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How many days a week should a student train?

This is a question that many new students ask. The answer I often give them is, “3 is ideal”. Why? Less than three days a week of training and students find that they simply don’t progress as fast as the other students that do show up at least three days a week. Over time, they may see students who started after them who weren’t as good as them, become better than them simply because they train more than they do.

Often times, I see students try to come more than three days a week in the beginning and this will often lead to early burnout or at least a partial burn out, and then the student ends up training only one to two days a week and starts to fall behind. This causes their motivation to falter and can lead to some students even quitting either because they see other students passing them up in terms of skill and/or rank, or because they become frustrated that it is taking them so long to earn their blue belt (the first belt beyond white belt).

At my school, if a student is training at least three days a week, then they should be able to earn their blue belts in a year; at most, a year and a half. If it takes a student longer than that, its most often because they are not training at least three days a week. Some students can train four days a week and not experience burnout. Some can even train for five days a week and be fine. Everyone is different. But I recommend that the average student train at least three days a week as this seems to offer the most benefits to the student.


Why is Gracie Jiu-jitsu the best martial art for self-defense?

Why is Gracie Jiu-jitsu the best martial art for self-defense? Here are a  few reasons, in my opinion. First of all, Gracie Jiu-jitsu is the only martial art created in modern times, in modern clothing with the goal being that a smaller person can really overcome a stronger/larger attacker by using leverage and timing.

Most martial arts can trace their history back to the battlefield where they were created, where opponents would be clad in heavy armor. The techniques of these “styles” were developed to expose weaknesses in their opponents armor should they find themselves in battle without a weapon. But today, no one wears armor so how effective can these styles be for self-defense in today’s modern world? As time went on and things became more civil and people stopped wearing armor, many of these martial art styles evolved into the sport “styles” of martial arts that are all too common today and we are told that they are self-defense.

Gracie Jiu-jitsu on the other other hand was created by a man who was not strong and so couldn’t use his strength or size. He had to create techniques that maximized his leverage and timing to be able to defeat a much larger, and stronger opponent. The mans name was Helio Gracie and the development of his art that would later become known as Gracie Jiu-jitsu, took place in the rough streets and neighborhoods of Brazil.

What’s more is that Gracie Jiu-jitsu techniques cover the most common attacks that come up in a real situation; a man grabs a woman by the wrist to try and control her or drag her, or someone comes up and grabs you from behind either by the neck or with a bear hug (either over or under the arms). Or perhaps during the scuffle, they end up locking your head and neck up in a headlock. Gracie Jiu-jitsu teaches dependable, reliable techniques for all of the situations and many more.

Gracie Jiu-jitsu will also teach you how to defend yourself if the attacker has a knife, stick or gun. Simply put, there is no other martial art in the world that can single-handedly prepare you to be able to realistically defend yourself in a real street fight, or altercation. You do not have to be strong or athletically gifted to learn the art and no previous martial arts experience is necessary. Beginners are always welcome.

Here at Leverage Jiu-jitsu Academy we have classes for the entire family and for all ages from 4 to 60. So what are you waiting for? Give yourself (and your family) the gift of self-defense. Your confidence will go through the roof and this will affect all areas of your life from your job to your family life. Stop by today or give us a call so that you can learn more about our programs and/or set up your free 7-day trial. Call us at 443-864-8505, or stop by at 8191 Maple Lawn Blvd., Suite D, Fulton, MD 20759. We specialize is realistic self-defense/Gracie Jiu-jitsu. Call or come in today.

How can your child protect himself or herself from being bullied?

Do you have a child who is being bullied in school? Perhaps your child is being bullied but you are unaware because he or she is afraid to tell anyone. Or maybe you are aware of the situation but are not sure what to do.

Bullying is a common problem in schools today and appears to be getting worse. Frankly, it is an epidemic, and its effects are devastating. Bully victims are between 2 to 9 times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims, according to studies by Yale University. According to statistics reported by ABC News, nearly 30 percent of students are either bullies or victims of bullying, and 160,000 kids stay home from school every day because of fear of bullying.

As a result of the increased violence in schools in the late 1990s, many schools adopted “Zero Tolerance Policies” (ZTPs). At first, ZTPs were mainly targeting towards drugs and weapons. However, schools would later extend these policies to cover physical violence as well. Today almost all school systems across the United States have a ZTP in place. The result has been a decrease in physical fighting in schools, but an increase in non-physical bullying. Bullying is more difficult to control with ZTPs than physical fighting, as it is harder to identify.

Another source of bullying is technology, which makes it easier to be bullied both on and off school campuses. Cyber-bullying is ubiquitous, as nearly every child has access to the Internet via a home computer or cell phone. This new method of bullying is even harder for teachers and parents to detect, as it extends well beyond the school grounds – into your own home.

