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The Story of

Pedagogy: the art, science, or profession of teaching.

The word "pedagogy" originates from the greek word "Παιδαγωγική." The greek "p" is also known as the "pi" symbol, and it is brought to life in our school logo. We believe in the power of teaching and that great teachers make great students.

Our Philosophy

Unlock Your Potential

At Pedagogy Jiu Jitsu, we believe in the transformative power of martial arts. Our mission is to provide the Illinois Valley community with top-notch Brazilian Jiu Jitsu instruction that is both accessible and affordable. With a unique blend of traditional and innovative techniques, we go beyond the ordinary to help you become the best version of yourself. Join us and discover the art of self-improvement through the practice of Jiu Jitsu.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: What is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?

    • A: Jiu Jitsu is a grappling sport that originally came from Japan to Brazil. In Brazil, the Gracie family evolved Japanese Jiu Jitsu into Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), which was then popularized in the US with the help of the UFC. BJJ was originally used in self defense and combat, but since about 2000, BJJ has evolved into a sport that can be done independent of mixed martial arts. ​

  • Q: Do I have to be in great shape to practice Jiu Jitsu?​

    • A: No! BJJ is accessible to anybody that wants to move and stay active. Like most sports, there are various levels of activity for BJJ practitioners. Some people train hard and actively compete against other schools in competitions, and some people train lightly to get a workout and stay active. All styles are welcome at Pedagogy Jiu Jitsu!​

  • Q: Is Jiu Jitsu similar to Tae Kwon Do, Karate, or Hapkido?

    • A: Jiu Jitsu is most similar to Judo or Greco Roman Wrestling, but it involves fewer takedowns and more technique on the ground. The objective of Jiu Jitsu is to get close to your opponent, limit your opponent's movement, isolate the head or a limb, and perform a submission that causes your opponent to tap out.​

  • Q: Is Jiu Jitsu safe for kids and adults?

    • A: Yes! Jiu Jitsu teaches people how to fall safely and it toughens the body. When practicing BJJ, the muscles become stronger and more elastic, which helps prevent injuries in day to day situations, such as slipping on ice or other accidental falls. The skeletal system also builds density, which makes the bones in the body more resilient. Competitive practitioners and athletes do experience injuries from time to time, but there is no trauma to the head like there would be in sports such as football or boxing.​

  • Q: Can BJJ be used for self defense?

    • A: Yes! Jiu Jitsu has been proven and tested in live combat situations, such as MMA. Even though the best way to defend yourself is to avoid physical confrontation whenever possible, a BJJ athlete has a significantly higher chance of staying safe during a physical confrontation than an untrained individual. One of the biggest benefits of BJJ is the ability to stay calm during a stressful or dangerous situation.​

Experienced practitioners please read:

  • We practice well rounded jiu jitsu by prioritizing all areas equally, with a preference for working from the top. We do both Gi and No-Gi, with a preference for No-Gi. We believe in strong takedowns on the feet, heavy pressure from the top, dangerous guard from the bottom, and terrific escapes/positional recovery.


  • On the feet we use a mix of judo and wrestling to work for takedowns. We use foot sweeps, throws, double legs, single legs, snap downs/front headlock position, throw by’s, and slide by’s to off balance our opponents and get them to the ground. When defending takedowns we aggressively chase counter takedowns and submissions. Getting top position is a goal and a priority.


  • From top position we use a combination of loose toreando passing or heavy pressure from the split squat and headquarters positions. We also use leg drags, stack passing, and attacks on the head and legs to loosen up and pass the guard.


  • From bottom position, we focus on having a dangerous closed guard that emphasizes creating angles, attacking the back, armbars, kimuras, triangles, and sweeps. In the open guard against squatted or grounded opponents, we use the high/low knee shield, reverse de la riva, half butterfly, and butterfly guards to create openings and alternate attacks on the upper and lower body. Against standing opponents, we attack with standard and reverse de la Rivas, single X, X guard, while always looking for opportunities to submit, sweep, or wrestle up. The priority is to catch a submission from the bottom, but sweeps are always welcome.


  • From top position, we focus on wearing down the opposition with relentless guard passing pressure. Once past the guard, we focus on positional control from side control, north south, mount, and rear mount. We practice establishing positions before attacking submissions, but also stay ready to attack submissions during scrambles. We consider mount and rear mount to be the most dominant positions and we work hard at getting to those positions whenever possible. Wearing down your opponent with positional dominance is key to effectively locking up submissions. When prioritizing submissions, chokes are king, but joint attacks on the arms and legs are very important as well.

What kind of BJJ should I expect at Pedagogy Jiu Jitsu?
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