Frequently Asked Questions

Table of Contents

Uniform Questions

What do I bring to my first class?

If possible, please try to arrive 15 minutes early so that you can meet the staff and instructors, sign a waiver if you haven’t already etc.

As far as footwear goes bringing some flip flops/ sandals is a good idea. No shoes are permitted on the mats. That’s why walking up to the mats with flip-flops is a great idea for a seamless transition. 

If you have a gi of your own, bring it! We add a free uniform to our patented 5-Week Beginner Course, along with a belt. Definitely make sure to bring those. If you’re coming for a different class and you don’t have a gi… worry not, we have rental gis available as well as gis for purchase.

For a no-gi class, a rashguard and shorts should be worn.

And of course, a water bottle is highly recommended. We have a filtered water station you can refill as needed.

What IS a gi? Is that the same as the kimono?

A gi is a uniform worn during jiu-jitsu (as well as various other martial arts, including judo, karate, and sambo) training. The word “gi” comes from the Japanese term, “Keikogi” or “Judogi”. 

Keiko means practice; gi means dress or clothes. A gi consists of 3 pieces; the gi jacket, pants, and belt.

Different parts of a gi are strategically utilized for grips, chokes, guards, and other techniques during training. Typically, it is heavily stitched and usually made of cotton to withstand the rigors of daily practice. 

What if I have my own gi, but it has another academy's logos on it?

Believe it or not, we do NOT care! At all. Please wear whatever gi you have. Legion has absolutely no gi policy*. Any color, any brand, any logo, any gym affiliation. The entire purpose of American Jiu-Jitsu is to be as accessible, welcoming, and judgment-free as is possible. Just come train. 

*all gis must be clean 

general questions

What is 'American' Jiu Jitsu? Is it the same as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?

It is a popular misconception that American Jiu Jitsu was named “American” solely to represent a “new” style of jiu jitsu. While it is true that the founder of Legion, Keenan Cornelius, has been recognized for his unique style of fighting – AJJ was branded as such to represent a different approach to the sport’s culture.

American Jiu Jitsu is not limited to just “Brazilian” or “Japanese” Jiu-Jitsu. Instead, it embodies and draws from many grappling and martial arts forms; wrestling, sambo, and judo – to name a few. 

American Jiu Jitsu will continue teaching and honoring traditional martial arts principles of discipline, respect, and responsibility – but will not subscribe to hero-worshiping or strict hierarchies within schools that leave students feeling lesser than their instructors (or lead to cult-like organizations). Instead, we provide high-quality instruction while embracing team camaraderie, support, and fun.

Regardless of gym affiliation, nationality, background, experience, or belt rank – Legion is a school where anyone can walk in and will find American Jiu Jitsu approachable and easy to integrate into.

TL:DR On the mat, our jiu jitsu is very similar to BJJ, but culturally there’s a big difference. 

Is AJJ good exercise?

Most definitely! In addition to being immensely FUN, training will increase your muscle tone, bodily coordination, cardiovascular capacity, muscular endurance, balance, and will (inevitably) reduce overall body fat. All that being said, please make sure you hydrate and fuel yourself properly before and after training.

What is the difference between gi and no-gi?

In short – and perhaps the most obvious point – the uniform! In Gi Classes, you wear a gi. In No-Gi, you don’t! 

Gi jiu jitsu, the uniform is a fundamental piece of most techniques and movements. No-gi jiu jitsu, on the other hand, more closely resembles wrestling as it is often faster paced and places emphasis on speed rather than leverage.

In no-gi classes, you can wear rash guards and board shorts or leggings. While each style has advantages and disadvantages (technically speaking), they share a remarkably similar conceptual foundation and are absolutely complementary to one another in training jiu jitsu overall.

I'm a woman: Is AJJ right for me?

YES! American Jiu Jitsu is an excellent choice for women, especially for how it contributes to one’s self-defensive ability, sense of community and belonging, and of course, mental and physical fitness.

Regarding self-defense, it is a fantastic skillset to have (and practice) because, when an “opponent’s” physical size exceeds our own, jiu jitsu trains us to utilize leverage and specific techniques that work to fill that gap.

Outside of self-defense, the jiu jitsu community is widespread and actively growing; passionate people with a shared passion come together to practice, make mistakes, and learn from one another.

Lastly, unlike other popularized martial arts, jiu jitsu does not include over-aggressive attacks, punches, or kicks that leave people unconscious. Rather, jiu jitsu is quite the opposite. It is a more fluid, almost graceful-looking martial art that will challenge you both physically (get ready to increase your cardiovascular endurance!) and mentally, as you think logically to apply learned techniques and movements during training.

Is there an age limit for AJJ classes?

No! We have members here who range from 4 years old to over 70! We offer both adult and children’s classes. As a sport, jiu-jitsu should be and at Legion is, truly for everyone.

Is there an age limit for AJJ classes?

Eaglets/Kids Class

Legion Etiquette