I recently found myself with quite a bit of spare time, which meant that I could finally do something I've wanted to do since I moved to Sydney two years ago; martial arts. I've been interested in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), also known as Gracia Jiu Jitsu (named after the legendary Gracie family who started the art), and Muay Thai for many years. I chose to start my training in Gracie Jiu Jitsu.
After much research, I decided to train at Gracie Sydney Jiu Jitsu in Alexandria. An added bonus of this gym is that there is also a Muay Thai gym. There are classes six days a week, including youth and kids classes and women's self defence in addition to adult Jiu Jitsu classes.
[ADVERT]The training sessions are fairly intense. The class starts with a warm up of jogging and variations, the forwards and backwards rolls, hip escapes and several other BJJ warm ups. Then the drilling component of the class, which starts with some form of throw. You pair up and practice whichever move is being taught in that class. After throws, you move on to floor work, which entails learning how to escape and gain dominance (or mount) your opponent. The final portion of the class is rolling, where you 'spar' with people in the class. Class ends with bowing to the instructors, the portrait of Helio Gracie that hangs in between the Brazilian and Australian flags, and finally shaking hands with everyone involved in the class.
I highly recommend training in Jiu Jitsu. Not only is it a well rounded self defence martial art, it is a great full body work out. There is also the social aspect. The instructors are friendly, and the other practitioners are keen to introduce themselves to new students and help out in any way they can.