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Frequently Asked Questions


Don't see your question listed here? Feel free to contact us and we will be happy to answer your questions.

  • Do you have classes for beginners?
    Yes! We have a distinct and separate program for beginning students. Your first class or two is always free to try. If you've never taken a jiu-jitsu class before, we offer introductory classes for free. Click here to get started with a free intro and trial class.
  • Are there rules or etiquette to follow in class?
    We have some basic etiquette guidelines - feel free to take a look at our etiquette guide.
  • Do I need to be in shape for class?
    People of all fitness levels and capabilities practice jiu-jitsu. You don't have to be in peak condition – you will notice your conditioning, endurance, and flexibility all increase naturally as a side effect of regular class attendance. During class, if you feel that you need to stop and take a break, you can. Just let your instructor know and take a few minutes on the mats to catch your breath. Some students do other forms of exercise in addition to jiu-jitsu, such as weight lifting, Crossfit, running, or yoga. Some students do jiu-jitsu as their only form of exercise. It's entirely up to you and your goals.
  • What are the cost of classes?
    That depends on which program you are in – Fundamentals, Advanced, or Kids + Teens. Click here to view academy pricing.
  • Do you allow drop-ins?
    Out-of-town students from affiliated and non-affiliated academies can contact us for drop-in information.
  • Do you have testing or ceremony fees?
    No. There are never any extra fees.
  • Who are your instructors?
    Our academy Head Professor is Max McGarr, who spent 16 years directly under Master Renzo Gracie and John Danaher in New York City, where he earned his black belt. He spent over 10 years teaching classes and developing world champion athletes at Renzo Gracie Academy NYC. You can read more about Max here. Professor Max teaches the majority of Fundamentals and Advanced classes. Our academy coaches are world-class athletes and instructors, well-loved by our students: Coach Vince is a former special ops combat diver, former USAF Pararescueman, and former EMT Paramedic. Vince is a Renzo Gracie black belt, three-time Fight2Win Pro Champion, a PanAm Silver Medalist, and Onnit World Open No-Gi Advanced Division Champion. Vince is a Crossfit instructor as well, so you'll be sure to get a workout during class warmups. Coach Tim is a UNR alumni, where he studied anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology. He is a Renzo Gracie brown belt. Tim is NCSF certified, first aid and CPR certified, NSCA member, and studying for CSCS certification. Tim is a two-time Fight2Win Pro Champion and Submission ProTour Sacramento Advanced Division Winner. Tim is a patient instructor with a strong focus on self-defense and Fundamentals. Elias Anderson is a Combat Jiu-Jitsu world champion and black belt. Elias is a patient instructor who injects fun and humor into his classes. Black belt instructors from our main academy in NYC frequently travel to us to teach and co-teach classes with our Head Professor and Coaches. This adds variety while maintaining consistency in technique. Several times per year, we host seminars and meet-and-greets from world-renowed instructors and world-champion athletes, such as Renzo Gracie, John Danaher, Tom DeBlass, Georges St-Pierre, and Eddie Cummings.
  • Are you an official Renzo Gracie school?
    Yes, we are a direct extension of our main academy in NYC. We are not a franchise. You can click here to read more about our academy's Head Professor Max McGarr. Max's wife, Stephanie, co-owns and operates the academy. They moved back to Stephanie's native Nevada in October 2017 and opened RGA Reno in February/March 2018. We are proud and fortunate to have cultivated a supportive community of incredible people, and a great reputation of top-tier education in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and no-gi submission grappling. The academy was voted the #1 Fitness Center/Gym in Reno in 2018 and has amazing reviews from students on Facebook, Yelp, and Google. Come in and see for yourself – try a class for free and see if you want to join the family. See what Renzo Gracie has to say about Max and RGA Reno. See what John Danaher has to say about Max and RGA Reno.
  • Do students have to compete?
    No, you are not required to compete at all.
  • Do you support people who want to compete?
    Definitely. You will have the support you need if you decide to compete. Our Head Professor and Coaches are all champion athletes, so you will have world-class competition prep from instructors who know what it's like to be out there competing. We have focused sessions specifically for competition preparation, and our coaches make themselves available to corner our competitors. We have traveled to corner and support our competitors as a team, at Grappling X, NAGA, ADCC, and IBJJF competitions both regionally and nationally.
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