We Teach Gracie Jiu-Jitsu for Self-Defense
Since the late 1920’s Grand Master Helio Gracie started developing Gracie Jiu-Jitsu (aka Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) after he realized he was too frail to utilize the traditional Japanese Jiu-Jitsu techniques that was being taught to him and his brothers. He created the system of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and based it on principles of timing, leverage and energy redirection so that virtually anyone can use it to defend themselves man, woman or child, regardless of their age or athletic ability. Over the past 90+ years, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu has proven itself over and over again to be the most effective and reliable martial art for a smaller person to be able to defeat a larger, stronger more athletic opponent.
The Fighting Fundamentals Curriculum – Beginners Course
While Gracie Jiu-Jitsu consists of over 600 techniques and that number is increasing every day, not all of the techniques are focused on self-defense. Many of the techniques utilized in the art of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu today are more applicable in a competition sport based setting. The sport of Jiu-Jitsu has grown in increasing popularity over the last two decades but many of those techniques are not effective in a real world self-defense situation. The Fighting Fundamentals Curriculum that we teach here at the New Mexico Jiu-Jitsu Academy is focused on teaching our students how to defend themselves against a larger, stronger opponent in a real life self-defense situation.
Traditionally the art of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu consists of 5 different aspects:
- Clinches and Takedowns
- Surprise Standing Defenses (Against empty handed attacks, blunt weapons, edged weapons, and handguns)
- Sweeps and Submissions
While over 95% of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu schools today only focus on Takedowns, Sweeps and Submissions. The New Mexico Jiu-Jitsu Academy still teaches all 5 aspects as Grand Master Helio Gracie intended. This is because when all of the aspects of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu are taught it becomes a complete self-defense system.
Phase 1: Learn the Techniques
The Fighting Fundamentals Curriculum consists of 83 techniques that are divided into 35 lessons. Each lesson is one hour long and in every class we teach both standing techniques (ex. Strikes, Clinches, Takedowns, or Surprise Defenses) and ground techniques (ex. Sweeps or Submissions). We do this because almost every self-defense situation that occurs starts standing up but then over 90% of them end up on the ground. Therefore, it’s our responsibility to make sure you are comfortable and confident no matter where a fight takes you.
The lessons are designed to allow you to learn at your own pace and are strategically designed so that you don’t need any prior experience in order to participate in any one of them. Therefore, you can complete them in any order and practice each lesson as many times as you wish.
Phase 2: Develop Your Reflexes and Use the Techniques against a Resisting Opponent
Upon completing each of the 35 lessons two times, you will be able to attend two more classes: reflex development and sparring classes. The reflex development class is specifically designed to do exactly as it states, develop your reflexes! It does this by linking different techniques together and without adding resistance from your partner, creating situations referred to as fight simulations. The end result of the class is that when an opponent tries to attack you or counter one of your moves, you don’t have to think about what to do, instead your instincts take over and your body reacts accordingly.
The sparring classes on the other hand do offer resistance training but it is not a “throw you to the wolves” situation which is all too common in BJJ schools. Our students will work with you and help you improve and as your ability increases we gradually increase the resistance so you will eventually be able to utilize these techniques against an individual who is presenting you with 100% real resistance. This is the ultimate goal because once you can achieve that there is no doubt that you will be able to protect yourself on the street!
Phase 3: Earn Your Blue Belt
Grand Master Helio Gracie said “a blue belt is someone that knows how to protect themselves in a street fight.” Here at the New Mexico Jiu-Jitsu Academy we abide by that definition and can guarantee that by the time you earn your blue belt you will be street ready. Once we think you are eligible you can take the blue belt qualification test. The test will thoroughly assess all 5 areas of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and once successfully completed you will have earned your blue belt!
Advanced Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Curriculum
For many of our students the blue belt is just the beginning of their Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu journey. The advanced GJJ curriculum is designed to take a student from Blue belt to Black belt. The curriculum consists of hundreds of techniques and is divided into 6 different positional sections: Mount, Side Mount, Guard, Half Guard, Back Mount and Leg Locks. We spend approximately 4 to 8 weeks in each chapter and every chapter is broken down into sub sections so you will attain an in depth understanding and execution of each position. Also, in every class we continue to teach all the standing self-defense techniques, reviewing and expanding on the ones you already know from the Fighting Fundamentals curriculum, so you will never get rusty if you ever encounter a real surprise attack.