Q: I have never done anything like this before and am so out of shape. Can I still do BJJ?

A: Absolutely. For complete beginners, we have perfected our tryout process so that you get the one on one attention that you deserve and need for what is required without any fear of intimidation or injuries. By coming to class on a consistent basis, your cardio and endurance will improve as you spend more time on the mats. We have a very systematic basic curriculum that we employ our instructors to work with you on upon your first couple of weeks to months to ensure the retention of knowledge and practical application to gain the most out of what BJJ can do for you.

Q: Do I need any special equipment?

A: All you need is a gi and a belt! (Don't have one? No problem. Our VIP program includes a trial uniform.) If you are a seasoned practitioner but don't have a gi, we have them for sale or rental. Other optional equipment includes mouth guards and rashguards which we highly recommend. For women, it's suggested that you bring sportswear similar to sports bras, high neck tanks or shirt, and yoga short or leggings.

Q: What can I expect in my first class?

A: Upon arrival, about 15 minutes before your scheduled class time, you will be greeted by one of our friendly staff members who will have you fill out a waiver and show you to the changing rooms. The classes follow a simple flow: a warm-up which includes stretching, cardio, and conditioning, followed by the drill and technique of the day, and ending with what we call "rolling" or sparring. (Don't worry if you are not comfortable rolling the first day, it is not required!) Once the class is done, you will be directed to schedule your second class ideally within the same week, so that comprehension and application of what you learned is not interrupted.

Q: I'm 50... Am I going to be able to keep up?

A: Emphatically, yes. One aspect that is so great about BJJ is you can start at any age! At VSBJJA, we pride ourselves in having one of the most internationally ranked Masters team of students. Our students range from 3yrs old to 68! You'll be able to train at your own pace while still being pressed to reach your personal best. There are no judgements or egos here.

Q: I heard BJJ is a good workout. Will I lose weight?

A: The movements of Brazilian jiu jitsu recruit all muscle groups, giving you a total body workout. There is a good mix of aerobic and anaerobic cardiovascular conditioning that is unlike any other workout out there and gives you a type of endurance that only comes from mat time. some of our students have even quit their gym because this is all the workout they need! The more you put into the mat, the more you will get out of it.

Q: Why do we need a gi? What's the difference vs. no-gi?

A: The gi consists of a top kimono jacket, drawstring pants, and a belt. The no-gi uniform consists of a rash guard and board shorts. In the gi, we incorporate more “grips”, and in no-gi, “hooks” are utilized more. What does this mean for the beginner? The gi game is important to start in as it “slows down” the game of bjj as there are many more components that you can exploit and use for leverage. This is where you will find your technique and control, ultimately opening up more possibilities of attacks and movements. Albeit the no-gi game is similar, it takes away those advantages, and makes the playing field more conditional upon physical attributes. Both the gi game and no gi game encompass the art of jiu jitsu, but to make the fighter advance technically, we require that beginners have at least 3 stripes on their belt before taking part of this class.

Q: How does the belt system work?

A: For adults, the belts ranks start at white, blue, purple, brown, and black. Kids will vary depending on the school, but the usually color progression is white, grey, yellow, orange, and green. Not all schools will follow a striping system, but those that do follow a 4 stripe system as they advance between belts. Getting from one belt to the other contains a more subjective component, rather than a cookie-cutter one. The timeline depends on several factors, but it can range between 1-4 years between each belt. Ultimately, the goal of any Martial Artist is Black Belt, but getting there takes a lot of time, patience, and endurance. And we invite you to take that journey with us!

Q: I'll be visiting NYC for a few days and I train at another Academy. Can I train with you?

A: Visiting students are always welcome! Call or email our front desk for drop-in rates.