Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions? Look through the questions below and find an answer. If you don't see what you're looking for, send us a message and we'd be glad to respond.

What is Jiu Jitsu?

Simply put, Jiu Jitsu is a grappling based martial art. “Grappling” is basically holding onto an opponent and effectively controlling them. After the grip is established, chokes and limb breaking techiniques are utilized to subdue an opponent. Jiu Jitsu techniques are based on efficiency. Using the least amount of force to gain the maximum results. It is a very ‘intelligent’ martial art, where a smaller, weaker person is just as capable as the strong, gifted athlete. Simply put, Jiu Jitsu is based on the concepts of Push/Pull and Angles, Leverage and Distractions.

Can I come in and watch a class?

Yes. We encourage anyone interested in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to drop in and watch any class they want. Observers are always welcome.

Are new students required to sign a membership contract?

No way! There are no contracts of any kind. Membership is usually paid on a month-to-month basis. A pay-per-class option is also available.

Can I try it out first before deciding to join?


Does Neutral Ground Sheboygan welcome visitors from other gyms?

Yes! All we ask is that you follow the general rule of mutual respect with all students, tell the instructor of your training background / rank, and sign a waiver. There is a small “drop in fee” of $20 per class that is due at the time of training. There are also options buying multiple class passes if you will be a frequent guest. If you are looking to make neutral ground your new home gym then you must speak with Jeff about Trial memberships.

Are there any fees associated with rank promotion?

A student is tested everyday they are on the mats. You can’t buy rank at Neutral Ground. It must be earned with sweat, hard work, and dedication.

What is the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu lineage at Neutral Ground Sheboygan?

We are of the Master Pedro Sauer lineage. He was a direct student of Grand Master Helio Gracie and Master Rickson Gracie. Neutral Ground was founded by Professor Jon Friedland who is a 3-stripe Black Belt under Master Sauer. Jeff Sass is a direct student of Jon Friedland.

Jigoro Kano–>Mitsuyo Maeda–>Carlos Gracie Sr.–>Helio Gracie–>Rickson Gracie–>Pedro Sauer–>Jon Friedland–>Jeff Sass.

Am I too old to start BJJ?

Jiu Jitsu is one of the only martial arts that is life-long. Age DOES NOT matter. Helio Gracie trained into his 90’s. Age is often used as an excuse. We have students in their 40’s and 50’s. No big deal.

What is the belt ranking structure in BJJ?

The ranking system in BJJ is unique among other martials arts. It takes a very long time to gain rank. The adult ranking system goes WHITE–>BLUE–>PURPLE–>BROWN–>BLACK with 4 ranking stripes at each level. The belt is only a symbol. When a student’s skill level reaches a certain point, they are awarded to next rank. No formal testing is done.

Is it dangerous?

As with any martial art, there is always a risk of injury. Minor bumps and bruises will happen. Great care is taken to avoid any major injuries. However, BJJ is a grueling martial art and injuries can happen.

Can I Pay Online?

Yes. Visit the REGISTER page and select the type of membership you have.

Do I have to be physically in shape to train in BJJ?

Nope. But it helps. If you are out of shape BJJ is a great way to get in shape. BJJ requires a modest amount of mobility. If you can leave the video games alone and get off the couch without assistance then you can start BJJ.

Always assume that your opponent is going to be bigger, stronger and faster than you;
so that you learn to rely on technique, timing and leverage rather than brute strength.

Helio Gracie

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