The Front Jiu-Jitsu Collective
Bringing Salt Lake’s dynamic Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu community to the third floor of our 4140 South Main facility, The Front Jiu-Jitsu Collective offers the opportunity to train with dedicated instructors from around the Wasatch Front. This new program is included in your Front membership! If you’re not currently a member, your first class is on us!
When we are at “normal” operations, members and guests can attend a variety of classes and open mat sessions, with access to clean mat space for personal use when classes and other events are not being held.
Want to know more about Jiu-Jitsu? Check out the videos below.
A Message about our COVID-19 Measures
We have been looking forward to bringing Jiu-Jitsu to The Front for a long time and are glad to finally start holding classes in our beautiful new space at South Main. We want you to be able to keep training, so we are implementing class structures and practices to help mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
Our current schedule of classes below are either “designated/household partner” or “solo drill” (no partner contact) classes. For designated/household partner classes, we ask that you pair only with people in the same household or with one designated partner (you will train with only one person per class and we ask that you keep the same partner from class to class for as long as feasible). Designated/household partner classes provide the opportunity to based technique drilling, and rolling (sparring) for those who choose to. Initial designated-partner classes will accommodate both Gi and No-Gi so you can coordinate with your partner which style you’d prefer to train in for that class. We will continue to offer solo movement classes for anyone not yet comfortable with a designated-training partner or those still in the process of seeking a partner.
In addition to our initial class structures, we will also maintain the following procedures:
« To help maintain social distancing between students/partner groups, classes will be limited to six spaces for solo classes and 10 (5 partner groups) for partner classes.
« You will need to sign up in advance for each class using RGPro Connect on either on our website in the Class Schedule section or on the RGPro Connect app, available on iOS and Android devices.
« We will screen everyone for symptoms and take everyone’s temperature before class (you won’t be allowed to train with symptoms or a temperature above 100.3).
« We ask that students wear masks at ALL TIMES (we’ve tried it, it’s not so bad). If you don’t have one already, please see our front desk about getting a mask.
« For the time being the Jiu-Jitsu space will only be open during class times (you can stay after class to continue training, though) and private instruction, so that we can manage the disinfecting of the mats. We do intend to allow open mats eventually!
Current Class Schedule
Our class booking window is 3 days to ensure you have an opportunity to get into the classes you want, and that your life’s schedule doesn’t change too much between now and then.
Below are the classes we intend to have once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted:
The Front offers both Gi/kimono and “No-Gi” Jiu-Jitsu classes that involve warmup drills, technique instruction and partner drills and live sparring (aka “rolling”). These classes may also incorporate elements of self-defense, take downs and modern competition rules and techniques.
« Gi classes are practiced wearing a traditional heavy cotton Kimono, which allows the clothing to be used for grips and control.
« No-Gi classes are typically practiced in a shirt (ideally, a rashguard) and shorts or “spats” (spandex leggings) and is different from the Gi in that you are not allowed to use clothing for grips (like wrestling).
Women’s Only Jiu-Jitsu
The Front’s women’s only Jiu-Jitsu class will be open to anyone who identifies as a woman/female. Women’s only classes are typically Gi classes, so bring your own or plan to rent one from our front desk.
Jiu-Jitsu Movement is our introductory class, but is also a good class to keep up on the fundamentals. This class will introduce you to the traditional hierarchy of positions and techniques through movement-based warmups and drills, and active partner-based drilling to build a foundation. Jiu-Jitsu Movement does not involve live sparring, but will introduce people to elements of sparring by doing partner-based drills.
Meet the instructors
Belt: 3rd Degree Black Belt under Pedro Sauer
Aside from a six-year hiatus to follow the Grateful Dead after college, Professor Chris Wells has been doing some form of grappling for most of his life. Wrestling from the age of 6, his path in Jiu Jitsu began in 1999 with Master Pedro Sauer, earning his black belt in 2008. Since then he’s continued his progression with three more stripes, reflecting a rare skill and commitment to the sport. He’s competed the entire time and medaled in numerous IBJJF and NAGA tournaments, as well as multiple superfights. In addition, he’s an excellent teacher and we’re fortunate to have someone with his depth of experience leading classes here at The Front. Chris is adept at both Gi and No-Gi.
Originally from NYC (Queens to be exact), Nick has been training Jiu-Jitsu for almost ten years, and earned his black belt under Professor Jomari Guarin. It all began as a form of exercise, but quickly became a form of expression. Driven by constant improvement and problem solving, he’s parlayed that into competition and has made multiple podium appearances in IBJJF and at the Abu Dhabi Trials. Nick has been teaching since he was a blue belt and his classes are always fun, no matter what your skill level is. When not training or teaching Jiu-Jitsu, he enjoys running and drawing.
Tom Asturias is a black belt under professors James Gardner and John Carlquist. He first started Jiu-Jitsu with Pedro Sauer back in the Royce Gracie UFC 1 days before education and a career in the medical field took center stage in his life. Tom is a great example for those who have taken a hiatus from the sport. He returned to the mats later in life with the determination it takes to earn a black belt. Both his passion for the martial art and his patience with those willing to learn are apparent to those who have the opportunity to share the mats with him. Tom brings both a love for competition (with the medals to back it up) and a deep appreciation of the basics that make Jiu-Jitsu a great sport and martial art. He is grateful to have an incredibly supportive family who understands that Jiu-Jitsu is part of his whole being and affects every aspect of his life.
“The longer you do Jiu-Jitsu, the easier it is to recognize that it’s not about moving the other person. It’s about moving yourself.”
