About our Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu program
Sphere Martial Art offers a complete Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) & Grappling instruction program that incorporates modern technique, live sparring, competition , and fitness. Our instructors understand that each student is an individual with unique goals and will progress at his or her own level according to that student’s ability and level of fitness.
Beginners or even more advanced students joining our program will benefit from our written curriculum. This curriculum ensures that a solid foundation of the core concepts and techniques can be tracked by the student, and the instructor, to personalise your development in this complex martial art. To this end, you can confidently map your progression from white belt to blue belt and beyond. ( Blue belt is the first earned grade in BJJ ) Gaining a Blue belt in BJJ will take several hundred hours of practice (mat time) and depending on the amount hours put in per week can take anywhere from 6 months – 2.5 years. After gaining your blue belt the journey continues through Purple belt, onto Brown belt and finally after years of practice the coveted Black belt may be attained. A full description of the BJJ belt system can be found here.
In general, our classes follow the following format: The classes begin with a warm-up to help increase stamina and fitness. These warm ups will always use fundamental fighting movements and allow you to drill to ensure muscle memory is attained. Following the warm-up, the instructors will teach techniques and concepts so that the students gain a full understanding of submissions, take downs, sweeps, reversals, and escapes. Students questions are always welcome during this section of the class. During the last part of the class the students engage in live grappling sparring to practice and execute the various techniques that they have learned. This sparring is monitored at all times to ensure the safety of the students and students will be matched appropriately, e.g. similar weight or beginners placed with more experienced practitioners.
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Sphere Martial Arts also incorporate grappling techniques from other arts including Greco-Roman and Freestyle wrestling, Sambo and Judo. The gi form (BJJ) utilises grips on the gi to control the opponent’s body, while the “no-gi“(MMA & Submission Wrestling) form emphasizes body control of the torso and head. The gi is generally not used in submission wrestling.The use of the gi is compulsory in most Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitions although more and more of these competitions are also running concurrent no-gi matches. Submission wrestling techniques also play a large role in MMA competition.
Grappling techniques can be broadly subdivided into Clinch fighting; Take-downs and Throws; Submission holds and Pinning or Controlling Techniques; and Sweeps, Reversals, Turnovers, and Escapes. Grappling techniques can be broadly subdivided into Clinch fighting; Takedowns and Throws; Submission holds and Pinning or Controlling Techniques; and Sweeps, Reversals, Turnovers, and Escapes.
- Clinching, or clinch work, takes place with both competitors on their feet using various clinch holds applied to the upper body of the opponent. Clinch work is generally used to set up or defend against throws or takedowns.
- Takedowns A takedown occurs when one grappler is able to manipulate his opponent from a position where both grapplers are initially standing, to a position on the ground where the grappler completing the takedown ends up on top of the opponent.
- Throws A throw is a technique in which one grappler lifts or off-balances his opponent and manoeuvres him forcefully through the air or to the ground. The purpose of throws varies among the different disciplines of grappling with some emphasizing throws with the potential to incapacitate the opponent while leaving the thrower standing or to gain a takedown or controlling position.
- Submission holds There are generally two types of submission holds: those that would potentially strangle or suffocate an opponent (chokes), and those that would potentially cause injury to a joint or other body part (locks). In sport grappling, a competitor is expected to submit, either verbally or by tapping the opponent, to admit defeat when he is caught in a submission hold that he cannot escape. Competitors who refuse to “tap out” risk unconsciousness or serious injury.
- Pinning or Controlling Techniques: A pin involves holding an opponent on his back in a position where he is unable to attack. In some styles of competitive grappling a pin is an instant victory, and in other styles it is considered a dominant position that is rewarded with points. Other controlling techniques are used to hold an opponent face down on the ground or on all fours in order to prevent an escape or attack.
- Escapes: In a general sense, an escape is accomplished by maneuverings out of danger from an inferior position. For example when a grappler who is on the ground underneath his opponent is able to get back to his feet, when a grappler is able to maneuvers out of a submission attempt and back to a position where he is no longer in immediate danger of being submitted, or when a grappler moves from an inferior position on the ground to guard.
- Turnovers: used to manoeuvre an opponent who is on all fours or flat on their stomach to their back, in order to score points, prepare for a pin or in order to gain a more dominant position.
- Reversals or Sweeps: These occur when a grappler who was underneath his opponent on the ground is able to manoeuvre so that he gains a top position over his opponent.