New to Jiu Jitsu
Curious what happens at a jiu jitsu academy? If you would fit it? How it would benefit you? Want to know how to get started? Click the links below to learn more.
What is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a sport, self-defense system, and a fitness program. It has proven to be the most practical and effective self-defense system in the world. It relies on leverage and technique, rather than strength and size. This allows you to defend yourself against much bigger, stronger attackers. As a result, BJJ is a great sport for everyone – including women and kids.
It is one of the fastest growing martial arts, due (in part) to its great success in the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) and Mixed Martial Arts in general. BJJ focuses on grappling and ground fighting with the goal of getting into a position to force an attacker or opponent to submit or give up.
BJJ is also an intense, aerobic and anaerobic workout so your overall health and fitness will improve, including your flexibility, strength, cardiovascular fitness, ability to burn fat, and muscular endurance.
Benefits of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Although many people start jiu jitsu to learn self defense, they quickly learn that it is an addictive sport full of physical & mental benefits. You may find that you sleep more soundly, focus better at work/school, accomplish more of your goals, and have a more optimistic outlook on life. People who regularly practice jiu jitsu cite several common changes:
- Improved Confidence
- Rapid Weight/Fat Loss
- More Energy
- Less Stress
- Better Focus at work/school
- Deeper Sleep
- Enhanced Athleticism (strength, flexibility, balance, coordination, condition, muscle tone)
- Better Attitude & Overall Happiness
- Healthier Lifestyle
Why Lucas Lepri & Alliance
Our mission is to bring world-class instruction and passion for jiu jitsu to inspire people to be their best selves. We believe jiu jitsu is more than just a sport, self-defense system, or fitness program; it’s a lifestyle that improves the whole person. The physical, mental, and transcendent benefits of jiu jitsu should be accessible to everyone, from beginner to world-class competitor and any age, sex, or ethnicity.
Lucas Lepri, is one of the most decorated jiu jitsu competitors in the world, and as an instructor, has a long track record of producing champions, both on and off the mats.
History of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
by Adam Benshea
In 1914, Esai Maeda, also known as “Count Koma,” arrived in Brazil to establish a Japanese immigration colony. Maeda was aided in his quest by a Brazilian scholar of Scottish heritage, Gastao Gracie. Maeda was no ordinary immigrant; he was a direct pupil of the founder of Judo, Jigaro Kano. Further, Maeda was a master of both Judo and Japanese Jiu-Jitsu.
To repay Gastao’s kindness, Maeda taught Gastao’s oldest son, Carlos, the arts of Judo and Jiu-Jitsu. In turn, Carlos then taught the art to three of his four brothers: Oswaldo, Gastao, and George. And in 1925, the first Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy was opened in Rio de Janeiro.
The fourth brother, Helio, was a frail young man, weighing only 135 pounds. Therefore, he was not included in the original instruction. However, he watched attentively from the side of the mat. One day when the other brothers failed to show up to teach class, Helio provided instruction based on his modified versions of the Jiu-Jitsu techniques. Helio focused on using leverage, rather than strength, to apply the techniques.
The concept of techniques based on leverage, not strength, became the essential principle of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, or BJJ. To prove the effectiveness of their art, the Gracies followed in the tradition of Maeda and provided an open challenge to anyone who doubted the applicability of BJJ in a real fight. These challenges, known as “Vale Tudo” (Portuguese for “anything goes”) matches, manifested themselves in a manner of combat that is the precursor to today’s MMA.
The Founding of the Ultimate Fighting Championship
The Gracies’ fame quickly grew as a result of their success of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in the Open Challenge matches; so much so, that the Gracie family wanted a larger stage to showcase the efficiency of their family’s art.
In 1993, Helio’s eldest son, Rorion, along with Art Davie, held the first Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in the USA in Denver, Colorado. As a means to exhibit the effectiveness of the art, and not the practitioner, the rather meek-looking Royce Gracie was chosen to represent the family. To the surprise of many viewers, Royce won three of the first four UFCs, and in the process defeated opponents up to 80 pounds heavier than he was.
The advent of the UFC and the success of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu caused many martial practitioners to question long-held assumptions about the effectiveness of their martial art in a realistic combat situation.
After the initial UFCs, there was a surge in the martial world toward learning Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as BJJ dominated the initial MMA and No Holds Barred (NHB) shows in North America, Brazil, Japan and Russia. But over time, the image of the BJJ fighter as the constant victor in MMA shows diminished, as the hybrid style of the MMA fighter emerged.
Nonetheless, the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu remains a crucial component of the skills training for any successful MMA fighter. In particular, the majority of ground positions and submissions commonly encountered in an MMA fight have their origins in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
In competition, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu match may last anywhere from five to ten minutes, based on the age and rank of the competitors. Recently, BJJ practice and competition has become divided between two forms of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: gi and no-gi. The primary difference separating the two forms of BJJ is based on whether the practitioners are wearing the traditional martial arts uniform (gi).
No-gi BJJ is characterized by a looser and faster style of “rolling” or live sparring. In addition, the no-gi style of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu corresponds more directly with mixed martial arts. While there does exist slight modifications in the techniques one applies to gi or no-gi, the conceptual ideas in BJJ remain constant.
Every new student at Lepri Jiu Jitsu receives 3 orientation lessons to begin your jiu jitsu journey. These orientation lessons are essentially private or semi-private lessons designed to maximize your jiu jitsu experience.
For those new to the sport, they introduce you to the most important concepts of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to help you develop a solid foundation. They cover the basics in a way that will make your journey in the sport easier, safer, and your development faster.
The orientation lessons occur during the Fundamentals classes (see schedule). They are taught individually or in small groups and generally last 30-60 minutes. Regardless of your age, fitness level, or experience in the sport, it will help provide an easy transition & maximize your development and success in the sport. After completing the 3 introduction/orientation classes, you will migrate into the Fundamentals class. Learn more about our Fundamentals class here.
Our orientation classes are FREE and only available for Charlotte area residents. They are available whenever a Fundamentals class is scheduled. Click Here and Sign Up for a FREE Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Class.