What is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ)?
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or BJJ is a martial art based on grappling and ground fighting, focusing on the skill of controlling one’s opponent through techniques that force them to submit. It prides itself on being known as the “gentle art”, allowing a smaller, weaker person to use leverage and submissions (such as chokes and locks) to defend oneself against a bigger opponent.
BJJ originated from Judo (Newaza) and Japanese Jujutsu, it has since been adapted and modified by Carlos Gracie and his family to become the martial art it is today.
The popularity of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) has been on a steady rise over the years, thanks to the growing audience of MMA. Typical Brazilian Jiu Jitsu jargon such as “rear naked choke”, “armbar” and “guard” have even become common vocabulary among non-practitioners.
Why train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?
There are many reasons why people choose to train BJJ. Some people are motivated by a desire to learn to defend themselves, while some people are interested in the sporting side of the art, or train it alongside other martial arts so that they can compete in mixed martial arts competitions. Other people choose to train because they enjoy the exercise, and see it as a good way to get fit. All of those reasons are valid.
At Serenity Jiu Jitsu we teach both Gi (wear a uniform) and No-Gi Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for adults and children, and cover self defence techniques as well as sports-focused techniques. Our classes are attended by a broad range of age and ability levels, including competitive BJJ players, mixed martial artists, fitness enthusiasts and those who are training for self defence.
Do I need to be fit to do a martial art?
At Serenity Jiu Jitsu we run a Fundamentals program designed to help you improve as a martial artist, we don't expect you to be an MMA fighter from day one and our structured program will allow you to develop as a martial artist whilst improving flexibility, strength and stamina.
What should I wear to my first class?
At Serenity Jiu Jitsu we have a mix of gi and no-gi classes, the gi is a traditional uniform used by many martial arts, but a BJJ gi is a much thicker and heavier garment than a karate or Japanese Jiu Jitsu gi. You do not need to buy a gi for your first class, however as we will loan this to you. In the No-gi classes people usually wear shorts and rash guards although again if you don't have these initially don't worry.
For your first class, we recommend you wear shorts or tracksuit bottoms and a t-shirt. The garments you wear may be grabbed and pulled on, so choose something sturdy and that you don’t mind being tugged at. For safety reasons, do not wear anything with zips, pockets or buttons. If you have long hair, please tie it back with a soft hair tie.
Is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu a suitable martial art for children?
BJJ is an excellent martial art for children to help them improve confidence and discipline in a safe and fun environment. Our head instructor is a former teacher and has ran courses at local schools in North Tyneside and around Newcastle to help integrate martial arts into their existing system.
At Serenity Jiu Jitsu we run eight classes for kids per week with an age range of 4-13, we also offer a one weeks free trial to make sure Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is for them.
How often am I expected to train to gain benefits?
The more you train the better you get at it so to the extent of the benefits you wish to see will be dependent on you and the hard work you are willing to put in. We do however expect all members to train twice a week as a minimum.
What makes BJJ different from other martial arts?
While other martial arts rely heavily on strength and speed BJJ relies on techniques and leverage. The techniques shown can be used in real-life situations to successfully protect yourself.
What are the rules of the gym?
We have a few simple rules at the gym and they all revolve around cleanliness to respect the others on the mat - no shoes on the mats, only clean feet, train in freshly cleaned gear and do not train when feeling poorly, especially with colds.
Is BJJ a good form of exercise?
The resistance encountered while rolling provide you with a good base to improve your core strength ad aerobic capacity. You’ll notice an increase in muscle tome, coordination ad muscular endurance. You will also experience improves in your mental well being. By partaking in the sport you will feel mentally tough, de-stressed and highly confident. Surrounding yourself with other like-minded people will motivate and inspire you to be your true authentic and best self.
Why train with the gi and not just no gi?
Rolling in the gi is more complex than no gi as the kimono offers more opportunities for grips and has the element of friction that no gi (rash guard and shorts/spats) doesn’t offer. Training in the gi makes you a more technical fighter which is why request all member to train in the gi, not just no gi.
Will I be expected to compete?
Partaking in a submission grappling or jiu jitsu competition is your choice but we do encourage it. Competing gives you the opportunity to test your skills in a competitive environment against others outside of the gym. If you are talented enough you will get on the podium and may even earn yourself and the Serenity Jiu Jitsu team a medal.
What is the belt promotion system?
Belt promotion is hard and a commitment in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu unlike some other martial arts. But the grading up is a great achievement and should be celebrated. We have a curriculum that must be followed and when members show competency in their technical ability, sparring ability and sportsmanship a belt or stripe promotion is on the cards. The time it takes between belt ranks is dependent on you. You need to be prepared to work for it, train consistently, be at the gym on days when you’d rather be chilling at home.
For adults the jiu jitsu belt system goes white, blue, purple, brown and black…with a very few excelling to coral and red belt
For children the jiu jitsu belt system (for under 16s) goes white, grey-white, grey, grey-black, yellow-white, yellow, yellow-black, orange-white, orange, orange-black, green-white, green and green-black.
How much does it cost?
Everyone has different expectations and goals when training with us which is why we have developed a range of memberships to cater for multiple options.