Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Pink Belt?

In most martial arts systems, awarding belts is the traditional way to acknowledge progress and accomplishment. With the development of the Gracie Women Empowered program, the course featured so many unique strategies, objectives, techniques, and psychology tailored to a special set of circumstances, that the standard Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu belt system did not apply. So, we decided to add an entirely new belt, and since pink was one of the only colors not used in the existing BJJ belt system, we introduced the Women Empowered Pink Belt! It not only symbolizes dedication to the techniques of the program, but also an understanding of the philosophy that is essential for survival in life-threatening scenarios. We hope that this reflexive understanding of both the philosophy and techniques will instill a confidence in women that reduces their risk of ever becoming a target in the first place. Since the program was created we have watched women dedicate countless hours to earning their pink belt, and with every pink belt earned, the value and prestige of this belt has become undeniable.

What is the Pink Belt?

In most martial arts systems, awarding belts is the traditional way to acknowledge progress and accomplishment. With the development of the Gracie Women Empowered program, the course featured so many unique strategies, objectives, techniques, and psychology tailored to a special set of circumstances, that the standard Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu belt system did not apply. So, we decided to add an entirely new belt, and since pink was one of the only colors not used in the existing BJJ belt system, we introduced the Women Empowered Pink Belt! It not only symbolizes dedication to the techniques of the program, but also an understanding of the philosophy that is essential for survival in life-threatening scenarios. We hope that this reflexive understanding of both the philosophy and techniques will instill a confidence in women that reduces their risk of ever becoming a target in the first place. Since the program was created we have watched women dedicate countless hours to earning their pink belt, and with every pink belt earned, the value and prestige of this belt has become undeniable.

What is the Empowerment Mindset?

Beyond the physical techniques, Women Empowered also reinforces awareness principles, risk assessment, and verbal and psychological strategies a woman can use to set safe boundaries with others – even if the perpetrator is someone she knows. At the core of this mindset is the belief that we are worth defending!

What is the Empowerment Mindset?

Beyond the physical techniques, Women Empowered also reinforces awareness principles, risk assessment, and verbal and psychological strategies a woman can use to set safe boundaries with others – even if the perpetrator is someone she knows. At the core of this mindset is the belief that we are worth defending!

What will I learn in the Women Empowered® program?

Law enforcement officials and survivors of sexual assault helped us identify the 20 most common attack strategies that a male assailant is likely to use on a woman. From hair-grabs and choke-holds, to bear hugs and weapon defenses, the Women Empowered program covers it all.

What will I learn in the Women Empowered® program?

Law enforcement officials and survivors of sexual assault helped us identify the 20 most common attack strategies that a male assailant is likely to use on a woman. From hair-grabs and choke-holds, to bear hugs and weapon defenses, the Women Empowered program covers it all.

What is the Women Empowered® program?

Women Empowered is the official Gracie self-defense program for women based on the techniques of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ). In this 15-lesson program, we will teach you how to neutralize the 20 most common attacks ranging from having your hair grabbed to being pinned to the ground by a weapon-bearing assailant. Each one-hour Women Empowered lesson addresses two techniques. You can start the program at any time and participate in any class without previous experience. Unlike most self-defense systems that rely heavily on strength, speed, and coordination, the techniques in the Women Empowered program employ leverage, technique, and timing, so anyone, regardless of age or athletic ability, can make them work against larger opponents. Once you complete the Women Empowered program, you may test for promotion to pink belt!

Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is the perfect self-defense system for women, but only if it is taught correctly. If you’re unsure about learning BJJ for fear of injury, embarrassment, or any other reason, then the Women Empowered program is perfect for you! If you’ve tried BJJ at another school and had a negative experience, give Women Empowered a chance, and we guarantee it will win you back to the mat!

What is the Women Empowered® program?

Women Empowered is the official Gracie self-defense program for women based on the techniques of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ). In this 15-lesson program, we will teach you how to neutralize the 20 most common attacks ranging from having your hair grabbed to being pinned to the ground by a weapon-bearing assailant. Each one-hour Women Empowered lesson addresses two techniques. You can start the program at any time and participate in any class without previous experience. Unlike most self-defense systems that rely heavily on strength, speed, and coordination, the techniques in the Women Empowered program employ leverage, technique, and timing, so anyone, regardless of age or athletic ability, can make them work against larger opponents. Once you complete the Women Empowered program, you may test for promotion to pink belt!

Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is the perfect self-defense system for women, but only if it is taught correctly. If you’re unsure about learning BJJ for fear of injury, embarrassment, or any other reason, then the Women Empowered program is perfect for you! If you’ve tried BJJ at another school and had a negative experience, give Women Empowered a chance, and we guarantee it will win you back to the mat!

What are the three steps of the Gracie Combatives® program?

Step 1: Learn the Techniques
We have divided the 36 Gracie Combatives techniques into 23 one-hour classes so that you can complete the course at your own pace. We designed each lesson so that you can start at any point in the course. As a result, you can complete the 23 lessons in any order without feeling overwhelmed or confused. Upon enrolling, we will issue you a Gracie Combatives attendance card on which we will track your progress every step of the way.

Step 2: Develop Your Reflexes
Once you complete each of the 23 Gracie Combatives lessons twice, you will qualify to participate in the Reflex Development (RD) Classes where you will learn how to combine the 36 techniques to address the most common occurrences in a real fight.

Step 3: Earn Your Gracie Combatives Belt
Once you complete each of the Gracie Combatives lessons three times, and you’ve completed at least 12 Reflex Development Classes, you are eligible to test for your Gracie Combatives belt! We will administer a 25-minute test to assess your ability to execute the 36 essential techniques individually and in combination. If your reflexes are sharp and your performance meets Gracie University standards, you will qualify for promotion, and you will be ready to transition into our advanced program, the Master Cycle.

What are the three steps of the Gracie Combatives® program?

Step 1: Learn the Techniques
We have divided the 36 Gracie Combatives techniques into 23 one-hour classes so that you can complete the course at your own pace. We designed each lesson so that you can start at any point in the course. As a result, you can complete the 23 lessons in any order without feeling overwhelmed or confused. Upon enrolling, we will issue you a Gracie Combatives attendance card on which we will track your progress every step of the way.

Step 2: Develop Your Reflexes
Once you complete each of the 23 Gracie Combatives lessons twice, you will qualify to participate in the Reflex Development (RD) Classes where you will learn how to combine the 36 techniques to address the most common occurrences in a real fight.

Step 3: Earn Your Gracie Combatives Belt
Once you complete each of the Gracie Combatives lessons three times, and you’ve completed at least 12 Reflex Development Classes, you are eligible to test for your Gracie Combatives belt! We will administer a 25-minute test to assess your ability to execute the 36 essential techniques individually and in combination. If your reflexes are sharp and your performance meets Gracie University standards, you will qualify for promotion, and you will be ready to transition into our advanced program, the Master Cycle.

What is the philosophy behind the 36 essential techniques of the Gracie Combatives® program?

Although the art of jiu-jitsu consists of over 600 techniques, studies of real fights conducted by members of the Gracie Family have shown that 36 techniques have been used more often and with greater success than all the other techniques combined. Originally developed for the U.S. Army, Gracie Combatives is the only course that is entirely dedicated to the mastery of these 36 essential techniques. You need absolutely no experience to start this program. Our instructors conduct all classes in a cooperative training environment and are committed to ensuring that every new student has an informative, enjoyable experience regardless of age, gender, or athletic ability.

What is the philosophy behind the 36 essential techniques of the Gracie Combatives® program?

Although the art of jiu-jitsu consists of over 600 techniques, studies of real fights conducted by members of the Gracie Family have shown that 36 techniques have been used more often and with greater success than all the other techniques combined. Originally developed for the U.S. Army, Gracie Combatives is the only course that is entirely dedicated to the mastery of these 36 essential techniques. You need absolutely no experience to start this program. Our instructors conduct all classes in a cooperative training environment and are committed to ensuring that every new student has an informative, enjoyable experience regardless of age, gender, or athletic ability.

What is the Gracie Combatives® program?

Gracie Combatives is our beginner program for adults. In this program, you will learn the 36 core techniques of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in a fun, safe, and cooperative environment. Each one-hour lesson addresses one standing and one ground self-defense technique, which are further broken down into simplified drills or “slices” to facilitate the learning process. You can start the program at any time and participate in any class without previous experience and, since safety is our number one concern, there is no competitive sparring in this program. Upon successful completion of the Gracie Combatives program you will earn your Gracie Combatives Belt which will qualify you for advancement into the Master Cycle program.

What is the Gracie Combatives® program?

