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What Non Fighters Need to Know Before a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Class

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Every class has its own distinctive blend of moves and techniques, and that can be most apparent in a martial arts class. What you learn in Muay Thai won't be the same as Capoeira, even though both can train you to think quickly and act with strength in a conflict.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu definitely has its own unique blend of strategies and nuances. Widely considered one of the most effective fight training styles in the world, this martial art offers plenty of advantages for people at every skill level, even those who've never had a single minute of fight training.

Here's what you'll need to know if you're new to this martial art:

You can choose Gi or non-Gi

Based on your preferences and whether you want to advance in terms of rank and belt levels, you can pick a class that's Gi-based or one that focuses on a faster practice, done without a Gi.

If you'd like to progress in the sport, it's usually preferable to choose a Gi class, because you'll start with a white belt and then rise in rank according to certain requirements, such as class attendance and testing. If you'd just like to learn the moves or aren't sure yet about whether you want to make the investment in a Gi, try a no-Gi class to see if you want to pursue the sport more seriously.

In terms of other equipment, you won't need any. Some martial arts classes require headgear, elbow pads, groin protection, shin pads, and a mouthpiece. But Brazilian Jiu Jitsu requires only you and your clothing choice. You don't even need shoes, since the class is done in bare feet.

Get ready to hit the floor

Unlike many forms of martial arts that emphasize kicks and strikes while standing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu focuses on getting an opponent to the floor and then using ground fighting techniques. The initial move is called a "takedown," and can incorporate a wide range of moves, but all are intended to switch to grappling rather than upright fighting.

The advantage of this style is that even with significant differences in strength and stature, opponents can be more evenly matched. An experienced grappler, even a diminutive one, can maximize force and leverage instead of physical strength to overtake an opponent. Many experts also believe that ground fighting practice is particularly good for self-defense, since many real-life fights tend to progress to the floor quickly.

It's perfect for cross-training

Because of its emphasis on ground fighting, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is often used by fighters in other disciplines like Muay Thai, kickboxing, karate, or boxing to build their skills.

For non-fighters, that skill building still applies. Many sports and workouts are done upright, giving you functional muscle development with certain movements. But because Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is so unique in terms of its training style, it makes a perfect complement to any other sport or training. Your body learns to move in different ways, giving you more variety in your workout routine.

Whether you want to pursue fight training or not, you can discover the unique benefits of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with a UFC Gym Free Pass.

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