A Little Background About Classes
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu taught in the classical way, with a kimono, commonly known as a gi. In this class, Professor Marcelo teaches students the same Jiu-Jitsu he learned at team Nova Uniao in Brazil, and the same way that Jiu-Jitsu was introduced to the Gracie family by the Japanese judo masters.
Students learn takedowns, guard positions, sweeps, escapes, submissions and other fundamentals of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. In general, classes start with a conditioning warmup. Then Professor Pereira will demonstrate a specific technique, and usually a few additional techniques and counters that flow from the original.
After drilling the techniques, students will spar with each other under the supervision of Professor Pereira. During sparring, students will have the chance to compete with other students and try out their techniques and skill.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu without a gi (no-gi)
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu without a gi, or “no-gi” is derived from traditional BJJ but students drill and train without a kimono. Some people call no-gi Jiu-Jitsu without handles because this style of training doesn’t allow the same grips and holding areas that the lapel, pants-legs and sleeves of a gi do. However, it’s also common knowledge that skills learned in gi class translate very well to no gi. Most Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners who are well versed at gi also have very strong skills when they take off the kimono. This is not true the other way around, usually.
No gi Jiu-Jitsu has been around a long time as well and there is a great tradition to no-gi training. Vale Tude fights in Brazil were fought without a gi, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu players who fought in these no holds barred competitions trained without the gi. Today’s very popular Ultimate Fighting Championship was created by Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu players, and most fighters today train very extensively without a gi.
Mixed Martial Arts Classes
In addition to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with a gi and without, Team Marcelo Pereira students also attend Marcelo’s MMA classes. Mixed martial arts is one of the fastest growing sports in the world, and Professor Marcelo has been involved and associated with its growth since the beginning.
Available to advance students only, or those who test out with Marcelo, MMA classes involve combining the arts of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, wrestling, Muay Thai, Judo and other arts to create a combined fighting style that is prevalent in organizations such as the UFC.
Professor Pereira started training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu when he was seven years old. In addition, his first coaches Wendell Alexander and Andre Pederneiras both ran top ranked junior teams in Brazil. Marcelo is very familiar with how to best teach kids the art of Jiu-Jitsu and other qualities that will take them far in life: respect, committment and a value of physical fitness.
We offer kid’s classes in Naples on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings at 6pm.
A Word about the BJJ Belt System and Advancement
Like most traditional martial arts, there is a belt system in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Beginning students always start at the white belt level. From there, for adults, the first belt promotion will be to blue (Students under 16 years work towards intermediate belts before they reach eligibility). Unlike traditional arts like Karate, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is very conservative about advancement. It takes an average of 1 year to advance to blue. This gives belt promotions in BJJ a great deal of personal value to students.
The International Brazilian Jiu-Jisu Federation has required minimum times before a student can be promoted to the next belt. However in certain cases a student might be promoted more quickly. However, this is a very rare event. In general, the journey through the belt system is one made in small increments. This gives Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and its students, a very special quality. It reinforces the journey rather than the destination, and it develops the quality of determination and dedication.
Earning the prestigious and hard won Black Belt requires thousands of hours of mat time and training. There is no hard estimate of how long it takes, because each case is different, but on average it takes about ten years of training several hours a week.
There is also no standardized curriculum to advance in BJJ. Professors typically promote based on the methods and traditions of the Sensei that promoted them. However, in all cases, each promotion takes place only after the student demonstrates a tremendous amount of skill, dedication and individual proficiency.