• Frequently Asked Questions
  • 1. What is the origin of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

    Jiu-Jitsu began with Mitsuyo Maeda, a Japanese Jiu-Jitsu master and member of the Kodokan. Maeda emigrated to Brazil in the 1910s where an influential businessman named Gastão Gracie helped him get established. In return for his aid, Maeda taught this martial art to Gastão’s son Carlos Gracie, who then taught the art to his brothers and sons. When Maeda taught the art to the Gracies he called it Jiu-jitsu. The Gracie family refined this art form into what is now known as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
  • 2. What makes BJJ different from other martial arts?

    Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu differs from other martial arts in that it provides practical real-life application for all aspects of combat. Other disciplines like Tae Kwon Do or Karate focus on striking and rely on a person’s strength and speed to deliver damage, but speed and strength don’t matter when you’re on your back. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu differs from other martial arts fundamentally. In Jiu Jitsu, leverage and superior technique bring about submissions.
  • 3. What’s a Gi?

    A Gi or Kimono is the uniform that is typically worn when training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. It consists of 3 pieces: a jacket (or top), pants, and a belt. The material with which the three pieces are made is specially reinforced to withstand the rigors of daily practice. Many Jiu-Jitsu players regard their Gi in the same way a samurai warrior would their armor. In fact, the samurai in Japan were the first ones to apply Jiu Jitsu techniques during hand to hand combat. Most high level practitioners of Jiu-Jitsu who advocate the usage of the Gi cite the more technical aspect of grappling with a Gi.
  • 4. What are the Belt Rankings in Jiu-Jitsu?

    As with other martial arts, the progress of a student is marked with a series of colored belts. Unlike other martial arts where Black Belt marks a person’s proficiency in a style, in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu the rank of Black Belt is conferred to individuals who have mastered the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The belts in order are: White, Blue, Purple, Brown and Black. Often schools award four stripes for White through Brown belts. Black Belts are typically awarded one stripe every three years up to ten stripes. There are special classifications for Black Belts fighter and instructors. Instructors have Black Belts with Red bands and Black Belt fighters have White Bands. Typically, Black Belt instructors are not allowed to promote others up to Black Belt rank until they receive their first stripe. The ranks for children are different. Blue belt and higher ranks have age requirements so children have the following ranks beginning with White, Yellow, Orange and Green. Each belt has 4 stripes. These belts are utilized until age 16.
  • 5. How long until I get my Black Belt?

    Typically, it takes anywhere from 8 to 15 years to attain the rank of Black Belt in Jiu-Jitsu. Each belt (with the exception of Blue) takes about 2-5 years of dedicated practice; Blue Belt can often be attained in about a year of dedicated study. This is why earning a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a great accomplishment.
  • 6. Is Jiu-Jitsu safe?

    At Soca Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy, safety is extremely important. Accidents may happen, however, lack of seriousness during training and the resultant careless application of technique or counters contribute greatly to injury. Careless practice is disrespectful to the spirit of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Master Alexandre Soca and his instructors put great emphasis in providing a safe learning environment for all his students.
  • 7. Who can learn Jiu-Jitsu?

    Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is for everyone. Practically anyone can utilize the techniques created by Carlos Gracie. When Carlos Gracie created his revolutionary system, he weighed no more than 135 lbs. The core principle of Gracie Jiu-jitsu is to provide a method for smaller, weaker individuals to protect themselves from bigger, stronger attackers. Anyone can start practicing Jiu Jitsu regardless of one's size, age, strength, weight, fitness level.
  • 8. Is BJJ good exercise?

    Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can provide you with far more dramatic results than typical aerobic exercise. The resistance encountered while rolling provides you with a good base to improve your core strength through intense abdominal workout, increase your muscle tone, and reduce you body fat while improving your balance, bodily coordination, cardio vascular capacity, and muscular endurance. There are many practitioners who will say without a doubt that Jiu Jitsu saved their lives.
  • 9. What do I wear my first time (Intro Class) to class?

    The first class should always be in a gi. The academy has gis to use for intro classes and subsequently the student must conveniently purchase an academy gi at the front desk. A mouthpiece is also recommended.
  • 10. What’s a typical class like?

    We begin class with some light calisthenics and dynamic stretching in order for the muscles to loosen up and prevent injury. Following our warm-up we then begin drilling technique. These drills when done over and over help form muscle memory and help our students retain technique. After our drilling is completed then we begin to spar (or roll). Rolling is when students are able to put their techniques to the test with training partners who can resist and counter just as they would in an actual fight, providing valuable real-world experience should the techniques ever need to be applied in an actual fight.
  • 11. How do I get started ?

    We invite you to take a free class. To set up your free lesson please contact us.