WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE VISITING
Trial Classes Information
Can I try a class?
If you’re serious about joining our team, we do allow a free trial class.
Free Trial Class:
• Bring a towel if you would like to shower
• Bring a pair of flip flops to get from the changing room to the mats and around the gym.
• We have a vending machine with Gatorade, waters and snacks
BJJ Trial Class:
• We provide you with a gi and a belt for your first class
• If you’ve never done BJJ, we recommend you first come to our fundamental or all levels bjj class.
• Please arrive 15 mins before class so you have ample time to fill out the waiver and change for class.
We recommend you sign up for the trial class online to save time.
Membership General Information:
As far as memberships go:
• No long-term contracts!
• Month to month ongoing payments
• Option to freeze membership if you’re out of town
• If you need to cancel, just give us a 60-day notice
• Please bring your clean gi each time. If you forget your gi, they can be rented for $10
WHAT IS BRAZILIAN JIU-JITSU (BJJ)
ABOUT BRAZILIAN JIU-JITSU
BRAZILIAN JIU-JITSU (BJJ) is a grappling-based martial art whose central theme is the skill of controlling a resisting opponent in ways that force him to submit. Due to the fact that control is generally easier on the ground than in a standing position, much of the technique of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is centered around the skill of taking an opponent down to the ground and wrestling for dominant control positions from where the opponent can be rendered harmless.
To control and overcome greater size, strength, and aggression with lesser size and strength is the keynote of the sport. This is done by utilizing superior leverage, grip, and position upon your opponent. Students of the sport gain a deep understanding of the workings and limits of the human body.
This knowledge can be used to subdue and control an opponent with whatever level of severity the student chooses. The path to this knowledge is physically and mentally demanding. Students benefit from greatly increased physical fitness, problem-solving ability, self-knowledge of their body and mind and the many social benefits of working within a large group of like-minded fellow students as you learn and have fun together.
BJJ Grandmasters Carlos and Helio Gracie practicing.
Many students first learn about Jiu-Jitsu through the great popularity of mixed martial arts (MMA) competition, where Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu technique is very prominent.
Indeed, the beginnings of the contemporary MMA competition were largely tied up with proving the combat-efficiency of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
The practice of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as a sport, however, is strongly separated from MMA. Daily classes do not feature kicking or punching. The focus is on a safe grappling technique that can be done on a daily basis with no more fear of injury than any other contact sport. While there is a professional MMA team at the Renzo Gracie Academy, the great majority of students study only the grappling sport and find that this is the most enjoyable and satisfying route to take.
Renzo Gracie is a world-renown practitioner of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and MMA. He is a senior member of the famous Gracie family of Jiu-Jitsu teachers and fighters who did so much to change the shape the current state of martial arts instruction in America.
He has assembled a great team of some of the very best instructors from Brazil, many of whom are members of his illustrious family and who teach his system to a very large and ever-growing community and his world-famous New York City Academy.
Renzo’s fame and charisma are the basis of a truly enjoyable place to train, grow and develop your skills among many avid practitioners of the sport, ranging from famous professional fighters to everyday enthusiasts.
Classes at the academy are taught all day six days a week. They feature a strength and endurance building warm-up, followed by demonstration and practice of techniques after which students engage in live wrestling with other students of their own level.
It is a truly demanding workout with a strongly cerebral aspect and a sense of purpose and skill that will truly capture your imagination. Come down to the academy. Come take a look at a class or better yet, take one of the introduction classes.
We are confident that Jiu-Jitsu will become one of the most cherished and enjoyable aspects of your life. It will give you confidence, knowledge, body-dexterity, and fitness that few people will ever know.
~ John Danaher
Renzo Gracie Black Belt / RGA Professor
A BRIEF HISTORY OF JIU-JITSU
In the last days of the 19th century, some Jiu-Jitsu masters emigrated from Japan to other continents, teaching the martial arts as well as taking part in fights and competitions. Mitsuyo Maeda was one such master. Maeda arrived in Brazil in 1915, and settled in Belem do Para, where he met a man named Gastao Gracie.
The father of eight children, among them five boys and three girls, Gastao became a Jiu-Jitsu enthusiast and brought his oldest son, Carlos, to learn from the Japanese master.
For a naturally frail fifteen-year old Carlos Gracie, Jiu-Jitsu became a method not simply for fighting, but for personal improvement. At nineteen, he moved to Rio de Janeiro with his family and began teaching and fighting. In his travels, Carlos would teach classes, and also proved the efficiency of the art by beating opponents who were physically stronger. In 1925, he returned to Rio and opened the first school, known as the “Academia Gracie de Jiu-Jitsu.”
Jiu-Jitsu promotes the concept that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend against a bigger, stronger assailant by using leverage and proper technique.
A MESSAGE FROM THE FOUNDER OF BRAZILIAN JIU-JITSU, CARLOS GRACIE
Portrait of Carlos Gracie.
Jiu-Jitsu constitutes the natural defense the weak person disposes of against the strong person. It is a sort of leveling process through which brute force, confronted and dominated by the wise application of rational mechanics, is led to admitting that the human being, usually taken as a body endowed with a soul, should actually be deemed a soul that happens to reside in a body. This, however, no matter what our philosophical or religious orientation is, must never mean disregard or lack of attention towards the body we use in this world. We don’t understand, really, how, in order to reach wisdom, love, or in order to adore and serve God, respecting His laws, it can be necessary or possible to harm one of His most beautiful and perfect creatures.
If it is true that the disharmony in our thoughts and feelings can generate physical harm, it is no less true that the care we take with our body reflects not only on that body, but also on the mental health we all need to achieve a harmonious, happy life.
