2737 Papin Street

St. Louis, MO 63104

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Phone: 260-BJJ-4-STL

Do I have to have previous experience to participate?

No, all experience levels are welcome and no previous experience is required.  Our Basics and Fundamentals classes are designed for beginners to jump right in and feel welcome.


Do I need to have a certain level of fitness to start?
No, there is no prerequisite fitness level. I often hear people say they will come in when they get in better shape, but the good news is that you will get in shape by doing the classes in addition to learning the art. So don’t let your fitness level hold you back. We help you go at the right pace, so you will improve without risk of injury.



What should I wear to my first class and what equipment will I need?
If you are brand new to the martial arts, just wear comfortable gym clothes (no metal), and there is no equipment necessary while you are just checking things out. Most people wear shorts and a t-shirt. If you have prior experience and you have your own equipment (i.e. Jiu-Jitsu uniform, boxing gloves, etc.), just bring what you have and the instructor will let you know what you will need for class that day.


If I already have my own Jiu-Jitsu uniform (Gi), do you only allow certain colors?

We allow White, Blue and Black Gi’s.


Are classes Co-Ed?

Yes, we have both males and females in all our classes.  We also have separate male and female changing rooms and restrooms for increased privacy.


Should I bring a friend?
Sometimes people feel more comfortable trying something new when they have a friend to partner up with. In addition, it’s easier to stick to a new hobby when you have a friend to help keep you motivated. However, you are welcome to come by yourself as well. With our friendly and welcoming environment you will feel at home right away and make several new friends.


Can I watch a class before participating?

Absolutely! If you feel more comfortable seeing what our classes are like before participating, feel free to come watch first. We have a sitting area with benches, water fountains, and restrooms where you can make yourself at home while observing class. On the other hand, if you would like to try class on your first visit, you are welcome to do that as well, and we will help you settle right in.


What is a typical class like?

We like to mix things up to keep it exciting, but a typical class will start off with a brief warm-up. Sometimes the warm up will be calisthenic-type movements. Other times it will be a functional warm up where we incorporate movements that will be used during the technique portion of the class. Then the bulk of the class will be spent performing techniques that the instructor demonstrates. The instructor will monitor and help you drill the moves correctly until you are able to perform them without help. Finally, the class will usually conclude with a period where you perform the same techniques but with increased intensity and potentially more resistance from your partner. This allows you to get accustomed to executing the movements against an active opponent.


Where do I park?

You can park in our parking lot attached to the building on the left hand side or there is free parking on the street directly in front of the building. To see a helpful parking map, click on this Location link.


Do you have a flexible schedule to accommodate members who juggle several things like work, school, and family obligations?

Yes, we offer several class options throughout the week. In addition, we have a variety of membership options to accommodate different schedules and budgets. After you have checked out your first FREE class, we would be happy to sit down with you and walk through these options.


Do you have a youth program?
Unfortunately, at this time we do not have a youth program. We currently provide instruction for adults only (18 and up). We hope to have a youth program at some point in the future.


What age can you start?
We have members ranging from age 18 to those in their 50’s, and all ages in between. Don’t let age hold you back from the many benefits martial arts has to offer.


What is Open Mat?

Open Mat is a time where the mat space is available for members to train anything they feel will help them improve. There is no formal instruction, but members often use the time to practice and refine techniques that they haven’t mastered yet. People are free to drill technique, hit pads/heavy bags, and spar or grapple live. This class is probably not the best place to start if you are brand new. Since there isn’t instruction it will be hard to train, not knowing what to work on. However, after receiving instruction during regular class time, open mat is a great way to get extra practice.  Once you begin attending open mat, maximize your time by coming in with an idea of what you would like to focus on. This is training with a purpose, and will help you get better faster. Also be prepared to give and take. If someone helps you drill something that you would like to work on, be sure to reciprocate and help them drill something they would like to practice. It’s teamwork! In addition, here is a helpful guide on How to Make The Most of Open Mat.


