Frequently asked questions

What is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or BJJ is a martial art and combat sport, specifically designed to use leverage and body mechanics to control or submit an opponent. BJJ is both a sport and self-defence, providing everyone with the necessary tools dependant on their individual goals.

What should I wear to my first class?

For your first class, you should wear something that’s comfortable with minimal zips and buttons. The traditional Gi (uniform worn for majority of martial arts) is not necessary for your first few weeks of training

What should I expect from my first class?

Here at CRA we have a specific fundamental programme which is compulsory for all new starters. We have designed a 12-week rotating syllabus which takes you through all the basic positions and movements of BJJ, where you will learn in a fun and safe environment.

Do I need a certain level of fitness before I start?

BJJ is for everyone so there is no required level of fitness, come along and learn at your own pace, increasing your fitness as you go.

Do I need to book in advance?

No there is no need to book for your first class. We offer a full timetable at CRA, which can be found here (hyperlink). We recommend you turn up 15min prior to the class start time to fill out the necessary forms, and to get a feel for the gym.

What is the Chris Rees Academy?

The Chris Rees Academy was founded in 2004 by head coach Chris Rees. What started off as one club running twice a week is now a big network of clubs all over south Wales, including 3 full time locations and multiple smaller affiliates. The club originally was an official Gracie Barra club, one of the world leading organisation and was overseen by multiple world champion Braulio Estima.

In 2011 Chris was promoted to the rank of Blackbelt by Braulio Estima becoming the first Welsh black belt and has since produced several black belts including regional and national champions. The academy its self boasts champions in both BJJ and MMA at the highest levels of the sport.

Chris himself was a vivid competitor earlier in his career most notably being invited to the 10k clash in the UK with the likes of Jeff Monson, but more recently has been putting his focus in to coaching and the growth of the gym.

The first black belt promoted by Chris under the guidance of Braulio Estima was Rob Taylor. Rob currently runs the full-time location in Cardiff alongside being one of the most successful competitors at masters blackbelt division in the UK claiming an impressive 3 British titles at Blackbelt.

CRA are proud to have produced many high-level athletes in both MMA and BJJ most notable, Brett Johns and Ashley Williams. Brett Johns is a current UFC athlete in the bantamweight division, becoming the second welsh man to sign with them after claiming world titles in both Cage Warriors and Titan FC. He has an impressive 13-0 record and has gone up against some of the best in the world maintaining his perfect record.

Ashley Williams was promoted to Black belt in March 2015 and at the time was the youngest UK Blackbelt at just 22years of age. Since becoming a blackbelt he has achieved many things including first UK athlete to be invited to the prestigious Eddie Bravo Invitational, first UK athlete to claim a European title in the adult black belt division and also qualifying for the black belt world championships in 2016.

As a gym, we try to cater to all different types of individuals meaning we really do offer something for everyone. The gym maintains a fun and friendly atmosphere for you to learn in, starting from as young as 3yrs old. You won’t be disappointed in joining the CRA team.