I was originally referred to FJJ by a friend and quickly understood why. The excellent instructors/owners have created a top flight academy with a positive and constructive atmosphere. From the very first day, despite a large group with deep experience levels, I never felt like an outsider. On the contrary, I immediately felt like “one of the students”.
Since then, my BJJ game has grown consistently each week. Most importantly, I have found a training family: a group of people who are constantly driving each other to get better.
In Northern VA, its very easy to find a school that misses the point. Martial arts, in their basest and purest forms, are about caring for and protecting others. It’s refreshing to find a school that finally gets it right. The instruction and knowledge are incredible, yet that only scratches the surface. There is a sense of community and camaraderie at FJJ that cannot be put into words. You have to come by and feel it for yourself. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again now:
FJJ is HOME & TEAM FJJ is FAMILY.
I have been an athlete all of my life playing just about every sport involving some sort of ball, but in terms of martial arts, I am a newbie.
This gym was my second (and probably final) attempt at getting into Brazilian jiu-jitsu. I had previously taken a handful of introductory lessons at another gym in the area, but my experience was not great. When you are an absolute beginner, the social anxiety of drilling with strangers who are also much more experienced than you can be daunting. While I felt like an outsider at my first gym, Fairfax Jiu Jitsu has always been a friendly and welcoming environment.
Coaches Mark Jones and Sam Kim are both extremely friendly, charismatic, and knowledgeable. They really make the experience fun, while emphasizing growth and determination. Jiu-jitsu can be stressful, but it’s easier to push through frustration and difficulty when you feel part of a team. The colored belts are also very friendly and helpful. There are students of just about every age, gender, and ethnicity. If you’re a competitive person, students from FJJ perform very well in tournaments and the Coaches take a very structured approach to preparing students for them.
In terms of the facility, it is much larger than other gyms I have visited. This allows for a large number of students to train at the same time. There is always someone to drill/spar with, allowing you to really dive deeply into jiu-jitsu if that is your desire. They have a weight room, multiple large mats, and striking areas as well. Everything is well maintained and hygienic. In addition to jiu-jitsu they also offer Muay Thai, and Capoeira classes. Additionally, I believe they are moving to an even larger/improved facility in the near future.
I highly recommend jiu-jitsu to anyone. The benefits are far greater than simply learning how to defense yourself. While that is reason enough for many people to start, the personal growth opportunities, both physical and mental cannot be understated. There are social benefits as well. As a 30 year old who works full time in an office setting, it becomes increasingly difficult to make new friends. Jiu-jitsu is the perfect way to expand your social circle, while improving yourself in every way. If you struggle with depression, there is no better cure than jiu-jitsu. Intense cardio leading to increased dopamine production, novelty through learning new techniques on a continuous basis, and a sense of community.
If you’re a friendly person, I highly recommend Fairfax Jiu-jitsu as a great place to start.
I have been training at FJJ for 7 months, starting with the Striking Elements training. This is a truly outstanding community of coaches and students. They have created a culture of hard work and mutual support. They ask you to train with “no excuses, no shortcuts” which is a great daily reminder to not explain away a shortcoming but to keep doing the work of learning, practicing, and improving. Everyone is encouraged, and is given the tools needed to achieve their best. Can’t say enough about the coaches: they are accomplished martial artists and friendly, effective teachers of their art.
Fairfax Jiu Jitsu has been a home for me since April 30, 2014. I walked in with hardly any martial arts experience and didn’t have any expectations other than getting a good workout. I tried a free BJJ class and the rest is history. Not only did I get a good workout, but all the students and instructors were very welcoming and very helpful. FJJ has become family to me. This is a school that you can trust to have your back and have your best interests in mind when it comes to your training and your own personal development. The culture here is very welcoming to any student whether they are a beginner or an expert because of their superior technical instruction, their personal interest in the growth of each student, and the values and principles that the instructors have established here that are beneficial on as well as off the mat. I’m proud to represent Fairfax Jiu Jitsu and be part of this family.
My son joined the Kids Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu program at FJJ in 2010. He has spent more time at FJJ than any other place besides home and school, so his coaches have played an important role in his development, not just as an athlete, but as a person. FJJ has become such an integral part of Nick’s life, that even after moving farther away, we never had a second thought about where he should continue to train and grow.
The facility is big and clean with a lot of air circulating which I appreciate as a spectator not participating in the training. The parents are friendly and well behaved; you won’t see parents yelling from the sideline at their children or other children. If they come in yelling in the beginning, they quickly learn that FJJ doesn’t promote or tolerate that type of environment. But what impresses me the most is how the instructors manage the balance of discipline, challenge, and fun in the classes. You won’t see kids running around screaming and out of control, except for after class when they have some free time to play, but in class they are focused and working hard, even the little ones. They promote mentorship which helps the older kids feel responsible for helping the younger kids and the younger kids look up to the older kids. It creates an environment where the children learn that it is not just about themselves, but about helping each other grow.
Since the first day Nick joined FJJ, BJJ has been his passion. It has taught him to win and lose gracefully, be respectful, stay humble, work hard, and set priorities. The skills he has learned on the mat has transferred to life outside of FJJ. He is competitive on the mat and just as competitive in his class to get good grades, he is respectful to his parents and his teachers, and he stands up for kids who can’t stand up for themselves without getting in a physical altercation. Over the past five years, he has grown physically and mentally strong. He cares about his team mates and FJJ has become more like a family than a place to train.
The dedication and commitment from the Instructors grow stronger every year as does the program. We are very satisfied parents and are extremely glad to have found Fairfax Jiu Jitsu.