What is it?

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a self-defense martial art and combat sport based on grappling, ground fighting and submission holds. It focuses on the skill of controlling one’s opponent, gaining a dominant position and using a number of techniques to force them into submission via joint locks or chokeholds.

BJJ teaches that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend themselves against a bigger, stronger, heavier opponent by using leverage and weight distribution to take the fight to the ground and then using submissions to defeat them. BJJ training can be used for sport grappling tournaments and in self-defense situations. Sparring, commonly referred to as “rolling” within the BJJ community, and live drilling play a major role in training and the practitioner’s development. BJJ is considered a martial art, a sport, a method of promoting physical fitness and building character, and a way of life.

We are members of the global jiu-jitsu team, Zenith BJJ.  Click here to learn more about Team Zenith BJJ

What class is like

Classes are open to everyone, regardless of experience, even if they are “out of shape”.  Each lesson has multiple options depending on your particular goals.  Whether you are there just for a great workout, or you are training for your next fight, we have something for you.

Typically, before the instruction begins, the group will gather on the mat and chat about nothing in particular.  If it’s your first day, feel free to walk up and introduce yourself.  If you are a little shy about that idea, don’t worry, nobody is ignoring you on purpose, they are probably just catching up on what’s happened since the last time they saw each other!  

We take what we do seriously, but we enjoy it in a laid back atmosphere.  After all, if it wasn’t fun, we wouldn’t keep coming back!  

Once the instruction begins it’s typically broken up into three techniques.  The instructor will demonstrate a technique a few times and explain the details.  Then you will break off with a partner and practice the technique you just saw.  If you are new we will often pair you with an experienced partner that can walk you through the steps.

  • The first technique is fundamental enough that everybody in class should learn the basic concepts and come away with an understanding of how to do the move.  There is also enough detail presented that more advanced students will be able to pick up on the finer details to improve their application of the move.
  • The second technique tends to build on the first.  It may be slightly more advanced or give you an option when the first technique is blocked.  This move is often geared towards the intermediate students.  A beginner may also grasp this move or a least become familiar with what is next for them.  This is likely to be a review for the advanced students, who are refining their existing knowledge of this move.
  • The third technique is often either the most technically difficult or physically challenging of the series.  Perhaps not everyone will do this move correctly and that’s okay.  This so that the advanced students are continuing to learn while simultaneously giving everyone else a glimpse at what’s ahead and the opportunity to try out the more difficult techniques.  

If this is a 60 minute class (such as Fundamentals or the Women’s Class) the class will probably end with an active drill that allows you to practice the techniques learned that day.  

If this is a 90 minute class (such as the Monday or Thursday regular classes) the class will end with 30 of “rolling”, which is what is also called “going live”.  Experienced students will pair off and practice their entire knowledge of moves against a fully resisting partner.  Partners will rotate after five minute rounds.  If you are new to all of this, we will pair you with senior students that will walk you through all of this at your own pace.


While competing is never required of any student, we are glad to help prepare those that are seeking it.  We attend numerous tournaments within a two hour drive from Clarion.  For those that want to go all-in, we also have a select number of competitors that travel to compete at national and world events.