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Frequently Asked Questions

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Curriculum

How does what you do differ from...
What will I learn?
How do you teach when there are different levels in a class?
I have no martial arts experience.
Do you spar or compete?
Do you grapple or teach submissions?
Will I get a workout training here?
Do you offer private classes?
I just want a short self-defense class.
Tell me about your self-defense seminars.
I see a lot about "women's self defense" - what is it?


How does what you do differ from...

You will see similarities between some of the techniques we teach and those in other styles. However, for a broad brush, here are some differences between our ju-jitsu-based curriculum and some other styles.

Aikido
Ju-jitsu is the mother art of aikido, which was created in 1931. Aikido does not generally use strikes, and also tends to be more circular than many of the techniques we use in this dojo. At our dojo, you will see some of the same joint manipulation techniques as in aikido, used as combat or restraining techniques.

Brazilian Ju-Jitsu
Brazilian Ju-Jitsu (BJJ) is primarily a ground-based system, was created in the early 20th century, and has its roots in judo. We prefer to remain standing, where we have far more options to defend ourselves, but we also recognize that fights may go to the ground, and thus also learn to defend against those attacks and get back on our feet. BJJ practitioners often compete; we do not.

Judo
Ju-jitsu is the mother art of the sport of judo, which was created in 1882. At our dojo you will learn some of the throws, joint manipulation techniques and locks also used in judo, as well as combat applications of the throws. You will also learn other controls (such as pressure points) which are not allowed in judo. Judoka often compete; we do not.

Karate
Karate is primarily a striking art. We generally use strikes to produce specific reactions in an attacker, then follow up with additional techniques or strikes. We may use finishing strikes to damage, but the strikes are not the basis of the entire technique. We also do not spar, compete, or practice board breaking.

"Mixed Martial Arts"
"Mixed Martial Arts" (MMA), which initially emerged as the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in 1993, is not a martial art but a sport, although it uses some techniques taken from various martial arts. Its roots are in Brazilian Ju-Jitsu. The focus of MMA is on fighting, while ours is on conflict avoidance when possible and self defense when necessary. As a sport, MMA has rules designed to prevent injury, and certain responses are illegal. A real-world attack has no rules, and we train to respond to attacks as necessary.

Tae Kwon Do
Tae Kwon Do is primarily a kicking art, including head-high and upper body kicks, and is competition oriented. When we use kicks we keep them low, making them harder to detect and evade, and we do not compete.