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Why learn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, commonly known as BJJ, is the fastest growing combat sport in the world. Focused on submission grappling, it is an effective martial art specifically designed to allow a smaller, weaker person to defend themselves against and defeat a larger, stronger opponent. Proven time and again, many are turning to BJJ for self-defense.

More than any other martial art, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is recognized worldwide as the foundation skill for the world’s most elite fighters. It is often referred to as the “human chess match,” requiring practice and intellect to utilize leverage and technique to control and force the submission of an attacker. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has defined the standard for self-defense, and redefined mixed martial arts competition.

Unlike traditional self-defense martial arts, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu does not rely on striking to be effective. This enables its practitioners to train at the highest levels of physical intensity, but do so in a very controlled environment, learning self-control and respect for their opponent. As a result, BJJ is one of the safest, most effective and engaging physical activities in practice.

Training in BJJ builds powerful bonds and strong friendships, stripping away the “meat head” ego often associated with martial arts. This allows the practitioner to break through perceived limits of their ability, truly discover their full potential, and build confidence with a positivity that affects every aspect of their life. It does so while providing an incredibly enjoyable, high intensity, full-body workout. No endless treadmills or cult fitness groups demanding you push to the point of injury.

Black Diamond BJJ offers all levels of training, with specialized classes for adults and children available at convenient training times throughout the week. We welcome you to train, learn, and transform yourself inside and out in a safe learning environment with our professional staff of Gracie black belt instructors. Are you ready to discover who you really are? Come join us for a free trial learning period, and find what you’ve been missing!

FAQ and BJJ Myths

I do not want to be an MMA fighter or wear Affliction shirts. Is BJJ still right for me?

Yes! At Black Diamond Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu we take great pride in the fact that we train people at all levels of fitness, from every walk of life: students, doctors, restaurant servers, construction workers, fighter pilots, home makers, computer programmers, etc. This power to bring people together is one of the greatest aspects of our community.

I don’t want to deal with the “tough guy” attitude.

We are welcoming of all people from all walks of life, but a toxic or aggressive attitude that doesn’t foster positivity and growth for everybody is immediately “adjusted.” At Black Diamond BJJ we’re here to learn and become better people inside and out, not throw egos around or impose dominance.

Is it safe/responsible to have my kids learn such an effective form of martial art?

Most bullying and physical violence from young adults and children (either received or given) comes from a lack of self-confidence, or reduced sense of security. By teaching kids respect for themselves and others, they are empowered to handle difficult and stressful situations with confidence and control. These skills transfer to all aspects of life, from personal relationships, sports, work, and social interactions.

There are several BJJ gyms in Reno. Why choose Black Diamond instead of one of the others?

Our philosophy is that you should join a tribe you’re comfortable with, and that is a good fit for you. Many of the BJJ and MMA gyms in Reno have great people that are our friends, and share the desire to build a Reno BJJ community atmosphere. Others are “McDojos” that have high turnover rates because the overall training experience is hollow, hostile, and often driven by greed. One great way to determine the quality of any gym is to look at the pedigree of the instructors, their achievements in BJJ, the achievements of their students, and the atmosphere and camaraderie of the gym itself. At Black Diamond, these aspects are at the heart of our core values. We welcome you to come in and experience first-hand.

My fitness level is poor, or I think I’m too overweight for BJJ.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a good fit for every body. Something that is great about BJJ is that it is scalable. The intensity can be adjusted, and we offer several variety of classes: from fundamentals for the beginner, all the way to the competition class to prepare for world level competitions. All body types, shapes and sizes benefit greatly from BJJ. The workout intensity is one of the best full-body cardio and strength training available, but you’re doing it while having so much fun, you don’t realize how great a workout you’re getting.

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Basic Principles of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

The fundamental steps of a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fight are as follows:

Closing the distance

BJJ is entirely about leverage and technique rather than brute strength. Trading punches with an opponent larger than you is a sure-fire way to get knocked out. The first step is closing the distance and getting up close with your opponent, taking away their ability to strike you with the full force of their body. To do this, the BJJ practitioner either finds or creates an opening to avoid taking damage, leading to a clinch.

Clinching and taking the fight to the ground

Once the distance has been closed and you’re up close and personal with your opponent, the objective is to use leverage and proper technique to take the fight to the ground. There is a plethora of grabs and throws to get your opponent on the ground. Because BJJ assumes your opponent is going to be bigger and stronger than you, you can use that weight difference to your advantage. Once you’re on the ground with your opponent, your next step is to achieve a dominant position.

Achieving a dominant position

After you’re on the ground, things get interesting. The objective is to position yourself in a way that renders your opponent immobile or unconscious. There are four ground positions in BJJ: guard, side control, mount, and back. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages depending on the situation. Whether you’re in a self-defense street fight or a competitive match, you want to end the fight as quickly as possible.

Finishing the fight

At this point, you’re in one of the four ground fighting positions and ready to initiate a choke or a lock. A choke works by starving the lungs and brain of oxygen or blood flow, causing your opponent to lose consciousness. Joint locks isolate a particular joint and force it to move past its normal range of motion, quickly and effectively ending a fighter either in a tap-out submission or a broken joint.