FAQ’s

Am I too old?

No! Because ASMA focuses a lot on teaching proper techniques to their students for self-defense application as well as fighting in the ring or in tournaments, it is a lot easier on the body with much less chance of injuries. You are never too old to learn how to defend yourself.

Can I compete in MMA or Thai Boxing or Grappling matches?

Yes! Competition is healthy if you are properly trained. If you are interested in competing, talk to the staff for proper guidance. There are many fighters and competitors at ASMA and we look forward to training you.

Can I jump right in to MMA class?

No, this class is for fighter training. If you want to compete in MMA, Thai Boxing, Boxing or grappling tournaments, you must attend this class.

Do you have family classes where parents can learn with their children?

No we do not. The reason we don’t have family classes is because adults and children learn at different rates and have a much different learning curve. We do not feel that you can effectively and legitimately teach self-defense to people with that much of a learning differential. Parents and kids don’t receive a classroom education at the same time of math, science and more, so how can they receive a self-defense education at the same time? There are techniques that are kid friendly and techniques that are applicable for adults. This is why ASMA does not mix the families.

How does your belt testing work?

Rank testing will be held on the first Saturday of every month unless otherwise specified. We will only test a student when they are ready to advance. We firmly believe that students should train to be proficient at self-defense and the belts will follow as a result of being able to understand and apply the techniques. Train to be great rather then for a belt.

Adult Jiu-Jitsu belts are given out only by Royce or Rodrigo during their seminars. Belts in Kenpo will follow the Saturday testing procedure.

How long do I have to take Thai Boxing and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu before I can do the MMA class?

Depends on the student, usually 3-6 months.

How long does it take to get a black belt?

Of course each student’s ability to process and apply the techniques of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu varies. There are many factors that are involved in promoting an individual to black belt. However, generally speaking, if you attend class 4-6 times per week it could take 10-15 years. If attending Kenpo 4 times per week, it should take around 10 years to get a black belt.

How young do you start children at your school?

At ASMA, the youngest age that we allow someone to start training with us is 5 years old. We feel that at 5, children have developed enough motor skills, coordination and their attention span is long enough to truly maximize the benefits of learning self-defense.

I hear the word “sparring” all the time. What does it mean?

‘Sparring’ is when two students train against each other in real time and speed. Both are trying to defend and execute the techniques to make the other one submit or tap out (quit). In ‘sparring,’ neither student is allowing the other one to practice or win, they are testing themselves, their knowledge of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and their ability to apply the techniques with a resisting partner. Sparring in Thai Boxing or MMA is for advanced students only, it is contact with punches, kicks, knees and elbows. You must be seriously conditioned and you cannot do this without instructor permission.

I want to learn Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and Thai Boxing, but I don’t want to spar a lot on the mat because I don’t know if my body can handle it or I just don’t want to get injured on accident. Do I have to spar?

At ASMA, we never make anyone spar who does not wish to, but sparring is an important part of the learning process because it exploits your weaknesses and strengths so you and your instructor can track your progress. What we will do is have you spar with an instructor first or some of the advanced students who are knowledgeable on how to roll around on the ground safely with new students. We find that most people, once they get the taste of sparring, realize that it is fun and great exercise and want to then spar more.

Is Gracie Jiu-Jitsu ONLY a ground fighting martial art?

No! Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, when taught properly, was designed to be the most complete system of self-defense. The system has techniques for all forms of stand up aggression; grabs, strikes, throws, tackles, hugs, weapons, and trips. It also has a complete system of ground fighting once the fight goes to the ground, which it is most famous for. Many schools do not teach the stand up self-defense portion of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu because they only want to focus on the ground. We at ASMA do not deny the fact that the fight starts on the feet with some form of aggression, which is why we teach the stand up self-defense designed by the Gracie family.

Is there a difference between Gracie Jiu-Jitsu sport competition and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu for self-defense?

