gracie botany faq

General FAQ

How fit do I need to be to train Jiu-Jitsu?

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is appropriate for people of all fitness levels. Training BJJ will also improve your fitness drastically. Saying “I need to get fit before I start martial arts” is like saying “I need to get flexible before I start going to yoga.”

Do I need previous martial art experience?


Am I too old to start Jiu-Jitsu?

No. Jiu-Jitsu is appropriate for people of all ages, as training can be modified to suit the student. Helio Gracie, the founder of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, trained until he was 94.

Can you start Jiu-Jitsu at any age?

Yes, as long as you’re older than 3.

Do you have Women Only BJJ Classes?

Yes, Friday 5.15pm. It’s a 45-minute class that’s exclusive to our female members. It’s great for both beginners and advanced BJJ practitioners.

Do you have female members?

Yes, many!

I am a female, do I have to train Jiu-Jitsu with men?

This is a personal decision. We recommend doing so, but your comfort is our first priority. Know that you can opt to only train with women until you feel comfortable sparring with men.

What is the right age for kids to start Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

It depends on your child. We have two classes for kids: Tots, for 3-to-5 year olds, or kids and teens for those aged between 6 and 15. Tots focuses on Jiu-Jitsu movements, and features games and drills that improve coordination and confidence. The next group, from 6-15, is where kids begin to learn BJJ techniques and begin sparring with each other.

Do I have to be strong to train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

No. Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art that prizes timing, technique and strategy over strength and power.

What if I am currently injured?

It depends on your injury. Some injuries can be worked around in class, for instance by drilling techniques and not participating in sparring. More serious injuries will benefit from complete rest. Confer with our coaches over what’s right for you.

What do I need to bring to my first Jiu-Jitsu class?

You’ll need to bring footwear, a Gi and a belt. (We’ll provide you with the Gi and belt during Trial Classes.) The footwear is to be worn at all times in the change room and bathrooms. We also recommend bringing a water bottle to hydrate, but we do have a water fountain and drinks for sale too.

Do I need any protective equipment to train BJJ?

No. You can wear a mouthguard and a headguard if you’re feeling cautious, but it’s not required.

Where do I buy my Gi?

We sell Gis, rash guards and belts at our reception area. Our gis come pre-patched!

I have a BJJ Gi but there are other club patches on them. Is this OK?

This is perfectly fine for your first few visits. However, we do encourage members to have a Gracie Jiu-Jitsu patch on their Gis.

Do you welcome students from other academies?

Yes, we love having visitors from around Australia and the world!

How often should I train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

This is up to you. We recommend between 2 and 5 times a week. If your circumstances mean you can only train once a week, once is better than none!

How long does it take to grade?

There is no general answer to this question. Factors like natural talent, training frequency and dedication make it different for every student.

How long does it take to get a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu blue belt?

With the proviso that, as noted above, it’s different for every student, dedicated students can expect to get their blue belt between 18 and 36 months.

How long does it take to get a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt?

A very long time. It usually takes between 10 and 15 years to get a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. More than any other martial art, BJJ is a marathon rather than a sprint.

Which BJJ classes are suitable for beginners?

At Gracie Botany we have White Belt Only classes specifically designed for beginners, where you’ll learn techniques at a slower pace. Once you feel comfortable, you can then join the All Levels classes.

How do memberships work?

Memberships are direct debited from your chosen bank account or credit/debit card every Friday.

How can I get started?

Come into Gracie Botany for a free trial class.

FAQ from Parents

What age can kids start Jiu-Jitsu?  

We have two classes for kids: Tots, for 3-to-5 year olds, or kids and teens for those aged between 6 and 15. Tots focuses on Jiu-Jitsu movements, and features games and drills that improve coordination and confidence. The next group, from 6-15, is where kids begin to learn BJJ techniques and begin sparring with each other.

Is Jiu-Jitsu good for kids?

Yes, it’s a safe martial art that teaches perseverance, dedication and excellent self-defense skills.

Is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu safe for kids?

Yes. Unlike other martial arts, Jiu-Jitsu does not involve striking or body slams. The exclusion of these maneuvers makes Jiu-Jitsu much less of an injury risk than other martial arts, which all involve such offense.

What is not allowed in BJJ?

No striking of any kind is allowed, nor is finger manipulation.

Do kids like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

Yes! We have a large kids membership base at Gracie Botany. Kids love to learn and practice techniques, build friendships, and stay active while having fun. Ensuring the kids are safe and comfortable is our priority, so we have a large coaching team on the mats helping the kids every class.

What is the difference between Jiu-Jitsu and Karate?

Karate focuses on striking combinations, while Jiu-Jitsu is about ground-based grappling. Jiu-Jitsu also has a greater emphasis on sparring (for kids who are old and experienced enough) and self-defense.

How old does my child have to be to start training?

The minimum age is 3, but this largely depends on the child. Feel welcome to come to Gracie Botany for a free trial lesson if you’re feeling unsure.

Will my child have a hard time training BJJ if he/she isn’t athletic?

No. Jiu-Jitsu above all is about timing and technique. Of course, athleticism helps in any athletic endeavor – but dedication and perseverance are far more important than strength or power.

What is the difference between Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and other forms of martial arts for kids?

BJJ is a martial art that focuses on ground-based grappling. This makes it different to striking martial arts, like Taekwondo or Karate, which focus on kicks and punches. It also makes it different to other grappling arts, like Judo or Wrestling, which end when one practitioner puts another on the ground.

How large are your BJJ class sizes and what’s the Instructor:Student ratio?

Gracie Botany’s kids classes generally have 20-35 kids. We have between 4 and 8 coaches on the mats during kids classes, monitoring the mats to ensure everyone is safe and happy.

Are there ever any BJJ tournaments in the area where my kids can compete in?

Yes, there are several each quarter. They’re held at Sydney University, in the Sutherland Shire, Blacktown and the Inner West.

What qualifications do your Jiu-Jitsu instructors have to teach my child?

Everyone of Gracie Botany’s coaches have years of Jiu-Jitsu experience – some have been training for over a decade. We’ve also completed Working with Children checks. Three of our coaches are full-time school teachers, and one coach works with children that have special needs.

How are Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes structured?

As a general rule, classes consist of a warmup, technique review and finally grappling time. Kids are split into different groups depending on age, size and skill level, and taught techniques appropriate for their skill level. Young children don’t grapple with each other, but rather play games and do drills that teach them essential Jiu-Jitsu movements.

Is Jiu-Jitsu just for boys, or can my girl take it too?

Jiu-Jitsu is for everyone! We have lots of girls in the kids program.

Free Introduction Class

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for Everyone!!

Thought of starting Brazilian Jiu Jitsu but are unsure if you would like this Martial Art?

Come train with us for free. Without obligation, no pressure!!