Friday 1 November 2013

So You Want to Try Halifax Titans Women's Brazilian Jiu Jitsu? Here's What You Need to Know.

Titans Fitness Academy is pleased to offer a Women's Only Jiu Jitsu program. I've received a lot of emails with questions about the class and I hope this post will answer all of them for you.
What's Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is the ideal women’s self-defence system! Students will learn to use leverage and joint locks to overcome larger, stronger opponents on the ground. If you want to learn to defend yourself, compete, get in shape and be involved in a community of strong, supportive women, Halifax Titans Women’s Jiu Jitsu is for you!

I've gone to a lot of yoga classes in my time and although I enjoyed them, I never felt that sense of connection and family that I do when training Brazilian jiu jitsu. At yoga, I didn't need anyone else to move forward in my training but at BJJ, it would be impossible to progress without the help of my teammates. All of us are invested in each other's success because as each of us gets better, we all get better. We grow as a team.

Hot yoga helps to rid the body of toxins through sweating; I've seen people lose 7 pounds of sweat in one BJJ class. You are never more centered and focused on the now than you are when you are rolling. Jiu jitsu is the ultimate reality check and I've seen people transform from cocky bullies into humble friends, just from training.

So do I just show up or what?

Yes. You will be asked to fill out a member form when you arrive. 

What can I expect from my first class?

Article: 10 Tips for Surviving your First BJJ Class
Article: The Beginner's Guide to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Who is the instructor?

My name is Sally Arsenault and I am a purple belt under Renzo Gracie black belt Kevin Taylor.
Sally Arsenault, Kevin Taylor, Nick Martin
More data can be found in the articles below.
Contributor Profile: Breaking Muscle

Although I am the primary contact and instructor for the women's program, on Monday and Thursday nights, we learn technique from male instructors. Once technical instruction is given, the women train separately. On Monday nights, black belt Josh Wincey teaches technique and on Thursday nights, brown belt Chris White teaches technique. These instructors also teach advanced classes at Titans. Our class could separate and focus on a different curriculum, but I prefer that the class learn directly from my instructors, when they have the opportunity. Everyone has a different set of skills and this is a great way to broaden your knowledge.

Where is Titans Fitness Academy Located?

174 Horseshoe Lake Drive
Halifax, NS

What are the class times?

Mon/Weds: 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Sunday: 3pm to 4pm

(We often have an additional class on Friday from  8pm to 9pm when I am available)

Open mat is a time when all Titans BJJ students can come in and roll with each other, from the white belt to black belt level. Rolling is the term used to describe sparring in jiu jitsu. It’s a great time to come in and get tips from advanced students and instructors. Students generally wear a BJJ uniform, or gi, to this class but it is not required.

Sunday: 1pm to 3pm

What should I wear?

Long-sleeved shirt, shorts
Long-sleeved shirt, spats
It is best to wear clothing that covers as much skin as possible as you will be in contact with other people. Also because of this contact, transferable cosmetics should not be worn as it can stain the clothing of your partner.  Waterproof cosmetics are a good option if necessary. All jewellery and hair clips MUST be removed so as not to injure your training partners or yourself. Fingernails and toenails must also be trimmed short. I also suggest that you pick up a mouth guard at SportChek for about $10, but if you can get a fitted mouthguard from your dentist, or an online service, it may improve your breathing during training.

Article: Don't Stink and Wash Often: Hygiene for BJJ Gyms and Athletes

Important: Athletes with cold sores or other skin infections are not permitted to train until the infection has disappeared. Please respect your training partners.

You can wear whatever you want but I discourage revealing clothing such as hot pants and low-cut tank tops or sports bras. Wardrobe malfunctions are always something to consider and we prefer not to see each other’s private parts. The video below depicts my worst nightmare: no one wants to be triangled by someone in hot pants. I would be surprised if the women in that video actually train BJJ.

I tried the class and some of the women are wearing uniforms. Do I need one?

The class can be trained in gi or no gi, but as time went on, most of our students decided to purchase a uniform, or "gi". The gi is a very important part of jiu jitsu and is useful in self-defense training as most people are wearing clothing when they are involved in a physical altercation. If you try jiu jitsu and you think you will continue to train for some time, I recommend purchasing a gi as soon as you can. It is tricky to find a gi that fits, but I have reviewed several types of gis and offer my opinions on them on Breaking Muscle. I've also written an article featuring my top 5 gi choices for BJJ. Below you can find other links to gi reviews.

Site: MegJitsu

I have no martial arts experience. Can I still come?

Yes. This class is designed for beginners.

Will I get beat up?

No. BJJ is a martial art that can be practiced safely with 100% resistance.  We focus on technical skill rather than strength and aggressiveness. Using strength to dominate weaker students in class will not be tolerated.

Do I have to be physically fit to do BJJ?

No, but BJJ will increase your fitness level if you train regularly.  Check out these articles to see how BJJ has helped others get in shape.

As a beginner, the best way to get in shape for BJJ is to do BJJ but I have also developed a simple bodyweight program for people who want to do extra work at home.

Am I too old for BJJ?


Why aren’t more women training BJJ?

They probably don’t know how awesome it is. The women in the video below seem to do OK with it.

I’m nervous about trying something new. What if people make fun of me?

If anyone makes fun of you, I will choke them out. None of us knew each other before we started training but you will find that you make fast friends. 

Photo by Aggro Photography
Will I have to train with men?

No, this is a women’s only class although it is my hope that you will try the co-ed classes once you are comfortable at Titans.

Why should I choose Titans?

Halifax Titans Women’s BJJ is a class meant to introduce women to the sport, although I will be teaching some of the same techniques as the advanced classes. Our team has been very successful in tournaments throughout Canada and the US and we have direct instruction from Renzo Gracie black belts Kevin Taylor, Peter Martell and Josh Wincey. Our instructors have traveled and trained with some of the best BJJ athletes in the world and brought their extensive knowledge back to our club to share with our students.

We also have affiliate clubs in Truro and New Glasgow so you can stay in the Titans family when you travel! Overall, Titans boasts five black belts; we have a very high percentage of advanced students in our membership as compared to any other club in Atlantic Canada.

I am proud to be a part of Team Titans and I hope you will too.

What are the facilities like?

Please view our Facebook album for photos.

If I want to join once the month is up, how much will it cost?

Women’s BJJ is $60+tax per month. We offer discounts on family memberships and long-term packages. Maybe if you ask Santa, he will buy you a new membership! Or maybe some gear!

Discount options:

3 months: $180+27=207-41.50=165.50

6 months: $360+54=414-124=$290

1 year: $720+108=828-331=$496.80

How much do the other programs cost at Titans?

All of our programs, prices and class times can be found here.

How much does it cost to use the weight room and cardio equipment?

It's $25 per month for non-members and $15 per month with another program.

I want to learn more about BJJ. What sites do you recommend?

Do you have any advice for beginners?

Of course! Ask me anything.  Also, I have advice from the experts!


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