Frequently Asked Questions
Jiu-Jitsu is the umbrella term to describe the art of submission grappling. It originated in Japan and later became popular in Brazil where they focused on more ground work, with it being called “Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu” or BJJ for short.
The Gracie family originated from Brazil and were the main family responsible for making Jiu-Jitsu so popular. With their focus on self-defense efficiency, it was further referred to as “Gracie Jiu-Jitsu” and became world-known through the first Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) event in 1996, where their representative Royce Gracie won the event, and the first three of four events.
We at Theory use the term Jiu-Jitsu to embrace the open-source nature that is Jiu-Jitsu in 2021, teaching the sport and self-defense aspects to our students.
Jiu-Jitsu embraces the same mentality of controlling our opponent’s through various pins, but there are two aspects that make it much different: submission holds and the position known as Guard.
Submission holds (typically a joint lock of some kind or a choke/stranglehold) demonstrate to our partner that if the match were to continue, that there could be serious damage to their body or the potential that they can pass out from a choke. Although the matches rarely ever manifest actual damage or students passing out, it is mimicking a self-defense situation where if the event were to continue and the opponent was damaged or passed out, it would be a major advantage for them to cause further harm if they so chose. In order to prevent harm in a match, a student will “tap out” either by tapping twice on their partner or vocalizing with the word “Tap” to let them know that they submit with the seriousness of their submission hold.
The Guard position is where our legs are over their hips while we lay on our back. This allows us to keep our opponent in front of us and the use the power of our legs to sweep our opponent or even in some cases to generate pressure for submission holds. This is something very unique to Jiu-Jitsu and distinguishes it from other grappling arts, such as wrestling and Judo.
Jiu-Jitsu can also be practicing with just a rashguard on or a jacket called a Kimono that offers your opponent handles to control them or add additional submission hold opportunities.
The speciality of Jiu-Jitsu is when a fighting situation ends up on the ground, typically when a bigger opponent takes the other one to the ground since they are unable to get the better of the exchange through strikes. Over 80% of fighting situations end up on the ground due to this, or typical off-balancing.
Jiu-Jitsu allows us to control and submit an opponent even if they outweigh us or are more athletic, through proper body positioning and submission holds. We can choose to damage our opponent through submission holds (without damaging our hands/knuckles with striking our opponent), or to use it as a place of control to subdue our opponent until the authorities arrive if we are in a public place.
Jiu-Jitsu is for every age and fitness level! Our craft brings a lot of success based on your knowledge, and substituting physical speed/strength with mental speed and proper physics, such as framing and utilizing larger muscle groups.
Your partners at Theory will also match to your skill and fitness level, since anything beyond that is not productive for either partner in their development, so you never have to worry about getting smashed or injured from that.
There are unfortunately a lot of schools that only guidelines are randomized techniques, mixed in with a cardio workout and a “Shark Tank”, which involves sparring with you until you are completely gassed out. At Theory, we take a more technical approach.
We offer our students specific curriculum of techniques and principles to show competency in order to get recognized for the rank. We want to see that you have pathways and technical knowledge, which will serve you much better in your Jiu-Jitsu career. This is also done out of respect for the student, since being recognized as a higher rank comes with it an expected level of skill. If the student is ill-prepared for this rank, they will be met with many failures especially at competition, and be confused since they were told they were at this rank.
Jiu-Jitsu is one the fastest growing sports in the world, with new innovations being created every year. Although competition can be an exciting experience to see how your Jiu-Jitsu game manifests in a high-intensity setting, it is never a requirement for being promoted or your involvement at the school.
There are some schools where there are separate competition teams and classes, but we here at Theory are inclusive to each of our students and their goals with no one being left out. If you are preparing for a competition, you can get some more spirited rolls with students who feel comfortable turning up the intensity, and with other people you can work your technical game, knowing what pathways you will be focusing on.