Programs‎ > ‎

Frequently Asked Questions

Don't let a question stop you from learning self-defense! 

I see that the classes are ongoing. Do you start a new group at specific times?
All of our classes are "ongoing" - this means you can start at any time. Sometimes beginners are concerned they won't be able to keep up, or they'll slow the class down. Our classes, and the material is designed to meet the needs of the new student as well as experienced students. Information is provided in layers to give the beginner a solid introduction, while deepening the knowledge and practice of the more experienced students. They culture we foster is one where all students encourage and support the learning and training of all students. We were all beginners at one point and someone helped us learn and grow, and so we "pay it forward" in that same fashion. In fact, helping a new student learn, deepens the knowledge and understanding for all of us. At times new students may work directly with an assistant instructor or experienced member on specific techniques or drills, while more experienced students work on a different drill. Experienced students find that when they revisit a technique they learned previously they'll pick up nuances or additional details that refine their practice of self-defense, much like practicing yoga techniques, or musical instrument deepens ones understanding and skill.
How many sessions does it generally take to become proficient?
You will walk out of your first class knowing something you didn't know before you walked in. You'll learn about basic concepts that underlay the skill set of self-defense that are applicable to a variety of situations. And you'll learn your body is capable of far more than you thought before you walked in the door. To be honest, even just deciding you are worthy of the ability to defend yourself can change how you carry and react to situations. That being said it does take time to develop muscle memory. The more practice, the more variety of situations you'll be able to handle, the more practice the less energy you'll use to defend yourself against a larger or stronger person. Many students thinking transforms from the idea of learning a few techniques to an appreciation of the mental, emotional and physical impacts the continued practice of self-defense can bring. Some students have only a few days, weeks, or months before a change in their lives, such as going to a new school or college or foreign travel, and there is value for them to take the time to get in a few classes before heading off to their adventure. Of course we always welcome students to come back in when they can when back on breaks from school or when they return from their travels.
My daughter is heading off to college but she'll only be able to make a handful of classes, is it still worth the time and effort?
Absolutely, unequivocally yes. We have a lot of experience working with young adult women and value the opportunity to share with them not only physical techniques, but we acknowledge and discuss the emotional and mental aspects. We work on verbal skills and boundary setting skills. There is something magical happens when your daughter learns techniques from a male and female instructor who openly and comfortable address uncomfortable situations and provide practical solutions. We work through the most common types of situations a young woman may find herself in and are open to questions as well. We want to address worry, anxiety (and denial too) and replace it with the capacity to act on behalf of oneself, building self-reliance, confidence and self-worth. While we have a women's self-defense class (KickAss Women's Class), there are also women (and female instructor Tori Garten) in all of the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and Self-Defense classes.

What is the difference between the Gracie Jiu-jitsu and Self-Defense classes and the KickAss Women's Self-Defense class?
We created the KickAss Women's Self-Defense class to address the needs of women who maybe more comfortable in a women's only class, for women whose driver is to learn self-defense and not necessarily a "martial art", to provide a safe feeling environment for any women with pass assault trauma, and to specifically focus on and address aspects of self-defense that maybe particular women. We have many women who double up on both the Gracie Jiu-jitsu and Self-Defense classes and the KickAss Women's Class. Our co-ed classes are entirely welcoming to all genders and we pride ourselves on equality and respect for all genders. "Regular" workout clothes are worn for the KickAss Women's class, while a uniform (called a "gi") is required for the Co-ed Gracie Jiu-JItsu and Self-Defense Class. The great thing is, you don't have to decide which one is right for you right this minute! Sign-up for a first class and come try it out and then chat with us or other female students to see which is the best fit for you and your needs!

I don't have a gi (uniform), where or how do I get one?
A gi (uniform) is not needed for KickAss Women's class or for Thai Kickboxing. For your first Gracie Jiu-jitsu and Self-Defense class, just let us know your approximate height/weight and we'll bring one in for you to borrow for your first class! When you sign-up for your membership, you can also purchase the gi at that time.
I'm not in great shape, does that matter?
It does not! Our goal is to make our training environment inclusive for everyone, what ever skill level, athletic ability, age, fitness level or previous traumatic experiences. Many find that training self-defense inspires them to adopt healthier habits in other areas of their lives as they start to form a new relationship with their bodies. We encourage you to not "wait until I'm in shape" but rather use the training and the community support of the training environment to help you reach your goals. Exercise is more fun - and more sustainable when it includes adding a life enhancing skill and with a great team supporting you.
What is the fee for a monthly membership for this class?
Monthly memberships are priced according to the type of class and number of times a week the class is offered and/or how much you hope to train. Packages range from $75 dollars a month to $179. We encourage you to try out a class with the first class pass to experience the value of training with us and see which classes meet your needs to determine the best membership option for you.
What is a typical class like?
Class starts with a light warm up to warm up the joints and help leave the day behind us so we are ready to learn. The warm-up includes body movements that are parts of techniques to help develop muscle memory for core body movements that are parts of foundational techniques. Gracie Jiu-JItsu and Self-Defense classes (including the KickAss Women's class) usually start with a few standing self-defense techniques for a variety of situations, and then we move to the ground to focus what happens if we are no longer standing. We'll finish with drills linking techniques, and for experience students positional drilling and "live training" also referred to as sparring.