In short, no. The classes are suitable for all fitness and experience levels. Members are always encouraged to go at a pace they feel comfortable with and are welcome to skip any exercises they do not feel comfortable doing.
Yes! Your first class can be taken as a free trial to see if you enjoy it.
If you have trained BJJ before and you have your own kimono bring that with you (no problem if it has another gym’s patches on it). If you don’t have a kimono just bring suitable sports clothing. Shorts and t-shirt or leggings and compression top are standard.
BJJ is a very active sport so it is recommended that you bring some water with you.
Most of the members turn up about 10 or 15 minutes before the class starts so there is a period before the class where everyone chats. Quite a few people also use this time to do some light stretching on the mats.
Once the class starts it’s always very similarly structured. It starts with a warm up which includes some running around the dojo, drills down the mat or drills with a partner depending on the level of the class. The technique part of the class comes next. The instructor will give a detailed breakdown of a technique several times, you then practice that technique with a partner while the instructor goes around helping the students.
The final part of the class is sparring, where the students get to practice what they have learned in the classes in a live environment.
Sparring in BJJ is much safer than other martial arts such as boxing as there is no striking involved. Sparring is about improving your technique rather than about beating your opponent and there is never any intent to try to cause harm to one another.
To make sure it is as safe as possible, you can stop a sparring round at any time by “tapping” (this is where you tap the mat, tap your partner or shout “tap”). When this happens, that current spar will stop, the partners then reset and spar again.
All sparring is optional, so if you don’t feel comfortable you can opt out until you feel more confident.
One of the great things about BJJ is that the grading system is 100% performance based, so there is no exam to take and no fee to pay. You are assessed on how well you do in your everyday training and awarded a belt in a normal class rather than in a specific ceremony.
Belts in BJJ take longer than some other martial arts due to its performance-based assessment. Going from white to blue belt for example takes on average about two years. This long belt time ensures the standard of BJJ remains high.
We do not have a specific women’s only class, but we do have a small group of incredibly talented women who attend normal mixed classes. As BJJ is a non-striking based art it is perfectly safe for men and women to train and spar together.
If you are interested in training BJJ but do not wish to attend mixed classes or private classes with a male instructor please contact us, as we may be able to arrange private classes or group privates with a female instructor.
Modern BJJ is more of a sport than a specific self defence martial art. That doesn’t mean what you learn in BJJ cannot be used for self defence though. Any blue belt or above in BJJ will be able to adequately defend themselves should the need arise.
Yes, we love it when people come and visit us. If you’re just doing a lesson or two the mat fee is £10 per class, if you’re around for a longer period send us an email and we’ll arrange something that works with your schedule.
We do not have any restrictions on kimonos so feel free to wear any colour gi. Do not worry if your kimono has another gyms logo or patches on it.
The colour of the kimono does not represent anything in BJJ. There are also no kimono restrictions at Jiu-Jitsu Republic as long as it is a BJJ or Judo kimono, so feel free to get any colour you like the look of.
Traditionally though, the main colours of kimonos in BJJ are white, royal blue and black. These are the only kimonos that are competition legal so if you wish to compete at some stage in the future it is advisable to stick to these colours.
We understand that sometimes life gets in the way of your leisure time, maybe traffic was really bad today or maybe your regular work schedule means you will be late. For this reason, we allow people to come to class late. If it will be a regular thing due to a work schedule just make sure to mention it to all your instructors, so they are aware of the situation.
While being late for legitimate reasons is perfectly fine, turning up late due to trying to skip warm-ups or because you only want to do sparring is considered disrespectful and is frowned upon.