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Frequently Asked Questions

Below is our FAQ section, meant to help you get a better picture of the academy and our jiu jitsu programs. If you still need help or want to learn more, feel free to contact us.

Do you have beginner classes?

Yes! Four days a week, we offer a "basics" class, which is designed to help people with little- to no- prior experience. There are often a variety of lower and upper belts in the class that will be happy to help. With that being said, you can sign up to try any of our classes, regardless of your experience level. Our instructors will work with you so that you get value out of every class. See our class times here.

What age can my kid(s) start?

Kids can start training at age 5. With that being said, we're always willing to give a 4-year-old a chance - some of them surprise you with better focus than the older kids! If you think your child is a good fit for jiu jitsu, you are welcome to have them try out a few classes to see if they like it. Read more about our kids' program.

Can I take some trial classes?

Yes! We offer a flexible free trial period for all new students. Most new students try it out for 2-3 weeks. Click here to book your first free intro class.

What do I need to attend my first class?

See our short article: "What You Need to Know For Your First Jiu Jitsu Class"  - also applies to your first striking class.

Is jiu jitsu good for self defense?

Unlike other traditional martial arts - like karate or kung fu - jiu jitsu provides skills that are applicable to real-life situations. The ability to control your body, positioning, and weight - as well as the body and positioning of another person, and to potentially submit them - is a skill that you'll hopefully never have to use, but may be grateful that you have. And unlike other martial arts, when you practice jiu jitsu, you will be actively sharpening these skills in live settings with resistance. That makes jiu jitsu incredibly practical. With that being said, no matter how skilled or trained you are, real-world self defense is de-escalation, running away, and calling for help. When it comes to hand-to-hand combat, anyone that tells you otherwise is trying to sell you something that likely doesn't work and could get you seriously injured. At Pica Pau, we practice jiu jitsu for the love and the sport of it, and advocate for de-escalation and nonviolence as primary self-defense strategies.

What is a typical class like?

See each of our class info pages for details on what you can expect from each class: jiu jitsu, kids' jiu jitsu, striking, & competition class.

Am I too old, out of shape, small, etc. to attend classes?

Absolutely not. People of all ages, sizes, & physical abilities are able to train. It is not uncommon to start later in life - there are jiu jitsu competitors aged 70+! At Pica Pau, we're building a strong & diverse community that helps everyone reach their goals. That includes building friendships, getting in shape, and learning new skills at your own pace.

Am I required to spar?

No - you are never required to do anything you don't want to. With that being said, most people find sparring to be the best part of class. If you are brand new to jiu jitsu or grappling, we recommend waiting to spar until you've trained steadily for at least 2-3 months. If you are nervous, let our instructors know! They will work with you or pair you up with students that will help you.

How much does it cost?

I am ready to train. What should I do?

Awesome! Click here to reserve your spot. If you've never trained before, be sure to check out our article on what you need to know when attending your first class. Please make an effort to show up at least 10 minutes before class begins so we can get you situated, answer any questions, and have you fill out any necessary paperwork. We look forward to seeing you!

What is your COVID-19 policy?

Am I expected to compete?

Absolutely not. Competition is a choice for those that want to challenge themselves. For many folks, learning and training jiu jitsu is fulfilling and rewarding in itself.

Do you offer private lessons?

Yes. Reach out to us to inquire about private or small-group lessons.

Can I come see the space?

Absolutely. You are welcome to stop by whenever we are running classes. We have plenty of bench space and a comfy couch, and friendly students who will be happy to talk to you. Click here to see our schedule.

I train at a different academy. Can I visit?

Yes! All are welcome. We do not have any restrictions on what gis, patches, or uniform you wear. We have no drop-in fees - seriously! - but we'll accept a donation if you'd like to support us. Cross-training is encouraged. We believe it heightens everyone's jiu jitsu game and expands the community in healthy ways. Come train!

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