Daniel is a brown belt in the Pedro Sauer Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Association. Lacrosse dominated his life from his early years through college but after finishing his time in that sport, he looked for a different athletic outlet. He had a long-standing interest in combat sports and began training BJJ under Maycon Carvalho in Los Angeles in 2012. Shortly after receiving his blue belt, he relocated to Salt Lake City and has been training Jiu-Jitsu in the Pedro Sauer network ever since. He believes in an evidence-based approach to grappling and focuses on techniques that have a high percentage of success.
“The great thing about Jiu-Jitsu is that it more often lends an advantage to the better critical thinker and not the superior athlete. Many martial arts have overpromised their effectiveness but Jiu-Jitsu truly enables David to beat Goliath.”
Belt: Purple under John Carlquist and James Gardner of Unified Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Molly is grateful for the opportunity to pass some of her knowledge on to others – especially to other women. She first took gold in the IBJJF novice division at Worlds and later in Masters Worlds at blue belt, and she has podiumed multiple times at the international level.
Molly took her first Jiu-Jitsu class in 2015 in preparation for a vagabonding adventure in Europe with her then three-year-old son. Although self-defense aspects of the sport first sparked her interest, she immediately began to obsess over learning to master this challenging, kinetic human puzzle. Her Europe trip became more about Jiu-Jitsu as she found herself dropping into local gyms to train – always finding that same welcoming vibe that initially drew her in. She’s taken classes in multiple languages, training in 10 different countries and considers it a critical component of her travels. Although her biggest draw to Jiu-Jitsu has been the deep connections made with both training partners and opponents alike, she loves to compete when she has the opportunity.
“Perhaps the most sacred thing about this sport is that it’s a rare space where I know my body will be respected.”
Mike has been wrestling competitively since the age of 12 before discovering Jiu-Jitsu in 2011. Since then he’s been hooked, and trained under the late great Pedro Sauer Black Belt Paul Sizemore, and more recently Chris Wells and Amir Allam. Mike is primarily focused on No-Gi submission grappling (but trains in the Gi, as well), and brings several years learning in the 10th Planet system both in Phoenix and SLC. He’s competed all over the US and has earned several gold medals in the advanced division. We’re stoked to have Mike here at The Front sharing his skills and love of Jiu-Jitsu.
The Front Jiu-Jitsu Collective Rules and Responsibilities
Jiu-Jitsu involves hand-to-hand combat, gymnastic and unpredictable movement and live sparring that has inherent risks of injury, even if you do not spar. PARTICIPATE AT YOUR OWN RISK! With that said, you can help mitigate some risks by doing your part to keep a culture of RESPECT (for you, your training partners and instructor)!
« Tap early and tap often – there’s nothing to prove, and there are no trophies. Keep your focus on learning and improving, so you can come back tomorrow.
« Come clean – show respect with good hygiene. Wash yourself (don’t forget your feet!) and your gear before and after training.
« Train healthy – don’t train while you’re sick or have a contagion.
« No shoes on the mats – please help with mat cleanliness and wear.
« Classes start on time, so please show up on time or a little early.
« Pay attention and follow instructions.
Jiu-Jitsu (aka, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu/BJJ) is a grappling based martial art that involves standing takedowns (wrestling/judo) and ground-based submission fighting, where opponents try to “tap” or submit each other with strangulations, joint locks and other techniques. While it is a full contact sport, it is affectionately referred to as “the beautiful art” or “human chess” because it was developed to allow a smaller, “weaker” person to defend against and neutralize a larger attacker or opponent with movement technique and leverage, rather than brute force, size and strength.
Like any hand to hand combat, live sparring can result in incidental bumps, knocks and other injuries, but Jiu-Jitsu does not involve striking, like boxing or karate.
Yes! If you’ve ever watched MMA, you’ve probably seen “the beautiful art” in action when things go to the ground. Jiu-Jitsu focuses on taking your opponent to the ground and submitting them, both skills are useful in self-defense.
Live sparring, aka, “rolling” is always optional. You can learn a lot of Jiu-Jitsu and get a workout without rolling.
It depends on whether you are attending a Gi or No-Gi class. If it is No-Gi, you can wear workout clothes such as a t-shirt and shorts (no buckles or metal please), although people commonly wear a rashguard so that their clothes don’t get damaged. If it is a Gi class, you can buy or rent a Gi from our gear shop.
You might know it as a “karate outfit”, but the “Gi” or “kimono” is traditional Japanese clothing adopted to modern martial arts, enabling opponents to grip onto each other’s Gis for control. A Gi is usually heavy cotton, loosely fitted with pant bottoms and a jacket top with a belt tied around the jacket.
Yes, see our schedule for when they are offered.
Anyone 6 or older may attend classes, but children under 14 must be supervised by an adult (come train with your kids!).
Initially, we ask that everyone reserve a spot through RGPro Connect app or through the calendar above. We anticipate eventually lifting that requirement and accommodating just showing up.
Twice a day after each class.
Yes, we have black belt instructors that can progress students along the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu belt system. Belt advancement is based on time spent on the mat, skill level, competition and other experience. Unlike many other martial arts, belt progress in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is demanding and often takes 10 years or more of intensive training to achieve black belt level.
Most Jiu-Jitsu schools are under one banner with a head instructor who owns a gym and teaches most of the classes. The Front Jiu-Jitsu Collective is a gathering of instructors and students from various schools around the Wasatch Front.
Eventually, yes! But as part of easing into Jiu-Jitsu training during Covid-19 high risk phases, we ask that the studio only be used for classes and private instruction with our instructors. This is to help ensure that the mats are disinfected between uses. Once COVID-related restrictions are lifted, our mats will be open for training outside class times.
We recommend getting a comfortable mouthpiece, but the use of “cups” is generally discouraged due to the discomfort caused to your training partner (and sometimes to yourself).