Of course, one doesn’t need special abilities to master certain resources of Jiu-Jitsu, which allow us to defend efficiently. Let us not forget, notwithstanding, that, no matter what we look forward to, we will always have better chances of reaching it if we use our greatest spiritual and physical possibilities. Jiu-Jitsu, which cannot escape that peremptory rule, is nothing but its application in self-defense. Being, further, a sport, and indeed one of the most complete, how could it possibly turn its back on physical preparation?
Without health, in its whole meaning, there can be no complete happiness. Very often, however, instead of studying the laws we must respect in order to avoid diseases, we are more concerned about what is the proper medicine or process for repairing the consequences of our ignorance or conscious infractions.
It is illogical for man, who is the most perfect being to inhabit Earth, to have a shorter life than that of other animals. We are among those who fiercely believe we should live more than any irrational being. Therefore, if we compare the current average duration of the human life to that of the parrot’s, we don’t understand why, when one of us decides to live a hundred years, it is something so extraordinary. Imagine if, like an elephant or turtle, one of us happened to live until the age of two hundred!
However, as we see it, all that would be very normal if, throughout generations, with strange perseverance, we hadn’t been driving away from the natural laws.
Among other explanations, for instance, is nutrition. What do we really know about how, when, how much and what to eat in harmony with natural laws?
But let us stop here before, my dear reader, your tolerance goes away completely and you, with justifiable irony, ask: “And, by the way, what about Jiu-Jitsu?”
You are partially right. Due to the fact that it is, however, a difficult – if not impossible – task, in its amplitude, we won’t neglect our duty of warning you that hoping to learn, exclusively by means of reading, the secrets of this traditional art of defense and attack is as efficient as studying singing by mail.
To you, friend and reader, my sincere thanks, and we’ll see each other again. If I didn’t succeed in pleasing you, at least I hope I didn’t totally disappoint you.
~ Carlos Gracie
Founder of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
RENZO GRACIE ACADEMY ETIQUETTE
Renzo Gracie Houston Academy Etiquette:
• Leave your ego outside and be humble and respectful to others.
• Arrive early for class.
• Sign in for every class.
• PARENTS, NO COACHING FROM THE SIDELINES
• Enter and exit the mat with permission from instructors
• Bow to the center of the mats when entering or exiting the mats.
• Remove shoes prior to stepping on the mats.
• Always wear shoes off the mats.
• Keep quiet while the instructor is teaching.
• No foul language or poor attitudes.
• Personal hygiene is a must. Please keep your fingernails and toenails trimmed. Please bathe and use deodorant to prevent body odor.
• Students must wear a clean and appropriate uniform for class.
• Students are required to wear a rash-guard underneath their Gi.
• Keep your uniform and equipment clean. (wash after EVERY class)
• Remove all jewelry before class.
• Give higher ranked students preferred space during training.
• Refer to Black Belt Instructors as “Professor”
• Refer to non Black Belt Instructors as “Coaches”
• Be aware of your surroundings. Maintain a safe environment while training.
• Use proper Tap Out procedures. Remember this is a training session, not a World Championship
• Open cuts will be covered at all times.
• Show your training partner courtesy during training.
• Mouth guards are encouraged during training.
• If you are sick, stay home.
• You are responsible for your child’s behavior if they are not participating in class.
• NO COACHING from off the mats. Please be respectful to the instructors.
• Respect those you train with and the Instructors. Rank is a symbol of knowledge and wisdom.
• Respect the facility. Pick up after yourself.
• What you are taught is for your personal development as a student and citizen, and
should be used as a last resort when everything else has failed.
Master Renzo’s Practical Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Training:
• Train to the best of your ability and always apply maximum effort.
• To get the most out of your training, attend classes regularly.
• Be on your best behavior at all times, and respect the Academy’s etiquette.
• Listen to your instructor carefully.
• Improve and train the skills you already have.
• Learn any new skills with precision, concentration, and motivation.
While some of these rules may seem strict and formal, they exist for a reason:
The Academy Etiquette Guidelines are crucial in order to instill the respect and discipline necessary when practicing martial arts.
Without committing to these guidelines, practicing this art form could be dangerous.
~ Master Renzo Gracie
FACILITY AND AMENITIES
Facility and Amenities
The Academy has over 2,500 square ft. of training area. It is matted with the latest Zebra mats, and is conveniently located close to 59 and HWY 6.
Our facility is climate controlled to maintain a comfortable training environment.
Changing Rooms, Cubbies, and Showers:
We provide separate men and women changing rooms, each equipped with cubbies and showers (soap is included in each stall, but please feel free to bring your own toiletries).
We recommend bringing your own towel.
The fitness room:
This area is not to be used by anyone unless you are an intensity fitness client. Please contact Intensity Fitness @ 832-483-5920 or visit website: www.intensityfitnesstx.com for more info.
We strive in keeping a clean, safe, family-like environment. We are confident that you will enjoy your experience at the Renzo Gracie Houston.
End of Year Promotions
Student Wearing Standard RG Uniform
2,500 sq. ft. of Training Space
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do you allow drop-ins?
We allow drop-ins only for BJJ. A visitor day pass is $20 which allows you to train in as many classes as your schedule allows. If you’re from a Renzo Gracie affiliate school, a day pass is FREE. ( Must bring visitor card )
I’m not a member of your academy. As a visitor, may I wear my own Gi?
Only if your Gi is blue, white or black except on Sunday open mat. BJJ rash-guards must be worn underneath your gi.
Can I try a class?
If you’re serious about joining our team, we do allow a free trial class.
How many classes am I allowed to take per month?
Our membership is unlimited so for one set price, you’ll be allowed to take as many classes as your schedule permits.