Do the travel to BJJ tournaments with the athletes?
YES!!!! YES!!!! We love travelling to tournaments and cornering our fighters. Our coaches have traveled with the jiu jitsu team to: Las Vegas, New Jersey, Albequerque, Los Angeles, Texas and Farmington, UT for various jiu jitsu tournaments.
Will I get beaten up every day?
First off, let me clear the air, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or BJJ for short, is not a striking self-defense, it’s a grappling self-defense. It’s not fighting, so you most certainly will not be “beaten up” on the first day. Any good jiu jitsu school, will open with a warm-up and then go into some technique. Jiu Jitsu is a sport that puts a high emphasis on what to do if you’ve taken your oppenent down, or he has taken you down, and how to defeat your opponent without throwing strikes through joint locks/chokes.
I have been doing MMA for about 25 years, and I don’t think I have a friend in this world that hasn't either choked me, or I haven’t choked. The great thing about Jiu Jitsu, is the moment you start feeling any pain, you simply tap your opponent on the body, and he stops. Any decent MMA gym will put a huge focus on the respect of your opponent, and what I've found, is that people who go to MMA gyms want to get better at fighting, and want to get you better.
At the gym we own, Factum CrossFit and Mixed Martial Arts in Salt Lake City, we have beginners in just about every class and every discipline. So, typically, we put beginners with beginners and advanced with advanced. That being said, if you are a beginner and you go with an advanced submission grappler, you will learn LIGHTING QUICK.
BJJ is also one aspect of a complete fighter, to be a complete martial artist you need other forms as well.
If I had to pick only one self-defense for a woman to learn, I would have to say jiu-jitsu. Now, let me be clear, I don’t believe jiu-jitsu is an all-encompassing martial art, but jiu-jitsu focuses mainly on how a smaller opponent can defeat a larger assailant through joint-locks, control and chokes.
In other words, let’s paint an ugly picture: Rapist-demon-spawn attacks you. He’s bigger than you, so his chances of getting you to the ground are a lot greater than you can probably imagine. Maybe you can get away, but a open hand shot to the throat, raking the eyes, and a groin shot SIMPLY DON’T CUT IT. Don’t be fooled into thinking pepper spray will do the trick either, it doesn’t, if a larger man wants to get you to the ground these techniques don’t work. However, any decent Jiu-Jitsu school will teach you (as a 100 pound girl) to kill a 300 lbs rapist. So, jerk-mcgoo goes to take your paints off, well, if you’ve learned some jiu jitsu, you’d know that he’s left himself awfully vulnerable for a triangle-choke, omaplata, or arm-bar.
But jiu jitsu is NOT all encompassing, for that, I put a pretty heavy emphasis on using the Martial Arts that have proven effective in the UFC. In my opinion, all martial arts have a place in the world, but because I fight professionally, I feel I need to be versed in the hand-to-hand combat that has proven most effective amongst professionals. These are any combination of Muay Thai (de facto striking style of the UFC), Wrestling (art of controlling one's opponent) and submission grappling (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu).
Our jiu jitsu classes on Tuesday's and Thursday nights is gi, but we do a lot of elements of jiu jitsu in our MMA classes Monday-Thursday that is No- Gi. But either way, if you don't have a gi on your first day, no problem, we will get you incorporated in the class without one, or you can borrow one of our loaner gis.