Lucas Lepri PH



Below are some frequently asked questions about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, or you have a suggestion, please email us at , call us at 704-937-1606, or fill out our online contact form.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a sport, self-defense system, and a fitness program. It has proven to be the most practical and effective self-defense system in the world. It relies on leverage and technique, rather than strength and size. This allows you to defend yourself against much bigger, stronger attackers. As a result, BJJ is a great sport for everyone – including women and kids.

It is one of the fastest growing martial arts, due (in part) to its great success in the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) and Mixed Martial Arts in general. BJJ focuses on grappling and ground fighting with the goal of getting into a position to force an attacker or opponent to submit or give up.

BJJ is also an intense, aerobic and anaerobic workout so your overall health and fitness will improve, including your flexibility, strength, cardiovascular fitness, ability to burn fat, and muscular endurance.

No. You do not need to be strong, flexible, or in particularly good shape to start Jiu-Jitsu. By practicing Jiu-Jitsu, you will most certainly improve your strength, flexibility, and conditioning (plus balance, coordination, and more), but you do not need to have those traits to begin with. Disclaimer: Doctors’ recommend anyone who starts any strenuous activity, including Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, receive a physical examination to ensure they can safely participate in the program’s activities.

You generally wear either a gi (sometimes called a kimono) or nogi attire to practice/train. If you are in your trial classes, you can wear any comfortable clothing and we will loan you the appropriate attire. When you sign up, you will receive a gi as part of registration.

A gi consists of a cotton jacket, reinforced cotton pants, and a belt. It was adapted from the uniforms used in traditional martial arts like karate.  When using the gi, you and your opponent have more “things” to hold onto and use against each other.

We also practice and compete (for those who want to compete) without the gi. This is called “nogi” Jiu-Jitsu or “submission grappling”. The “nogi” attire consists of fight/board shorts and a rash guard.

*Both Males and females should wear a rash guard and a spandex shorts under the gi.

No. The majority of people who learn and train Jiu-Jitsu do not compete. Of course, competition can be a reason to set goals and a great way to challenge and test yourself. We encourage anyone who wants to compete to do so, but there is no expectation or requirement to do it. Come learn, get in shape, and enjoy the sport. You can decide later if you’d like to compete.

Jiu-Jitsu has proven itself in actual 1-on-1 combat situations:

(1) challenge matches Jiu-Jitsu, (2) the Ultimate Fighting Championship (Mixed Martial Arts), and (3) the military/law enforcement:

1. One of the primary methods of advancing the sport during its early development was to issue or accept challenge matches to test the art against other martial artists, fighters, and/or tough guys.

Jiu-Jitsu practitioners consistently won those confrontations, and losses or weaknesses that were exposed resulted in adjustments to the sport (less useful moves/positions were changed or eliminated and more effective techniques added).

2. Inspired by the challenge matches and subsequent videos, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was created in 1993 by Rorion Gracie, Art Davie, and John Milius to showcase the effectiveness of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Royce Gracie (Rorion’s younger brother) entered the first four UFCs.Despite being the lightest competitor in all 4 events, he won 3 of them (UFC 1, UFC 2, & UFC 4).

He withdrew from the finals of UFC 3 due to dehydration.

He didn’t lose a match and won 11 consecutive victories by submission, a record that still stands today.

Perhaps the only more meaningful attribution to Jiu-Jitsu is that every Mixed Martial Artist and nearly all serious martial artists now incorporate Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as a core part of their training program.

3. The US Army’s Modern Army Combatives Program (MACP) is based largely on brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and its founder, Matt Larsen, is a black belt under Jacare Cavalcanti and a member of the Alliance family of Jiu-Jitsu academies (which includes Lucas Lepri Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu & Fitness).

Jiu-Jitsu is a very safe sport, and safety is a core principle at Lucas Lepri Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu & Fitness. Our mat etiquette, curriculum design, practice process, and instruction methods all ensure safety first.

Today is the day you can begin your journey that will definitely change your life.

BJJ is for everyone – regardless of sex or age. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was originally formulated for use by smaller, weaker people to allow them to defend themselves against larger, stronger attackers. In that way, Jiu-Jitsu is perfectly suited for women, kids, young and old. Anyone and everyone can participate!

NO. Anyone, at any age, can do Jiu-Jitsu.  Alliance has students ranging in age from 3 to 80.

No preparation is required. Just bring your attire (gi or nogi), flip flops, and come ready to learn and have fun! If you don’t have a gi, you can borrow one of ours for your introductory classes. Once you sign up, you will get a gi. If you already have a gi, ensure is without any other academy patch.

The belt order for adults is: White, Blue, Purple, Brown, Black, Red/Black, Red/White, & Red. Some schools award “stripes” for white, blue, purple, and brown belt, based (typically) on time/ practice frequency. At Lucas Lepri Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu & Fitness, we award stripes as follows:

  • White: 1 stripe at each 30th class (appropriate level class required), up to 4 stripes.
  • Blue, Purple, Brown:  1 stripe at each 90th class, up to 4 stripes.

The decision to promote any individual from belt to belt is a subjective process based on criteria beyond simply participation. Generally, attitude, technical knowledge, and demonstrated skill are important elements for belt promotion with character traits, leadership, etc. become increasingly important at higher ranks.

Kids, until 16 years of age, use a different belt ranking system which includes White, Yellow, Orange, and Green.

The journey in Jiu-Jitsu is much more rigorous that most other martial arts but when you see a black belt, you know it was earned. Although each person is unique, it generally takes between 8-15 years to reach black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. It takes 9 months – 18 months to go from white to blue belt and then 2-5 years each for the subsequent belt, up to black.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is one of the best workouts you can get, and it provides far better results than a typical aerobic workout. It is also much more fun and interactive than most exercise programs, so you end up working out more and harder. Many people practice it primarily for the health/exercise benefits, which increase muscle tone and reduce body fat while improving your balance, coordination, cardio vascular capacity, and muscular endurance.