What is No-Gi and what is the attire?

No-Gi is the common term for Jiu-Jitsu without the uniform. You will utilize many of the same concepts as the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes, but the grips are different since you do not have a uniform to grab. Typical attire is shorts and a t-shirt.


What is Sparring and do I have to participate?

Sparring is a class session where people practice striking techniques live against their partners with intensity that closely mimics an actual bout. No one is required to spar, and it is completely optional. However, it is a good long term goal to progress from a foundation of fundamentals to eventually try out sparring. If you do decide to participate in sparring with the coaches’ approval, proper safety equipment is required (16 oz. gloves, shin pads, mouthpiece, groin protector, etc.).  While there is more contact and intensity in this class, it is still safe and can be done without great risk of injury.


How often should I train?
This answer is variable depending on an individual’s availability and fitness level. Like many sports, someone who practices more often, will typically improve faster. However, if you are not accustomed to this type of training or need to improve your fitness level, you might start off only training a couple days per week and then build up to more sessions as your body becomes adjusted to the new demands you’re placing on it. Also, some people might have a demanding schedule between family, work, or school. However at our gym, we help you improve at the pace that works best for your body and schedule.


Do I have to compete?

We do have members who compete in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, and Mixed Martial Arts events. However, the amount of people who compete make up a small percentage of our student body. We do feel that competition does have many positive benefits, but we also understand that it is not for everyone. Therefore, no one is ever pushed in that direction. However, if at some point you decide you would like to compete, let our instructors know and we would be glad to help you get prepared. Otherwise, we just want you to enjoy the arts without putting pressure on yourself.


How long do I need to train before competing?
This depends on a variety of things like how often you train, if you have any prior experience, etc. Also, the length of time can vary based on the sport you would like to compete in. For example, you might want to train longer before doing an MMA competition since it requires an understanding of multiple disciplines and not just one. In general your coaches will know if you are ready, so be sure to ask what they think. We want our students to have the best chance of performing well and learning from the experience, so we emphasize proper preparation.


Are private lessons available and why might someone want to do them instead of group classes?

Our instructors are available for private lessons which can accelerate your improvement significantly. Click here for more information on the benefits of private lessons.


How does the belt system work and how long does it take to get promoted?
There are fewer belts in the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu than many traditional martial arts. Adults start with a white belt which is then followed by blue, purple, brown, and then black. Within each belt color, skill is typically differentiated by stripes (or degrees). Typically a student will achieve multiple stripes on each belt before progressing to the next belt color. As far as the length of time and skill set required to achieve the next degree or belt, this varies from school to school. It also depends on a variety of factors like how often the member trains, whether they are demonstrating noticeable improvement, etc. At our academy, we take pride in helping students truly earn their rank through encouragement, technical instruction, and a positive learning environment. While many new members are concerned with how quickly they achieve the next rank, we encourage an attitude of enjoying the learning process. This approach is more beneficial in the long run because improvement becomes the main focus, and rank advancement becomes more rewarding because it is earned. Muay Thai Kickboxing does not have a belt system.


How do I get the right equipment for class?

Once you join the team you will want to have your own equipment to fully participate in the classes. For example, you will need a uniform (called a Gi) for Jiu-Jitsu, and you will likely want to get boxing gloves, hand wraps and shin guards for Muay Thai.  We have all of the needed gear available in our pro-shop at discounted prices. The great thing is that you can try on the gear to make sure it fits and avoid shipping costs. We can also help advise you on proper sizing.


Do you have showers?

We do have showers. If you decide to use them, please bring your own soap and towel and be sure to take all of your belongings with you when you are done. Also, please be respectful of others who might be waiting to use the showers and try to limit your shower time to 5-10 minutes.



How often do you clean the training area?
A clean, safe training environment is a priority to us! We vacuum and disinfect the mats every day (sometimes twice).


How do I tie my belt for Jiu-Jitsu or wrap my hands for striking?

Visit this link New Member Resourceto see tutorial videos on both of these skills.

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