you will have a great time learning!

QuestionsI am no longer in my twenties but still would like to learn martial arts. Am I too old to take classes?

At the MRJJA we have students of all ages, and we are especially proud of our 40+ group. The good thing about martial arts training is that you can pretty much adjust it to whatever level of intensity you desire. In other words, you can progress and learn while respecting your limits. Regardless of age, we always recommend that our students consult a physician before starting to take classes.

QuestionsI have had some previous injuries and I don’t want to get hurt. Are your classes safe?

Yes. Safety is always our primary concern. Our training program is organized so that the beginner student will be slowly introduced to the demands of training, giving his or her body the time to heal, adapt and grow stronger. The use of safety equipment is always mandatory during class, especially when drilling or sparring. While the contact nature of martial arts prevents it to be risk-free, we are very satisfied with our safety record!

QuestionsI am a woman and I am somewhat intimidated by martial arts. Are your classes female-friendly?

Absolutely! Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is the best martial art option for women when it comes to self-defense and rape prevention. It is based on the use of leverage and sound body mechanics to defeat bigger and heavier opponents. At the MRJJA you will be able to learn Jiu-Jitsu and other styles in a professional, safe and respectful environment. Our classes will also help you get in the best shape of your life!

QuestionsI have a young son/daughter that would love to join your gym. How old do they have to be to take classes?

As a general rule, a student must be fifteen years of age or older to attend any of our adult classes. However, we have accepted students as young as thirteen. It really all depends on their physical skills and maturity level.

QuestionsI would love to train but my work schedule conflicts with your classes. Do I have any other options?

Yes. All of our instructors teach private classes that can be scheduled to fit your needs. You can also get some extra training during the weekend with our open mat sessions. Contact us and we’ll be sure to work something out; we don’t want you to miss out on training!

QuestionsI want to start training at your gym as soon as possible. How do I proceed?

We are happy that you have decided to train with us! We recommend that you come visit the gym so that you can see the different programs that we have to offer, and thus make an informed decision when enrolling. You can stop by at any of our class times, or schedule a FREE INTRO CLASS here. We are 100% positive that you will be very satisfied with your decision!

QuestionsI would love to get to know your program but I am not ready for an intro class. Can I just come and watch?

Of course; it would be a pleasure to have you visit our gym.

QuestionsYou offer so many different programs – what classes should I take?

That depends on what your goals are. We recommend that you take a FREE INTRO CLASS in every one of our programs, so that you can make an informed decision. The good news is that you don’t have to limit yourself to just one discipline! Our customized plans allow you to select the training curriculum that best suits your needs. Most of our students cross-train in at least two classes, which provides them with a complete and fulfilling martial arts experience .

QuestionsI don’t know what to expect. What are your regular group classes like?

Our group classes are divided into one hour sessions. Classes usually start with a warm-up and conditioning segment, geared towards preventing injuries, promoting fitness and maximizing weight loss. The warm-up is followed by technical instruction, where not only the student gets to learn new skills but has the chance to practice under direct supervision of a qualified instructor. In order to keep things dynamic, reality-oriented and fun, classes almost always involve some sort of live drilling or sparring,. We limit the size of our group classes so that the instructor-student ratio allows us to deliver quality, personalized instruction. We always aim to provide our students with the best.

QuestionsHow do private classes work, and are they really worth it?

Private classes are one hour sessions where the instructor teaches one to three students, and is therefore able to deliver better quality instruction. Are they worth it? If you are looking for an individualized one-on-one learning environment; if you are unable to make it to regular group classes, or if you simply want to maximize your training experience and get the edge on the competition – absolutely! Private classes are taught by Mario Roberto and all other MRJJA Assistant Instructors. You can find out more information about private classes here.

QuestionsWhat do I wear to classes, and what type of gear do I need?

For starters, just wear some loose-fitting athletic clothes that you can exercise in (shorts/sweatpants and a shirt). A mouthpiece and an athletic supporter (for males) are mandatory safety equipment for all classes. Uniforms will vary according to the program. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes require a traditional martial arts uniform (gi). Submission Wrestling and Mixed Martial Arts classes require board shorts and a school shirt. All gear is available for purchase at our gym’s pro shop.

QuestionsOnce I start training, how long will it take for me to get good?

That depends on how often you attend classes and how dedicated you are to your training. Most students will experience a significant improvement in their fitness level and technical ability within a few months of training. At the MRJJA we do not provide our prospective students with unrealistic expectations. You will not become an unbeatable martial artist nor will you receive a black belt after only a couple of years of training. You will not be able to fly like a shaolin monk, disappear like a ninja or defeat multiple armed attackers. However, if you are willing to work hard, we are willing to help you become the best you can be, inside and outside of the gym.

