News & Articles

Here you can check news and articles about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Martial Arts. Whether you are a student, a parent of a child that trains Jiu Jitsu or just a BJJ enthusiast, there are plenty of useful information for you to read below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions image

We understand that walking into a completely new environment filled with people you have never met before can be intimidating, especially for kids. 

Here are a few common questions we receive. Please reach out to our team if your question has not been answered!


My child is being bullied at school - can Brazilian Jiu Jitsu help?

Absolutely. We strongly encourage any child who is experiencing bullying on any level to get into martial arts, particularly Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. 

By learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, children will learn how to deal with people who are bullies in a non-violent, calm manner. If necessary, they will know how to defend themselves without throwing any punches or kicks. Also, by joining Gracie Barra Shellharbour they will immediately become part of an amazing community filled with other kids just like them, experiencing similar circumstances, which ultimately helps them feel as though they are not alone and there are other kids they can be friends with. 


Will my child become aggressive by learning Martial Arts?

No, it is the exact opposite. The principles of martial arts, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu especially rest in teaching students the skills, techniques, and tactics are for self-defence only. You are never the aggressor. By learning these skills, children often become more calm and confident. They develop patience, understanding, and tolerance. 


Is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu similar to other martial arts, such as Karate, Judo, boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai and Wrestling?

There are elements of some martial arts such as Judo and Wrestling which are found in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. These martial arts are often seen in the beginning of a match where the fighters are looking to take down their opponent. Once it is on the ground, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is unlike any other martial arts. The fighters use grappling to gain advantageous positions to secure submissions. 


My child has a disability - can martial arts help?

Yes! Whether your child lives with a physical or mental disability, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can definitely help in more ways than one. They will develop motor skills, self-confidence, and be embraced with love by an incredible community completely free of any judgement. 


My child is not athletic - will they feel left out?

Nope! Not every student who joins us at Gracie Barra Shellharbour is fit from the start. Many people join us as a fun way to become more athletic, coordinated and fit. While they may experience challenges related to their fitness, we encourage students to take breaks when needed, but to also keep pushing when they can  so they can develop this fitness. 


When can my child participate in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitions?

When they feel confident! Competitions are a great way to measure progress, challenge themselves, and meet other members of the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu community outside of their own training facility. Our coaches will be able to take you through this process.


How often should my child attend BJJ classes?

Children’s brains are incredibly plastic. This means they are able to pick up and learn new skills incredibly quickly. Our kids program is based on a twice a week attendance - this consistency will allow children to see great progress very quickly and this will help build their confidence, fitness, and overall abilities. 

In addition to that, Jiu Jitsu is a sport with a belt system in place and kids will be awarded new stripes and belts along their journey. This is a great way for the little ones to be able to visualise how far they are going and work towards their goals. 


Can parents watch the class?

Yes! We strongly encourage parents to hang around and watch their kids roll on the mat. Watching your child grow, develop skills, and become more confident in themselves is a beautiful thing. So if you have the time, we highly advise watching the class. 


Will my child think about quitting at some point?

Very likely. This is important to be aware of. Remember this -  nothing worth having comes easy. Your child will undoubtedly face adversity and many challenges along their training timeline. This is natural and in fact, expected. It is important to do our best as parents to positively reinforce our children in this situation and encourage them to continue with their Brazilian Jiu Jitsu journey. When they feel like quitting and giving up is often just before a big break through is about to happen. Helping them persist in this situation and continue training will help them achieve incredible amounts of progress in terms of physical skills and abilities, and more importantly, it will teach them to battle through challenging moments, build resilience and preserve. 



Will I get hurt by BJJ training?

As a non-violent martial art, students of Gracie Barra Shellharbour can head into each class knowing their safety is of the most importance. We begin each class with warm-up drills and stretches so our students are ready to hit the mat and learn technique principles from our instructors. While training, we treat our training partner's safety as if it’s our own, giving us the ability to train hard without the fear of being hurt.


Will I think about quitting?

Yes. This is completely normal and the majority of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu students will consider quitting at least once if not more during their training career. What separates the good from the great, those that see real results in mind, body, and spirit and those that don’t is the individual’s ability to persist. To overcome challenges and look adversity right in the face and say ‘I will not let this stop me’. It is on the other side of challenge, fear, and intimidation that tremendous results lie.


How long does it take to progress in Jiu JItsu?

As with anything, the more you practise the better you get. How quickly you progress through the BJJ ranks will be determined by how consistently you are able to train. This does not mean training once or twice per week is ineffective. In fact, the person who comes to a class once a week, every week, will make far more progress than the student that comes to classes three or four times in a week once a month. Be consistent, show up for yourself and you will find yourself making incredible amounts of progress. 


How often should I come to class?

As often as your life allows. We all have other things going on in life and as much as we would like to, we may not be able to spend all our time on the mat. Consistency is the biggest key. Once per week, every week, will be better than two or three classes in a week here and there. 

For  best results, the more often the better, however for a sustainable training career we recommend trying to get to a class at least twice per week. 


Can I train in other Gracie Barra schools around the world?

Yes! This is another great benefit about being a member of Gracie Barra. Whether you travel specifically to train at all different Gracie Barra academies around the world, or just pop into a gym on vacation there is a mat for you to roll on. 


How is BJJ different from other martial arts?

The most noticeable difference Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has in comparison to other martial arts is there is no striking involved. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has a very strong emphasis on technique versus overbearing strength. By utilising precise technique, a much smaller opponent can achieve victory over someone larger than them. 


Is BJJ similar to MMA, like I see on UFC? 

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is one very important part of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts). Many MMA fights are seen on UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) these days. MMA involves a variety of other martial arts including Wrestling, Boxing, Kickboxing, Judo, Tae Kwon Do, Muay Thai, Karate, and more! When an MMA fight gets taken to the ground, this is where fighters’ BJJ skills are put to the test.