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  • What is the difference between BJJ and Karate?
    BJJ is a martial art designed to close the distance in order to control and subsequently subdue an opponent/attacker on the ground. Karate is a striking art, which focuses on punches and kicks. 73% of street altercations end up on the ground. If you are proficient in controlling an actively resisting opponent/attacker on the ground, you will have a huge advantage when defending yourself in an unpredictable street altercation.
  • I am 31 years old, am I too old to start BJJ?"
    No, you will develop your technique at your own pace and intensity. There are BJJ practioners who train into their 70's and beyond.
  • Do I have to be in good shape before I start BJJ?
    No, you will get into shape as you begin to train. There is no better time to start than NOW. We have had students lose over 50 lbs by cleaning up their diet and training weekly in BJJ.
  • What do I wear to my first practice and do I need to buy a gi?
    Eventually you will need to buy a gi but loaner gi's are available. Comfortable workout clothes are recommended for your first practice. Gi's can be purchased on Amazon, there are no limitations on color or brand while training at Sharkside. Be advised IBJJF standards dictate that a competitor only wears white/blue/black gi's while competing in their tournaments. I have personally been buying gi's from but there are many reputable gi companies.
  • Do you only train in the gi?
    At Sharkside we try and have our team comfortable training in the gi and without the gi. Our no gi/gi schedule varies. Most members find bringing their gi to all classes is the easiest way to keep up with our varying schedule.
  • How long does it take to get a black belt?
    BJJ is a martial art that requires many hours of mat work and the learning process is never ending. The average time to reach black belt level is around 10 years of dedicated training.
  • How old does my child need to be in order to train in the adult class?
    We recommend your child be 13 to begin training in the adult class.
  • What is Sharkside's Jiu-Jitsu lineage?
    Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie > Carlson Gracie > André Pederneiras > Gustavo Dantas > Brenden Richardson
  • What sort of things should I consider when choosing a school?
    Personally, when I was beginning BJJ I looked for a reputable instructor with a verifiable BJJ lineage. I also tried out a class and experienced first-hand the atmosphere at the dojo. There are many BJJ gyms in Arizona, which teach similar techniques, so the team atmosphere and the overall vibe of a team is important.
  • I am very busy with my work schedule, how much time do I need to devote to BJJ classes?"
    Most classes are around 1 hour long. There are intricate details that must be learned by experiencing first hand the balance points and subtle adjustments that make a technique effective, which can not be learned from YouTube or other social media. The more time you invest in your technique by spending time on the mats, the quicker your BJJ progression will be.
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