QuestionsI know of another martial arts school that charges less for classes. Why should I choose your gym?

Most schools charge what they think they are worth. Professional service, quality, safety and individual attention is what separates us from cheaper schools. Our program is designed for those who want the very best in martial arts training. We always encourage our prospective students to research their options – we guarantee that you will find that at the MRJJA you will get the best value for your investment.

QuestionsWhy is Mario teaching martial arts instead of practicing Medicine and making a lot of money?

The short answer is “because he loves it”. According to Mario: “even though teaching martial arts is now my livelihood, I am one of the very lucky few that can honestly say that they love their job. I can only hope that the passion I infuse in my teaching can provide my students the benefits that I have gained from years of practice”.

QuestionsWhat makes Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Submission Wrestling different from other traditional martial arts?

While most traditional martial arts focus on striking, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Submission Wrestling concentrate on grappling and especially ground fighting. As one can imagine, it is a significant tactical advantage to specialize on what most styles don’t offer. It makes grappling arts extremely effective in self-defense and one-on-one fighting situations when compared to other disciplines. Another major difference is that traditional martial arts usually follow a standardized technical curriculum and focus on non-reality based sparring such as point fighting. The nature of grappling is one of constant evolution, where the student is always developing new skills and techniques. Grappling also allows for realistic sparring at the gym, where one can test their skills on a daily basis while still being safe. We always recommend that our students supplement their grappling classes with some functional training in striking, such as provided in Boxing, Muay Thai and Mixed Martial Arts.

QuestionsI am confident in my striking skills. Do I really need to learn how to fight on the ground?

The short answer is YES. A significant percentage of unarmed confrontations end up on the ground (as proven in a January 2007 review article in the Journal of Non-Lethal Combatives). In a self-defense situation there are no rules to prevent the fight from going to the ground. If you are not familiar with grappling, you will be easily defeated when taken down. Ground fighting is an essential part of martial arts, and one cannot survive without it. That is the reason why every professional MMA fighter cross-trains in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or Submission Wrestling.

QuestionsWhat are the differences between Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo and traditional Japanese Ju-Jitsu?

Judo is a popular Olympic discipline that focuses on the sports application of throws, immobilizations and some submissions. It has less of a self-defense focus than Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Japanese Ju-Jitsu usually focuses on stand-up grappling in the form of takedowns and wristlocks. Strikes are often used as set-ups for the grappling techniques. Some Ju-Jitsu schools also teach traditional weapons as part of their curriculum. Like many other traditional martial arts, Japanese Ju-Jitsu is infused with beautiful and athletic techniques. However, it remains unproved in the realms of modern self-defense and combat sports. On the other hand, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu’s main focus is the practical application of its ground-based grappling system.

QuestionsWhy do I need to wear a gi in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

The traditional martial arts uniform (also known as the gi or kimono) is an intrinsical part of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training. The idea behind wearing a gi is to increase the difficulty of the sparring sessions. With the uniform, it is impossible to rely on athleticism alone – the student must learn how to develop good technical skills. However, it is important to keep in mind that our Jiu-Jitsu program is not sports oriented. We believe in reality-based grappling, and therefore steer away from techniques that wouldn’t translate well to self-defense or mixed martial arts situations.

QuestionsHow does the belt ranking system work in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

The colors of the adult belt ranking system in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) are white, blue, purple, brown and black. There are four levels within each colored belt before black, and they are represented by stripes. BJJ rank progression is different and usually takes a lot longer than that of traditional martial arts. Rank in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is based solely on performance (moral, athletic and technical). It is an indicator of one’s ability and it is not to be considered a goal by itself.

QuestionsI have no interest in being a fighter. Should I still take MMA classes?

Absolutely! Only a fraction of our student roster consists of professional fighters. We structure our classes so that everybody can benefit from them: whether you want to lose weight and get fit, learn realistic self-defense skills, or train to be a MMA fighter. It doesn’t matter if you never set foot inside of a cage or ring. MMA epitomizes the future of combat athletics, and you don’t want to miss out on it!

QuestionsIs MMA safe? How can I train realistically for fighting and not get injured?

What most people don’t realize is that the safety record of mixed martial arts is far better than that of other sports such as football. All students are required to use protective equipment during class, and beginners train at a slower pace and with limited contact. Sparring is always controlled – if professional fighters trained at fight-level contact intensity, they would be injured all the time! At the MRJJA all practices are geared towards individual progress, and you can expect a hard-working but always safety-oriented training environment.