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Frequently Asked Questions   
  Getting Started  
I’ve never practiced martial arts, but I want to learn. How do I get started?
How much do the lessons cost?
What’s the difference between the Gracie Combatives DVD collection the online course, and why is the online course slightly more expensive?
How do I view my lessons on a mobile device?
What is the best way to find a training partner?
How often should I train?
If I want to train with family members, do we both have to purchase the lessons multiple times, or can we share them?
How many techniques are there for each belt?
How long does it take to reach blue/purple/brown/black belt?
Is the Gracie Combatives instructional series, by Ryron and Rener, the same as the instructional series’ (Basics, Intermediate, and Advanced) produced by Rorion and Royce Gracie?
Where can I learn about the Gracie Diet?
Once I purchase online lessons, how long will they be in my library for?
Can my child/wife/friend be my training/testing partner?
How old does someone have to be to go through the curriculum?
A local jiu-jitsu instructor claims to be trained by the Gracies. How do I know if he is legitimate?
Q:  I’ve never practiced martial arts, but I want to learn. How do I get started?
A:  The first thing to do is become familiar with the university by watching the guided tour. After that, you will need to find a training partner in your community, which you can do in the Students and Schools section (use the Advanced Search option for best results). Once you’ve found a person, or group of people, to train with, make sure that at least one of you has access to the curriculum and start training! Remember, if you have any questions along the way, about anything, post them in the forum and we will answer them as soon as we can.
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Q:  How much do the lessons cost?
A:  Gracie University lessons can be accessed via one of our subscription programs or on a pay-per-class basis. If you are interested in long-term training and rank advancement, we strongly recommend the subscription programs (Starting at $20/month) since it gives total access to the curriculum for a small monthly fee and you can go through the program as quickly as you’d like. If you are only interested in viewing a select few lesson or a certain segment of the curriculum, however, than purchasing those lessons for a one-time premium price (usually $8 - $14 per class) might be a better option. To learn about the subscription options, click here.
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Q:  What’s the difference between the Gracie Combatives DVD collection the online course, and why is the online course slightly more expensive?
A:  The video lessons that appear on the Gracie Combatives DVDs are EXACTLY the same as those that appear in the online Gracie Combatives course. There are several benefits to the online Gracie Combatives course that do not come with the DVDs: 1) you can watch all your online lessons from any computer or mobile device, 2) you get access to several interactive features, such as the chat room and the “Ask the Gracies” forums for each lesson, and 3) each of the online lessons comes with a detailed breakdown, in PDF format, featuring Rener’s personal notes for each variation of each technique. These PDFs can be printed out and used to guide your training sessions on the mat. Many people just like having the DVD box set so they end up getting both the DVDs and online access, especially since the program is so reasonably priced.
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Q:  How do I view my lessons on a mobile device?
A:  Most smart-phones and tablets are capable of accessing the full Gracie University website. For those that are not compatible, Gracie University has a mobile website that is optimized for mobile devices. You can access your lessons by going to www.GracieUniversity.com/mobile. The first time you go there you will be prompted to log-in. Use your regular Gracie University email and password. Once on the mobile site you will see drop down menus that let you select from your library of courses and lessons.
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Q:  What is the best way to find a training partner?
A:  As soon as you have access to the Gracie Combatives course, either online or on DVD, you should find a training partner who will commit to completing the course with you. If you do not have a friend or family member who can dedicate to regular practice with you, visit the Student and Schools section of this site. If you are lucky enough to live near an accredited school, that would be your best option, since you would have the opportunity to learn the techniques under the guidance of a certified instructor. If not, you should search the list of Gracie Garages to see if there are any unofficial at-home training centers in your community. If there isn’t an accredited school or a Gracie Garage near you, you can search the list of Gracie University students to find individuals in your community who are looking for training partners. For best results in the Students and Schools section, use the Advanced Search option.
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Q:  How often should I train?
A:  One of the many perks of signing up as a Gracie University student is that you get to download the Gracie Combatives Blue Belt Qualification Handbook for free. The handbook features the cyclic training schedule that we recommend you adhere to for best results with the Gracie Combatives course, as well as an outline for all 36 lessons and note space for each Technical Slice of each lesson. In the handbook you will also find the list of specific techniques that must be performed during each of the five Blue Belt Qualification Drills as well as the Gracie Combatives Fight Chart, which illustrates how all 36 techniques would flow in a real fight.
