Southern California is home to many great mixed martial arts gyms with San Diego leading the charge in the United States for some of the best fighters and teachers available. MMA is comprised of many different forms of fighting but one of the most popular and widely used techniques is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a ground-based fighting style, with emphasis on positioning, chokes and joint locks. I decided it was time to join the masses and took my first introductory class to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at SurFight Jiu Jitsu in Solana Beach. http://goo.gl/maps/26xf6
Surfight Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Gym
Today’s class was a no-gi session, which meant that the dress code was basic gym clothes. I had my reservations about going into a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gym with concerns over cleanliness, as I knew I would be spending most of my time rolling around on mats. The gym exceeded my expectations in this department and the layout was simple and effective. We waited for others to show up for class to start and then got going with about 20 minutes of warm-up and drills before pairing off.
After doing some drills with my friend Jeff, the class paired off and Joel (pictured above and operator of SurFight) thought it would be best if I just observed a couple rounds to get a feel for what grappling really is. I have never been in a fight or wrestled growing up so I was content with observing a little on my first day before diving in.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Grappling
It was great to observe all these fighters on my first day and many took the time to give me some pointers on what to expect. It’s an interesting sport as there is complete respect for everyone in the gym, especially your opponent. Rounds got intense between a couple pairs but everyone who enters the sport quickly learns how to say, “tap out” or simply the action of tapping out.
I learned quickly that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is one hell of a workout. Not one person was dry at the end of the class and many were breathing heavy. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a great cross training activity and works every muscle group imaginable with an emphasis on your brain. Grappling really is like a game of chess as you are always trying to outthink your opponent. You have to be a forward thinker as well because when you stop thinking, your opponent out matches you. The martial arts community is very tight and respects everyone who participates in it. If you are spastic and show up thinking you will dominate, someone will quickly give you a lesson in humility. I will definitely return to SurFight when I am ready to move forward with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes as I enjoyed all the teachers, students, the facility and the camaraderie among everyone in the gym.
There is some gear required for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Many of the students in the class grappled with a mouth guard and some with knee guards for the no-gi class. Typically in a Jiu Jitsu class, all fighters will wear is a gi. The popular one-stop shop for many mixed martial arts fighters in San Diego is 858 Fight Shop. I visited this store with a friend of mine who purchased a couple items and the staff was very friendly, filled with product knowledge and had a great selection of all items.
After working up a sweat and an appetite at SurFight, a few of us headed next door to “Juicers” and got one of the biggest and tastiest Acai Bowls I have ever had. I hope you’re hungry because this bowl was a monster of which none of us were able to finish.