Summit Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu FAQ

What is the history of Summit Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Club?

Citizen Jiu-Jitsu was founded in 2007 by member Phil Anderson on the main floor of his house at 711 Bellevue Avenue East on Capitol Hill. The name was eventually changed to Summit Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Club in October 2008. The school steadily grew and eventually outgrew this location in January 2011. The house was later demolished in mid-2011 and replaced with a condominium development.

At the beginning of February 2011, the club moved to 954 East Union Street, just a few blocks from Seattle University. The location was short-lived due to the rapid development of condominiums in Capitol Hill. In August 2011, Summit Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu temporarily relocated to the historic Washington Hall building located at 153 14th Avenue.

Fast Forward to June 2012, Summit Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu moved back to Capitol Hill. The club was located at the Miller Community Center Annex located at 330 19th Avenue East for 4 years. At Miller, the club thrived and eventually outgrew the limited scheduling options.

In July 2016, Summit Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu moved into a dedicated storefront at 755 Bellevue Avenue East. The current location is on the same block that the club originally started. With the dedicated space and expanded schedule, Summit has been able to better accommodate its rapid growth. Summit Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu now has 750 sq. ft. of mat space and offers multiple classes six days per week.

What can I expect in my first class? What is a BJJ class like?

If you are brand new to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, we recommend that you start with one of our Introduction classes. On your first day, be sure to show up at least 10-15 minutes before class starts. Arriving early will provide ample time to sign a liability waiver and change into proper attire. If you would like to observe a class, feel free to stop by anytime the gym is open. The structure of each of our classes is listed below.

Introduction – 30 minutes
  • Warm-up and conditioning exercises: 10 minutes
  • Technique instruction: 20 minutes

All Levels – 90 minutes
  • Warm-up and conditioning exercises: 10 minutes
  • Drills: 10 minutes
  • Technique instruction: 25 minutes
  • Positional training: 15 minutes
  • Live training: 30 minutes
Can I just show up or do I need to schedule a time?

Feel free to just show up for any of our scheduled Introduction classes. If you would like to participate, please show up 15 minutes before class in athletic clothing.

Do you accept people with no experience?

Absolutely. Everyone has a first day. You do not need any prior experience to begin training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with us.

Do you offer children's classes?

No. We do not have a children’s program at this time.

Is there an age requirement?

For liability reasons, members must be at least 18 years old.

Do I have to pay to try a class?

No. We encourage everyone to try a few classes prior to joining.

How much are classes? Is there an initiation fee or contract?

Membership dues are $95 per month (see our pricing section for more information). Discounts are available for auto-payment and 3-month packages. This is much more reasonable than other schools because we are a not-for-profit club instead of a traditional for-profit business. All of our instructors are volunteers, and all the fees go toward rent and upkeep of the training facility.

We do not have any initiation fees or contracts.

Am I expected to compete in tournaments?

The short answer is no.

There are many reasons to train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: to learn something new, exercise, meet new people, self-defense, self-discipline, and competition. Some BJJ practitioners enjoy the competitive aspect of the sport, while others may not. You will never be forced to compete in tournaments at Summit.

On the other hand, competition is a great way to learn a lot about your BJJ game’s strengths and weaknesses. Regardless of who wins, both opponents will most certainly learn something from their match. If you are interested in competing, we can help you train and prepare.

How often do you clean your mats?

Cleanliness of the facility is of utmost importance: we sweep, bleach, and scrub our mats after every practice. At the end of each class, 3-5 people volunteer to clean the mats, which takes about ten minutes. It is expected of members to help out and share the cleaning responsibilities. Diligent cleaning prevents problems with ringworm, staph, and other infectious diseases.

What payment methods do you accept?

We accept cash and all major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover).

Is parking provided?

No. Unfortunately, we do not have a parking lot. Street parking is usually available during class times. Many of our students commute by alternate means such as bicycle, bus, or walking. Public bicycle racks are located in front of the school. The Metro Transit 47 route will drop you at our door. Many other routes service Broadway and are a short walk from the school.

General FAQ

What is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a grappling martial art that was born out of Kodokan Judo. It emphasizes fighting on the ground, specifically how to reach a controlling position, then finishing with a choke or joint lock (there are no strikes). Sparring is a major part of training. A practitioner’s ranking is based on a number of factors including performance, attendance, and attitude.

Is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu safe?

It is a safe sport, but like any athletic endeavor, injuries can occur. Through proper stretching and instruction, injuries can be minimized.

What is a gi?

The gi is the uniform worn by Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners. The gi used in Brazilian jiu-jitsu was adapted from the uniform commonly used in Japanese martial arts. It is typically composed of a heavy cotton jacket and reinforced trousers. A cloth belt is worn over the gi, both to keep the jacket closed, and as a signifier of the skill/rank of the practitioner. The term kimono is sometimes used to describe the whole outfit, or occasionally just the jacket.

What are the belts of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

Each belt represents a level of proficiency. Each belt generally takes between 2 and 5 years of consistent practice to obtain. It is common for practitioners to train for 10 years prior to receiving a black belt.

The order of belts is as follows: White, Blue, Purple, Brown and Black. Progress between belts is indicated by belt ‘stripes’ given by the instructor.

I don't have a gi. Can I still train?

You will want to purchase a gi eventually, but it is not required for your first class. We offer a new student package, which includes a 93 Brand Gi, a white belt, and a month of Jiu-Jitsu. Gym shorts and an old t-shirt will suffice for your first class.

How often should I clean my gi?

Out of consideration for others, everyone in the club must wash their gi after every practice. This practice not only eliminates unpleasant odors, but also helps keep dermal infections at bay.

What are rash guards and grappling shorts?

A rash guard is a tight fitting shirt usually constructed from polyester and spandex. It fits tightly to the torso to avoid becoming entangled during training. In contrast to cotton, it repels water away from the skin keeping the grappler dry and comfortable.

Grappling shorts are essentially overbuilt “board shorts.” These are the shorts that most of today’s professional mixed martial artists use in bouts. They feature durable fabrics that have ripstop properties. Many times they will also have spandex between the thighs and slits on the outer thigh panel to avoid interference with leg movements.

Compression shorts are also a worthy investment. Their fit is very similar to men’s boxer briefs, but are made of polyester and spandex. They benefit from the same sweat wicking properties as rash guards and are more durable and comfortable than cotton underwear. Compression shorts are worn under no-gi shorts or gi pants by most Jiu-Jitsu practitioners.

There are many companies that specialize in the manufacture of these garments, but if you are just getting started there are cheaper alternatives from Under Armour and the like. If you’re looking for grappling shorts, all online Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts pro shops sell them. A good starter kit should consist of a compression shirt, grappling shorts, and compression shorts.

What training should I do before starting BJJ? If I am out of shape, should I get fitter before starting BJJ?

Many people start BJJ without any prior athletic experience or current exercise plan. While having a good level of cardiovascular fitness and conditioning will undoubtedly help you train BJJ, it is not a prerequisite to training.

Participating in BJJ will increase your cardiovascular fitness, strength, speed and can help you lose weight. In addition to the physical benefits, it is also mentally stimulating and is frequently referred to as “kinetic chess.”

If you are unfit, it will take a few weeks to get over the initial physical hurdle. However, if you stick with it, you will see a noticeable improvement in a relatively short period of time. We never want to push someone to an unsafe limit. If you ever get winded, just ask for some time to recover.