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Q:  If I want to train with family members, do we both have to purchase the lessons multiple times, or can we share them?
A:  When training with a family member, you do not need to purchase the instructional material more than once. We understand that, in many cases, GU students will get together in small groups to practice, and even though not all members of the group will have purchased the DVD collection, or the online courses, they are still learning the techniques from other members of the group and are equally dedicated to the curriculum. The only restriction is that multiple users cannot log in to a single account at the same time. If we notice excessive attempts at simultaneous logins on a single account, we will suspect that the password is being shared, and the account will be terminated.
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Q:  How many techniques are there for each belt?
A:  Altogether, there are over 600 techniques that you will need to master to be considered for promotion to black belt. The first step is to perfect the 36 techniques that are covered in the Gracie Combatives course. From there, you will work on your blue belt, and then move on to purple brown and black. (see Testing Center for details).
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Q:  How long does it take to reach blue/purple/brown/black belt?
A:  The time it takes to progress through the rankings relies more on your training philosophy than anything else, and because of this, it varies greatly from person to person. Generally speaking it takes approximately 8-12 months to earn the Gracie Combatives belt, another 6-12 months for blue belt, and then 3-4 years for each belt after blue. Altogether, it will take anywhere from 8-14 years for you to reach black belt. In future Gracie Philosophy sessions, the Gracie Brothers will discuss the exact philosophy/mindset that you must adopt in order to maximize your training sessions and minimize the time it takes to master the art.
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Q:  Is the Gracie Combatives instructional series, by Ryron and Rener, the same as the instructional series’ (Basics, Intermediate, and Advanced) produced by Rorion and Royce Gracie?
A:  No. The instructional series produced by Rorion and Royce was designed to help students who already had some experience, whereas the Gracie Combatives instructional series was solely designed to help someone, with absolutely no experience, go from no knowledge to street ready from home. Although the Rorion/Royce DVDs feature some Gracie Combatives techniques and some Master Cycle techniques, in order to earn official belt promotions, you must master all the Gracie Combatives techniques, which are only presented, in their entirety, on the series by Ryron and Rener.
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Q:  Where can I learn about the Gracie Diet?
A:  According to Rorion Gracie, the Gracie Diet is more important to him than jiu-jitsu. If you’re interested in learning more about the family diet or you’d like to order the Gracie Diet book, please visit www.GracieDiet.com.
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Q:  Once I purchase online lessons, how long will they be in my library for?
A:  If you sign up for one of the Gracie University subscription plans, the lessons will remain in your library so long as you are paying the small monthly subscription fee. If you purchase a lesson/course at a premium using the pay-per-class method, they will remain in your library indefinitely.
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Q:  Can my child/wife/friend be my training/testing partner?
A:  Yes! Anyone can do Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and, therefore, anyone can be your training partner. Keep in mind however that since most of the techniques were designed to work on larger opponents, when you are practicing it does help to have someone your size or larger to train with.
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Q:  How old does someone have to be to go through the curriculum?
A:  Although you can start “playing” jiu-jitsu with a child as early as 4 or 5 years old, in order for someone to fully understand and complete the adult Gracie Jiu-Jitsu curriculum successfully, they will need to be a mature teenager. In order to take the Gracie Combatives test, they must be 14 years of age, and to test for blue belt at a Certified Training Center, they must be 16. If you have a child between the ages of 4 and 12 years old, you can learn how to guide them through our Gracie Bullyproof program and help them earn official rank from home through our youth site: www.GracieKids.com.
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Q:  A local jiu-jitsu instructor claims to be trained by the Gracies. How do I know if he is legitimate?
A:  Many instructors claim to be affiliated with the Gracie Family when they actually are not. In order to preserve the integrity of the system, a school can only be accredited by the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy after one or more of their instructors have complete our rigorous Instructor Certification Program. To see the complete list of Gracie Academy Certified Training Centers, please visit www.gracieacademy.com/training_centers.asp.
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