What is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ for short) is a martial art, and so much more!

The fundamental goal of BJJ is to provide the knowledge and skill to allow a smaller or weaker person to defend themselves against a larger or stronger opponent.  It incorporates takedowns, and teaches you how to fight on the ground.  It is like a game of kinetic chess with your opponent. Since its inception, BJJ also has grown into a thriving sport with academies and tournaments all around the world.  Unlike most martial arts, there is no striking in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  Instead, practitioners employ various holds to control their opponents, as well as submissions like chokes and joint locks.

Check out this informational video to learn more:

Am I too old to start BJJ?

This is an easy one!  BJJ is for everyone!  Some people immediately think that martial arts are for children.  While there are a ton of benefit for kids, we currently only offer adult classes (13+).  Men and women alike train in BJJ.  Some people don’t begin training until their 50’s or 60’s, and the average BJJ player is in their early 30’s.  The bottom line is that your age is not important.  Whether you are 18 or 60, it doesn’t matter.  As part of Valor Martial Arts, we do offer world class karate instruction as well, if you want to have your kids join in the fun!

Do I need to get into shape before trying out BJJ?

NO!!!! This is one of the biggest misconceptions I hear.  You wouldn’t wait until you’re no longer sick to visit the doctor, would you?  Training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is how you will get in great shape.  We have beginners with a variety of fitness levels.  We do train hard, but we have it set up so beginners can start at their own pace.  You will kick yourself for not starting sooner!

What are some of the benefits of practicing BJJ?

The best reason to start training BJJ is to have fun!   It will also get you in great shape and help you lose weight.  You will make new friends, as we are a tight knit team that is always looking for new people to join.  You will learn ways to defend yourself, giving you more confidence.  We are part of the world famous Carlson Gracie Jiu Jitsu team, and if you want, you can represent our team at a variety of regional and international BJJ competitions.  Many  students have found that BJJ helps them with anxiety and depression.  Everyone has their own reasons and their own journey!  The bottom line is that BJJ will improve your life!

Why Kalamazoo BJJ?

We have the highest ranking BJJ players in Kalamazoo!  We currently have two brown belts, and several other high ranking students.  We currently offer 90 minute classes every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, as well as morning classes.  Quality matters in this art!  We use world class Zebra mats (the same kind used at the world championships).  We are affiliated with Grand Rapids Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, under the instruction of 2nd degree Carlson Gracie black belt Clint Crabtree.  Membership with Kalamazoo BJJ gives you access to training under Professor Crabtree, with over 100 other students as well!  As part of the Carlson Gracie team (Headquartered in Chicago), we have access to even more training and seminars with world class instructors including Carlson Gracie, Jr. himself!

What do I need to get started?

You just need to show up to one of our classes wearing workout clothes.  We have loaner uniforms (called a gi, or a kimono) that you can use.  We have team uniforms available for purchase later if you decide to join the team.  We have a water fountain, but many people like to bring their own water bottle.  It can be nerve racking walking into an unfamiliar place for the first time, but after one class you will see that it’s a great place with nothing to fear!  Try a free class, and see for yourself!  Whether you are experienced or a beginner, we are the elite BJJ training facility in Kalamazoo!

If you have questions, please feel free to contact Coach Ben @ 616-915-6565 or fill out the contact form below to schedule your free trial class!

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