Regardless of the type of bullying or its source, experts agree that bullying in any form can lead to a loss of self-esteem, self confidence, and self-worth. Your child may begin showing signs of anger and depression. You may also noticed a decrease in your child’s academic performance and an unwillingness to go to school. Many children are afraid to share their experiences as victims of bulling with their parents and teachers, perhaps fearing retribution. Because of this, it is important for you as the parent to recognize the signs of bullying.

Some signs that may point to a bullying problem are:

  • Unexplainable injuries
  • Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, or jewelry
  • Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness
  • Changes in eating habits, like suddenly skipping meals or binge eating. Kids may come home from school hungry because they did not eat lunch.
  • Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares
  • Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork, or not wanting to go to school
  • Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations
  • Feelings of helplessness or decreased self esteem
  • Self-destructive behaviors such as running away from home, harming themselves, or talking about suicide


And, perhaps more importantly, it is important to be able to recognize the signs that your child may be bullying others.

Kids may be bullying others if they:

  • Get into physical or verbal fights
  • Have friends who bully others
  • Are increasingly aggressive
  • Get sent to the principal’s office or to detention frequently
  • Have unexplained extra money or new belongings
  • Blame others for their problems
  • Don’t accept responsibility for their actions
  • Are competitive and worry about their reputation or popularity

Bullying is an American epidemic that is not going away any time soon. The question therefore becomes – What can you as a parent do to protect your child?

At LeverageJJ, we are committed to doing our part to help prevent our students from becoming victims of bullying. We teach our students how to stand up for themselves, how to resolve conflictin a non-physical manner, and how to speak to bullies with confidence. And though we emphasize the importance of neutralizing a tense situation without violence, our students are fully capable of physically defending themselves if needed. In addition, we pride ourselves on helping our students maintain healthy levels of self-confidence and self-esteem. Jiu-Jitsu is not just a way to fight back against physical bullying – the positive environment also helps to protect children from mental and emotional bullying.

We are also cognizant of the fact that just as there are many victims of bullying, there are also many bullies. For this reason, we teach our students the importance of properly using the physical skills they learn in Jiu-Jitsu and not to abuse the “gentle art.”

As always, feel free to contact us for a free trial class for your child today. Call or text us at 443-864-8505, or email us at


Female Sailor Uses Gracie Jiu-Jitsu to Subdue Would-be Rapist

A bus driver in Dubai messed with the wrong woman. A 28-year-old United States Navy sailor avoided being raped, and possibly killed, by using the Jiu-Jitsu that she had learned in the United States.

The incident occurred when the woman on 24 hour shore leave decided to head back to Khalid Port and was trying to hail a taxi when the bus stopped beside her. She climbed aboard and sat in the back seat but became suspicious of the route the driver was taking. “I noticed he did not take the main road and when I asked him he told me not to worry,” she said. About 10 minutes later, the driver pulled up in an area where a number of other buses had parked, sat next to her and tried to kiss her, prosecutors say. When she pushed him away he pulled a knife and told her he was going to rape her, and that she must do as he said. The woman knocked a knife from her attacker’s grasp, broke it in two, bit his hand, wrestled him to the ground and put him in a triangle choke between her thighs. Having beaten him into submission, she left the bus and reported the incident to her boss. Police arrested the driver the next day at his home. “He was drunk at the time of arrest,” said the attending officer. The driver, a 21-year-old man from Pakistan, was charged with attempted rape, threatening to kill, assault and consuming alcohol illegally. He confessed only to the alcohol charge and said he was too drunk on the night to remember what else happened. However, tests found traces of the sailor’s blood and hair on the bus.



Women’s Self-Defense

If you are a woman and have never taken a self-defense course or program, then you should. If you were attacked on the street tonight, would you know how to defend yourself? If you have no prior training in self-defense, the odds are heavily stacked against you.