Gracie Combatives is our beginner program for adults. In this program, you will learn the 36 core techniques of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in a fun, safe, and cooperative environment. Each one-hour lesson addresses one standing and one ground self-defense technique, which are further broken down into simplified drills or “slices” to facilitate the learning process. You can start the program at any time and participate in any class without previous experience and, since safety is our number one concern, there is no competitive sparring in this program. Upon successful completion of the Gracie Combatives program you will earn your Gracie Combatives Belt which will qualify you for advancement into the Master Cycle program.

Is Gracie Bullyproof® separated by age and experience level?

The Gracie Bullyproof program is one of the only youth jiu-jitsu programs that separates kids by age AND experience level, so that every child gets the perfect balance of fun and challenge in their weekly classes. All kids begin in super-playful entry level programs for their age group, and as soon as a child reaches a certain level of maturity, they are promoted to the next training program.

Little Champs (5-7 Years Old)
The Little Champs program is for kids 5-7 years old (we offer private lessons for children ages 3-4). Using our time-tested “Gracie Games,” we teach the Little Champs basic self-defense techniques while instilling the foundational principles of leverage and control. The secret to the success of this program is that we make the lessons so fun that the kids beg for more! Once a child masters all ten Gracie Games, they advance to the Jr. Grapplers program.

Jr. Grapplers (8-12 Years Old)
In the Jr. Grapplers program, we focus on 33 non-violent self-defense techniques that teach children to “neutralize and negotiate” with the bullies. Verbal assertiveness strategies are a major portion of this curriculum. A child needs absolutely no experience to start, and we guarantee a noticeable increase in your child’s confidence within a few weeks!

Black Belt Club (Invitation Only)
We invite children who excel in the Jr. Grapplers program to join the Black Belt Club. This is our most advanced youth jiu-jitsu program and joining the Black Belt Club is the highest honor for any youth Gracie Jiu-Jitsu practitioner. Kids in this program possess all the traits necessary for success on the path to black belt: discipline, respect, courage, leadership, loyalty, and compassion.

Is Gracie Bullyproof® separated by age and experience level?

The Gracie Bullyproof program is one of the only youth jiu-jitsu programs that separates kids by age AND experience level, so that every child gets the perfect balance of fun and challenge in their weekly classes. All kids begin in super-playful entry level programs for their age group, and as soon as a child reaches a certain level of maturity, they are promoted to the next training program.

Little Champs (5-7 Years Old)
The Little Champs program is for kids 5-7 years old (we offer private lessons for children ages 3-4). Using our time-tested “Gracie Games,” we teach the Little Champs basic self-defense techniques while instilling the foundational principles of leverage and control. The secret to the success of this program is that we make the lessons so fun that the kids beg for more! Once a child masters all ten Gracie Games, they advance to the Jr. Grapplers program.

Jr. Grapplers (8-12 Years Old)
In the Jr. Grapplers program, we focus on 33 non-violent self-defense techniques that teach children to “neutralize and negotiate” with the bullies. Verbal assertiveness strategies are a major portion of this curriculum. A child needs absolutely no experience to start, and we guarantee a noticeable increase in your child’s confidence within a few weeks!

Black Belt Club (Invitation Only)
We invite children who excel in the Jr. Grapplers program to join the Black Belt Club. This is our most advanced youth jiu-jitsu program and joining the Black Belt Club is the highest honor for any youth Gracie Jiu-Jitsu practitioner. Kids in this program possess all the traits necessary for success on the path to black belt: discipline, respect, courage, leadership, loyalty, and compassion.

What is Gracie Bullyproof® and how is it different from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) and other martial arts programs for kids?

Every month in the United States, three million children miss school due to fear of bullies. In the Gracie Bullyproof program, our goal is to instill your child with unshakable confidence so they can overcome bullies without violence. Due to the non-violent nature of the techniques, CNNABCNBC, and Oprah have featured the Gracie Bullyproof program as one of the few effective counter-measures to bullying for children between the ages of 5 and 12.

We will teach your child to use verbal assertiveness to deter bullies and several non-violent self-defense techniques to stay safe if physically assaulted. Importantly, we don’t teach how to punch or kick, since this often does more harm than good. Instead, we use leverage-based control holds to neutralize threats without violence. Numerous school districts have embraced the defensive nature of the Gracie Bullyproof techniques as a reasonable, nonviolent response to bullying and some even host Gracie Bullyproof classes on campus! The bottom line is: we will prepare your child to defend themselves against bullies without turning them into one.

If you’re interested in instilling your child with unshakable confidence while reinforcing positive values and good character, the Gracie Bullyproof program is for you! Even if your child has previously tried Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) and had a negative experience, we can assure you that they will absolutely love the Gracie Bullyproof program!

