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Jiu-Jitsu was popularized by the Gracie family of Brazil, and initially brought to America as Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. 4th Degree Rickson Gracie Black Belt Professor Dave Kama and his black belts teach Gracie Jiu-Jitsu as taught by 8th Degree Master Rickson Gracie. This is important because, as time progresses, jiu-jitsu has become two separate arts as the sportive side of the art develops. In other words, a person might have a drastically different experience between any two given schools, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu vs. the more sportive (and much more popular) Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Yes and no. When practiced safely, meaning people apply maneuvers in a measured fashion during training, and when the practitioner on the receiving side knows when to “tap” (submit) it’s as safe as any other contact sport. However, this is a martial art that was refined by actual combat, unlike many more popular martial arts which are effectively choreographed movements. So, the capacity is there to cause great harm and therefore it should be practiced with caution, without ego, and under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. Injuries are not common in our schools due to our teaching methodology, specific body conditioning, graduated warmup session, and active supervision.

Almost everyone! That is the great thing about this art. It was adapted from Judo for the purpose of increasing combat effectiveness without as much reliance upon strength and athleticism. Of course, those factors will always matter, all things being equal. However, technique is a great equalizer and something that any dedicated practitioner can improve upon, ultimately making themselves much safer in a self defense situation and much more effective at the art in a more casual training situation. Professor Ryan, for example, is 5’5″ and 150lbs, yet is almost completely un-intimidated by the size of others because he routinely demonstrates superior technique routinely submitting bigger, stronger opponents. For a more popular example in modern jiu-jitsu culture, see Marcelo Garcia. For a more realistic combat oriented example, watch Royce Gracie in the early days of UFC before weight classes, rounds, and most of the existing rules.  You can also see many examples of female grapplers submitting male opponents on YouTube, and we encourage you to search for those.

He’s better. Suffice it to say, he was, in our experience, the best jiu-jitsu fighter ever, an absolutely incredible grappler and fighter. Any and all who have trained with him will attest to the fact that it is always a mind-blowing experience. Those who say and feel the past or current crop of “world champions” are the best ever have never experienced training with Rickson. ALL of Kama Jiu-Jitsu’s black belts have been students of Master Rickson at one time or another and have had a wealth of experience training with other high level practitioners, including other Gracie Family members. Rickson (and Prof Dave) are head and shoulders above all others.

“Invisible Jiu-Jitsu” is much more difficult to teach than other variants of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, or BJJ. While BJJ is typically taught in sequences that place a high importance on grips, Kama Jiu-Jitsu involves specific angles, weight placement, and “feel” positions that cannot be taught visually; they must be taught kinesthetically (by touch/feel). This is impossible to do in a setting where we have a group class where an instructor teaches dozens of students at a time. As a result, our schools are much smaller, relative to other surrounding schools. That was also the case when Rickson was running his schools in West L.A., and is also the case with his son Kron Gracie’s school, as well. We could easily go the route of charging a low monthly rate to attract a ton of members. But if we did that, no one would get the full experience of Kama Jiu-Jitsu, which would be a disservice to every one of our members.

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