Japanese jiu-jitsu was created by blending different Japanese martial arts and forms of Sumo wrestling for close combat fighting. The techniques can neutralize opponents without weapons. It involves using the opponent’s force against them by using different holds, pins, locks and throws in lieu of using weapons, although some modern jiu-jitsu now incorporates weapon training. Instructors can use many different techniques in their teachings but the basic concept of using an opponent’s energy against them is always the central idea.
Currently, in Boise, there are a handful of jiu-jitsu dojos, but a new one is opening on Jan. 28 called Process Jiu-Jitsu and Yoga and its goal is to be an accessible space for all people to learn the art. Owners, and couple, Brad Bentley and Daryl Vickers said they are excited to welcome people into their jiu-jitsu family.
“I always say the easiest way to try to explain it is that it’s kind of like wrestling,” said Bentley. “It’s about trying to use leverage and technique to control an opponent even if they’re much larger than you. They call it the gentle art because it gives people the ability to control what could be a dangerous situation without hurting the other person. Jiu-jitsu gives people a way to confidently control themselves and feel safe in certain situations.”
Process Jiu-Jitsu and Yoga is located at 3387 N. Five Mile Road. The school is having an open house on Jan. 28 at 7 p.m. where people can come and meet the owners and see what is offered. The school will have more than jiu-jitsu for adults and kids — there will also be yoga and aerial silk classes available. People can get more information by following the school on social media and can download a coupon at processjjboise.net.
Bentley teaches Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Developed around 1920, it’s a form of the art that focuses on taking opponents to the ground, controlling and dominating. The biggest concept in Brazilian-style jiu-jitsu is that smaller and weaker opponents can defend themselves against bigger and stronger people.
He’s a first degree black belt who has been training over nine years. It can take about 10 years on average to get a black belt. When he began, Bentley was also pursuing a degree in education but he decided to pursue jiu-jitsu full time and become an instructor. He said a big part of what they will teach at Process is akin to teaching students critical thought and although he’s no longer interested in becoming a school teacher he brings everything he learned into his classes, using pedagogy that involves close attention to individuality. He has students from 5 years old to 70.
“When I started jiu-jitsu I didn’t know anything but what drew me to it is the puzzle aspect of it,” said Bentley. “It’s not about overpowering someone with strength, it’s about using your mind and training smart. I bring that mentality to every class I teach.”
Learning how to control a scary situation in a smart way is what eventually got Vickers into jiu-jitsu. She and Bentley have been together for about as long as he’s been training and their whole family is now involved.
“I didn’t start until about five years ago when I really thought about how vulnerable I am as a five foot, 115 pound woman,” said Vickers. “My daughter is also small. I don’t want her to ever get in a dangerous situation and panicking and getting hurt. I want her to learn how to manage her personal space in those types of situations.”
“Those types of situations” may be a woman being threatened by a man or a child being potentially abducted. Unfortunately, those things do happen — in 2020 in Idaho the police received 5,529 911 calls related to domestic abuse, sexual assault and child abuse. Training doesn’t make people invincible or impervious to violence but Vickers said that training in jiu-jitsu can help people feel a little less afraid and give them the skills to think quickly on their feet in threatening circumstances.
Bentley said Process Jiu-Jitsu is focused on creating a space for women and children to feel more empowered and helping with personal growth.
“Sometimes people may feel uncomfortable starting to train but we want to make people feel welcome,” said Bentley. “Martial arts is beneficial to everyone. I think it provides, of course, self-defense; but people fail to realize this isn’t seasonal, we train all year round and that creates a community and the ability to work through high-stress situations. It creates trust through training and a sense of belonging. it’s an individual sport but a team environment.”
Process will also offer yoga classes taught by instructor Nicole Van Doren, who has over 400 hours of teaching experience, and aerial silk classes. Vickers is also going for yoga training and she said yoga and jiu-jitsu work well with each other. “Jiu-jitsu is basically forced yoga,” said Vickers, “it’s complementing to what we do on the mat and vice-versa.”
The school has a variety of programs with different price points and Bentley and Vickers said their goal is to meet anyone where they’re at and cater to individual needs. The first class is free.
“Inherently, people want to belong to something that is bigger than themselves. That could be a church, a club, the regulars at the bar,” said Bentley. “We want to not only be that place, but a place where those people can discover their best versions of themselves. Don’t be the reason you wait to find that version of yourself.”