Frequently Asked Questions

What is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, (BJJ)?

As a soft art, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu systems employ the principles of balance, leverage, and momentum to overcome opponents. This is in contrast to hard systems such as some styles of Kung Fu or Taekwondo that tend to emphasize developing speed, strength and power.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a Martial Art where you can use little to no strength to subdue a much larger opponent without causing them harm. Jiu Jitsu offers solutions for defending against striking attacks while standing and on the ground in addition to all methods of grappling attacks.

How much does it cost?

Our rates are very reasonable.

Our prices vary according to classes, membership package, and discount eligibility. Stop by the Academy or call us @ 907-562-0902 to discuss the best plan for your needs.

Are the classes suitable for beginners?

Absolutely. No previous experience is necessary; our instructors are able to work with students of any skill level.

We have students of all ages and abilities. Each student has their own unique skill set and talents.

What do your students wear?

T-shirt and shorts or sweats the 1st week. Then the student must purchase a uniform for the next week's class through Gracie Barra Academy.

The official uniform of Jiu Jitsu in which you will be training is called a "Kimono" or "Gi". This uniform consists of 3 pieces: a jacket, a pair of drawstring pants and a belt. For Muay Thai class, students wear appropriate work out clothes.

Do students need special gear for this class?

Jiu Jitsu-Gear-wise, all you need is your uniform, called a Gi which includes a jacket, a pair of drawstring pants which is padded at the knees and a belt. The uniform is made out a specially weaved cotton material that will be able to withstand the rigorous practice of Jiu Jitsu.

Muay Thai—you can use our boxing gloves for your trial period, then you will need to purchase some.

What equipment do students work with?

Students will work on grappling mats, and Thai Pads.

What should students expect in the 1st class?

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu—Classes begin with a short period of calisthenics, followed by a series of short, simple drills. You will be paired with an experienced practitioner for your first few classes to ease you in to the routine.

Do students need to get in shape first?

No. Although the idea of getting in shape before you start training sounds like something you might want to do, it's completely unnecessary. That's mainly because our classes are so highly sport-specific, other training won't really make a significant difference.

You will discover that the workout you get will help you get in better shape. Just get in here, and get started. Fitness is different for everyone. So we allow people to work as hard as they want to.

What are the advantages of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu focuses on techniques that are easy to learn in a very short period of time. BJJ gained prestige in the 1990s, when expert Royce Gracie won the first, second and fourth Ultimate Fighting Championships, which at the time were single elimination martial arts tournaments. Royce fought against often much-larger opponents who were masters of other styles, including boxing, karate, judo, and wrestling. It has since become a staple art for many MMA fighters and is largely credited for bringing widespread attention to the importance of ground fighting.

The United States Army chose Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to be the core of their Combative's Program. In 2002, SFC Matthew Larson re-wrote the Army Combatives Manual (FM 3-25.150) and made Brazilian Jiu Jitsu the backbone for the entire work. Today, it is hard to find any elite Military or Law Enforcement agency that does not incorporate Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as a serious part of their doctrine.

How old must the Student be?

Our adult class starts at age 16 and youth or kid's Jiu Jitsu at age 5.

Am I too old?

NO! We have students of all ages, abilities and goals. We've found that a mixture of age groups in a class is beneficial to all. Each age group can learn something from the other.

At Gracie Barra, our class atmosphere is friendly and open, which allows people of all ages to work at their own pace and ability. We will try to push you to your limits, not everyone else's.

Do students participate in competitions?

Yes, if they want to. But the main goal for our student is self-confidence/discipline/focus/​coordination. Then we will allow our students to participate in competitions which can boost their self-confidence and self-esteem.

Students are not obligated to compete but most develop the confidence and ambition to compete.

Do students have to take a punch?

No, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a grappling art.

Safety is highly emphasized at Graice Barra Academy, and we want our students to work at their own comfort level. We try to make our classes accessible for the average person that wants to learn for fun, fitness, and self-defense.

So, any contact in our classes is controlled to meet your goals.

How do I get the most out of the class?

Pay attention, Participate, Practice, and above all, have Patience with yourself! The exercises in class are taught to help you build core muscles and endure the movements of the techniques. If you start to fake a few exercises here and there you are losing out. Every movement and every exercise should be done to the fullest and the best of your ability. This is the only way to surpass your current limitations.

Do you offer private lessons?

Yes! Some students enjoy private or semi-private sessions. If an individual want's additional training with one of their favorite instructors they are able to purchase them for an additional fee.

How do I get started?

We offer discounts for Families, Students and Military,

Getting started is simple—just check out the classes you're interested in, and drop by, call to make an appointment for a FREE class of your choice.

When you come in, we'll show you around and answer whatever questions you have. Once you're ready to give it a try, you'll just need to fill out our waiver, and then you can jump right in.

All you need are workout clothes, though you'll most certainly want a bottle of water, to stay hydrated.

Once you've experienced your first class, you'll have a great idea of what you can get from Gracie Barra Academy.