Yes! When training to enter sport competitions, you prepare differently then you would if you were training to defend yourself on the street. In sport competitions there are rules, time limits, judges, points, weight classes and fan/team support. Because of this, students must train to learn how to play according to those rules and how to use those rules to their advantage. None of that exists on the street so you had better be prepared for no rules, no time, no weight class, no judges, no fans and no teammates cheering you on.

That sounds brutal, will I get hurt in class?

No! Classes are taught in a safe manner. We use focus mitts, heavy bags, speed bags and Thai pads to hit. You can’t punch, kick, knee and elbow your partner and expect to train the next day. Only a small percentage of our students are fighters, the majority just want to learn self defense and get a great workout. Thai Boxing is a great cardio workout that everyone can enjoy.

What do I get out of training at ASMA?

You will not only receive the best self-defense techniques to defend yourself on your feet and the ground, but you will receive so much more; camaraderie, discipline, sense of belonging, increased self-esteem, improved physical condition, friends, business contacts, social events, friendly competition and more….

What if I don’t want to compete? How do I get into MMA class?

You have to train in Thai Boxing and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu first, then with instructor approval, you can train in the MMA class.

What is MMA?

MMA stands for Mixed Martial Arts. It is a combination of striking arts, like kickboxing, Muay Thai and boxing and grappling arts like Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and wrestling.

What is Thai Boxing?

Thai Boxing or Muay Thai is a Martial Art from Thailand that utilizes punches, kicks, knees and elbows, and is great for close range fighting because it stresses what to do in the clinch. At ASMA it’s called Thai Boxing instead of Muay Thai because we don’t teach bowing or the traditions or religious overtones of traditional Muay Thai. We teach all the moves without the culture. Thai Boxing is battle tested in ring competitions throughout the world and if you are considering fighting MMA, this is a required class.

What is the difference between “Gracie Jiu-Jitsu” and “Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?”

They are the same martial art. The biggest difference is that “Gracie Jiu-Jitsu” uses the Gracie family’s teaching methodology. This means that we focus a lot on our students, pay close attention to the details of the techniques and execute multiple repetitions in order to make the moves instinctive rather then teach several techniques without first grasping the ones before. “Gracie Jiu-Jitsu” also focuses on teaching the stand up self-defense portion of the system where as “Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu” primarily focuses on the ground fighting only. (NOTE: There are exceptions to every rule-this is generally speaking. Each school is different depending upon their instructors background in the grappling art.)

What’s the difference between Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and other martial arts?

Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, like some other martial arts, is based on leverage and technique, not size, strength, speed or power. It was designed for the smaller, weaker opponent against the stronger, heavier opponent. Many of the other martial arts promote striking as their means of defending themselves where Gracie Jiu-Jitsu promotes submission techniques. When you depend upon punching, kicking and other strikes, you must be able to out strike your opponent. Let’s face it, on the street, a bully is not weaker and smaller then you so you are almost rolling the dice when you depend upon out striking a bigger opponent because they can strike back, and they will. That’s why there are weight classes in Boxing and Tae-Kwon-Do, size matters when striking is involved.

Why should I sign my child up here at ASMA?

Your child will receive the most complete and effective system of self-defense and improved physical conditioning. Mentally your child will show major improvements in the areas of; confidence, self-esteem, better grades at school, more disciplined, more focused, more friends, improved social and motor skills and much more…

Will I get a belt in Thai Boxing?

There are no belts in Thai Boxing, you will advance in levels. It will take around 7-8 years to receive instructor certification.

Will I get in better shape by training at ASMA?

Absolutely! We have many students here that have lost weight with remarkable results. Here you will increase your flexibility, improve your cardiovascular conditioning; strengthen your core muscles and more, all while having fun.

American School of Martial Arts provides superior martial arts instruction and training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, Boxing, Wrestling, Self Defense and Mixed Martial Arts to the Minnesota communities of Eagan, Burnsville, Apple Valley, Lakeville, Farmington, Eden Prairie, Edina, Savage, Prior Lake, Jordan, Belle Plaine, Chaska, Shakopee, Bloomington and throughout the Minneapolis-St. Paul Twin Cities area.