No woman ever plans to be attacked. Violence happens when and where you may least expect it. It is true that criminals prefer victims who are alone and look weak, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t attack someone who doesn’t fit the stereotype of a victim. So, you’ve decided its a good idea to take the next step and take a self-defense course. How do you know where to turn to get the best and most efficient training? Experts agree that if attacked, a woman who is armed with Gracie Jiu-jitsu has the best chance to escape their “would-be” attacker. Why? Because Gracie Jiu-jitsu is the only martial art that effectivelty addresses ground grappling and self-defense. Experts say that it is not only possible but also probable that when a woman is attacked by a man, grappling (close quarter contact) is going to part of the encounter, whether you like it or not. A woman who is armed with Gracie Jiu-jitsu has the tools that she needs to effectivelty defend herself against an aggressor who wants to take her to the ground. Gracie Jiu-jitsu will give you the tools that you need to boost your confidence and give you the skill set to effectively deal with an attacker should the need arise. Arm yourself with Gracie Jiu-jitsu and arm yourself with the best self-defense system known to man. Gracie Jiu-jitsu is so effective because unlike most martial arts that rely on hitting, speed and strength to be effective, Gracie JIu-jitsu relies on timing and leverage. So regardless of ones size or strength, anyone can learn to defend themselves effectively iwth this self-defense form. So, back yourself up with Gracie Jiu-jitsu. Call us today for a free trial. 443-864-8505 or e-mail us at

What are some warning signs of Bullying?

So, what are some of the warning signs of bullying that parents should look out for?

1. Unexplained damage to or loss of clothing and other personal items (even if your child “seems” to have a good explanation for it, you should still be aware and check it out further to be sure).
2. Look for evidence of physical abuse such as bruises, or scratches (again even if the child has a good explanation, they may be hiding the truth for fear of retaliation from the bully should they find out they told on them).
3. Loss of friends or change of friends.
4. Reluctance to participate in activities with certain other kids.
5. Loss of interest in favorite activities.
6. Take notice if your child becomes unusually sad, moody, anxious, lonely, or depressed.
7. Take notice if problems develop with eating, sleeping or bed-wetting.
8. If your child complains a lot of headaches, stomach aches, or other physical complaints, this could be an excuse to stay away from places where their bully might reside.
9. Take notice if your child experiences a decline in school achievements.
10. Of course, any talk, or signs of thoughts of suicide should be taken seriously and seek out professional help immediately.
11. Withdrawal from other kids, or activities may be a warning sign that your child is being bullied.
12. Depression, quietness, etc, may also be signs that something is wrong.

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UFC 126: Gracie Breakdown


There are many people out there who are not interested in the sport side of BJJ. They are interested in self-defense. These people aren’t interested in spending 10+ years working towards their BJJ black belt. They want to get in and get out.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this way of thinking. In fact, the majority of people out there in the world today who may be interested in the martial arts are really just looking for self-defense.

People want to know that they can take care of themselves if a real situation occurred. They want to feel confident about defending themselves but of course hope that they never have the need for it.

If this sounds like you, then we have just the class for YOU! Gracie Combatives is the newest class that we have added to our curriculum. This class is taught on Monday nights and beginners and novice alike are certainly welcome. In fact, beginners and novice will make up the core of our student body of this class.

In this class, students wear a t-shirt and gi (uniform) pants. Because of the way that this course is designed, anyone can start at anytime. Once finished, the course repeats immediately. The lessons are already laid out. It takes 108 class days to complete the entire course. You do not have to complete the entire course to get a lot out of it. But, if you do complete the entire course you will have the opportunity to test for your blue belt. The late Helio Gracie once said, “anyone deserves a blue belt who can effectively defend themselves in the street against a larger, stronger or faster attacker.”

We keep track of your attendance AND the class date(s) that you attended to make sure that you get all of the 36 lessons (each of the 36 lessons are repeated 3 times which equals 108) before you are eligible to belt test if that is your goal.

Losing Weight

Its that time of year again when everyone is motivated to get back into shape as part of their new year’s resolution. Problem is that many fail within the first month and even more will fail in the next two months and by April 1st, only the year ’rounders are left in the gym on any kind of regular basis.

This year, don’t let that happen to you! In addition to your new year’s resolutions you should also try setting monthly resolutions and your monthly resolutions should support your new year’s fitness resolutions. In this way, it is very possible to realize your goals of getting, and keeping fit all year long so that you can get out and enjoy your life more.

The other issue is that most workouts get boring after awhile and some are even boring and/or no-fun from the beginning. You need a workout that is fun and will keep your interests all year long. Something that you can truly enjoy and set short, mid and long term goals for.

If you’re serious about keeping your fitness new year’s resolutions all year long then I recommend that you give our KickBox Fitness class a try. This class is loads of fun, and a great workout! No experience is necessary and anyone can do it!

You won’t be sparring anyone so no need to worry about that. Its just you, the bag, your gloves, high-energy upbeat music that’ll get you pumped and excited about your workout and a instructor teaching and leading you through the techniques between rounds.

Guaranteed to be a great workout, lots of fun and great calorie burner; a great start to a new you as you work towards your goal of getting and keeping fit all year long!


Leverage Jiu-Jitsu Academy
8191 Maple Lawn Blvd
Suite D
Fulton, MD 20759

Phone: (301) 498-4555