We are always happy to answer your questions! For your convenience, we've compiled a list of common questions and answers here.
Q: What is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?
A: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a martial art that was adapted from judo by students of Mitsuyo Maeda, mainly Carlos and Helio Gracie. It focuses on ground fighting, using technique and leverage to apply joint locks and chokes.
Q: Why ground fighting? Do you do any fighting on your feet?
A: Most fights end up on the ground, regardless of how they start, which is why we focus on ground work. However, we do work a lot of takedowns, as they are important too!
Q: Will I get hurt?
A: Bruises and mat burn are both common in BJJ, but we have never had a serious injury at our academy. With this being said, BJJ is a contact sport, and like any other sport, there are inherent risks involved. We do our best to minimize those risks as much as possible.
Q: Do you offer a free trial class?
A: Yes, see our Free Trials & Drop-Ins page for details.
Q: How do I set up my free trial class?
A: You are welcome to attend any class that is convenient for you. No appointment is necessary, but we do recommend that you contact us ahead of time to let us know that you're coming.
Q: Do I need to get in shape before I start training?
A: Everyone starts somewhere. Come as you are, and let us help you get in the best shape of your life.
Q: How old does my child need to be to start training with you?
A: We welcome children as young as 6 years old.
Clothing, Uniform, & Equipment
Q: When do I need to buy a gi?
A: We will supply a loaner gi for your free trial class. If you decide to sign up, we will sell you a white gi at a discounted price for new members.
Q: Why can't I buy a different colored gi with my membership?
A: We offer only white gis to brand new members because Relson requires students to wear white during his seminars. If you wish to buy a second gi in a different color, you are welcome to do so.
Q: What clothing should I wear for gi class?
A: It is recommended that you wear shorts or spats (leggings) and a rash guard underneath a clean gi. Please remove any hair product or makeup prior to training.
Q: What clothing should I wear for no-gi class?
A: The recommended attire for no-gi class consists of shorts or spats (leggings) and a rash guard. Most of our students wear looser-fitting shorts over compression shorts/spats. Please ensure that your clothing does not have zippers or anything else that could scratch the mats or your training partner. As with gi class, please remove any hair product or makeup prior to training.
Q: Do I need boxing or MMA gloves?
A: On Fridays, we often incorporate striking into our training. We have gloves and pads that you can borrow, but if you plan on attending these classes regularly, we will encourage you to purchase your own gloves.
Q: What other equipment do I need?
A: Some students like to wear wrestling headgear and/or mouthpieces. If you are interested in purchasing this type of protective gear, we would be happy to help you do that, but it certainly isn't required.
Q: What qualifications do your instructors have?
Daniel Pilewski trains under black belt Phil Cardella and 9th-degree red belt, Grand Master Relson Gracie. He has more than a decade of experience in BJJ, as well as experience as a Berlin high school wrestler and Army combatives instructor. We also use some of our higher-level belts as assistant instructors. Check out our Trainers page for more information.
Q: Does Relson teach classes?
A: Relson Gracie and Phil Cardella both offer seminars periodically.
Q: How much do your memberships cost?
A: We have memberships for youth jiu-jitsu, adult jiu-jitsu, and conditioning. We don't like to share our prices online, but we are competitively priced with respect to other businesses in our industry. Stop in for a free trial, and we'll go over the options.
Q: Do you offer any discounts?
A: We offer discounts for full-time first responders (police/fire/EMT).
Q: Can I pay class-by-class instead of purchasing a monthly membership?
A: Drop-ins are allowed for out-of-state visitors only. We want our students to commit to being part of the team by purchasing a monthly membership and training with us regularly.
Q: Are there showers at the academy?
A: Unfortunately we do not have showers, but we do have multiple bathrooms in which you can change.