What is Gracie Bullyproof® and how is it different from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) and other martial arts programs for kids?

Every month in the United States, three million children miss school due to fear of bullies. In the Gracie Bullyproof program, our goal is to instill your child with unshakable confidence so they can overcome bullies without violence. Due to the non-violent nature of the techniques, CNNABCNBC, and Oprah have featured the Gracie Bullyproof program as one of the few effective counter-measures to bullying for children between the ages of 5 and 12.

We will teach your child to use verbal assertiveness to deter bullies and several non-violent self-defense techniques to stay safe if physically assaulted. Importantly, we don’t teach how to punch or kick, since this often does more harm than good. Instead, we use leverage-based control holds to neutralize threats without violence. Numerous school districts have embraced the defensive nature of the Gracie Bullyproof techniques as a reasonable, nonviolent response to bullying and some even host Gracie Bullyproof classes on campus! The bottom line is: we will prepare your child to defend themselves against bullies without turning them into one.

If you’re interested in instilling your child with unshakable confidence while reinforcing positive values and good character, the Gracie Bullyproof program is for you! Even if your child has previously tried Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) and had a negative experience, we can assure you that they will absolutely love the Gracie Bullyproof program!

A local jiu-jitsu instructor claims to be trained by the Gracies. How do I know if he is legitimate?

Many instructors claim to be affiliated with the Gracie Family when they actually are not. In order to preserve the integrity of the system, a school can only be accredited by Gracie University after one or more of their instructors have complete our rigorous Instructor Certification Program. Click here to see the complete list of Gracie University Certified Training Centers.

A local jiu-jitsu instructor claims to be trained by the Gracies. How do I know if he is legitimate?

Many instructors claim to be affiliated with the Gracie Family when they actually are not. In order to preserve the integrity of the system, a school can only be accredited by Gracie University after one or more of their instructors have complete our rigorous Instructor Certification Program. Click here to see the complete list of Gracie University Certified Training Centers.

Where can I learn about the Gracie Diet?

According to Rorion Gracie, the Gracie Diet is more important to him than jiu-jitsu. If you’re interested in learning more about the family diet or you’d like to order the Gracie Diet book, please visit www.GracieDiet.com.

Where can I learn about the Gracie Diet?

According to Rorion Gracie, the Gracie Diet is more important to him than jiu-jitsu. If you’re interested in learning more about the family diet or you’d like to order the Gracie Diet book, please visit www.GracieDiet.com.

How long does it take to reach blue/purple/brown/black belt?

The time it takes to progress through the rankings relies more on your training philosophy than anything else, and because of this, it varies greatly from person to person. Generally speaking it takes approximately 8-12 months to earn the Gracie Combatives belt, another 6-12 months for blue belt, and then 3-4 years for each belt after blue. Altogether, it will take anywhere from 8-14 years for you to reach black belt. In future Gracie Philosophy sessions, the Gracie Brothers will discuss the exact philosophy/mindset that you must adopt in order to maximize your training sessions and minimize the time it takes to master the art.

How long does it take to reach blue/purple/brown/black belt?

The time it takes to progress through the rankings relies more on your training philosophy than anything else, and because of this, it varies greatly from person to person. Generally speaking it takes approximately 8-12 months to earn the Gracie Combatives belt, another 6-12 months for blue belt, and then 3-4 years for each belt after blue. Altogether, it will take anywhere from 8-14 years for you to reach black belt. In future Gracie Philosophy sessions, the Gracie Brothers will discuss the exact philosophy/mindset that you must adopt in order to maximize your training sessions and minimize the time it takes to master the art.

How many techniques are there for each belt?

Altogether, there are over 600 techniques that you will need to master to be considered for promotion to black belt. The first step is to perfect the 36 techniques that are covered in the Gracie Combatives course. From there, you will work on your blue belt, and then move on to purple, brown, and black. You must be at least 14 years of age to test for Gracie Combatives belt and at least 16 years of age to test for blue belt.
 

How many techniques are there for each belt?

Altogether, there are over 600 techniques that you will need to master to be considered for promotion to black belt. The first step is to perfect the 36 techniques that are covered in the Gracie Combatives course. From there, you will work on your blue belt, and then move on to purple, brown, and black. You must be at least 14 years of age to test for Gracie Combatives belt and at least 16 years of age to test for blue belt.

 


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