Why you should try Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (2023)

Why you should try Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (1)

Rev. Frank Alexander Strother sometime in the 1890s. Photo by C. Fred Barr.

Frank Strother served with the 43rd Regiment of Virginia Cavalry – Mosby’s Partisan Rangers, in Company A. When his parole was issued at Winchester on 5 May 1865, he was eighteen years old. Strother was converted and joined the Methodist Church in 1866. He attended Clifton Preparatory School at Markham and Randolph-Macon College from 1868-71. Strother was admitted on trial to Baltimore Methodist Episcopal Church South (MECS) at Warrenton in 1872. He became a Deacon in full connection in 1874, and was later ordained an Elder.

As a church planter, Rev. Francis (Frank) Alexander Strother was a pastor who invested his time and energy to till new soil, plant fresh seed, foster new growth, and reap a new harvest. Rev. Strother was a determined and faithful pastor who sought to evangelize the lost and shepherd God’s people. He took the responsibility as the primary leader and principal evangelist. Rev. Strother did most of the heavy lifting when it came to sharing the gospel and invited people to believe in Jesus, not only from the pulpit, but out in the community as well. As a church planter he led in a hands-on and deliberate way, involved in nearly every decision, meeting and activity.

Rev. Strother would successfully make the transition from planter to pastor, watching the church mature, and gradually delegating the necessary tasks, empowering others to lead. He understood the principals of community evangelism, acting in partnership with citizens and local businesses to promote each new church build.

Why you should try Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (2)

Rev. Frank Strother, for most of his long career, was an appointed preacher in the area of the Winchester District: Piedmont-Linden (1872-73), Piedmont (1873-74), Linden (1874-75), East Rockingham (1875-79), Berryville (1879-83), Brucetown Circuit (1885-87), Brucetown (1887-88, 1911-15), Winchester (1889-91), Stephens City (1890-94), Hamilton (1903-07), Fairfax (1907-11), and Edinburg (1915-18). He is given prominent attention at Duncan Memorial, where he is considered one of its founders, and also at Crums UMC, both churches in Clarke County. He is also credited with founding or revitalizing Refuge, Relief, Fairview and Macedonia UMC in Frederick County and Bethany UMC in Loudoun County. [1]

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He was appointed to Stephens City Circuit 1889-93. Strother pastored Stephens City UMC from 1889-1892. He served 46 years under MECS appointment (1872-1918). His other appointments were Linganore, Md, Shepherdstown, WV, Fincastle, and Jefferson, WV. He retired in 1918 and died Aug. 22, 1925, in Stephens City (age 78). Strother is buried in Green Hill Cemetery in Berryville, VA.

One of the last of the Circuit Riders, Rev. Frank Strother was assigned to Berryville ME Church (now Duncan Memorial Church), in 1879 and helped establish funding to build a new two-story brick building constructed between 1882 and 1884, replacing the outgrown wood frame 1871 meeting house. Rev. Strother is honorably mentioned on the church web site history as an individual who served long and faithfully by preaching at five other churches on his circuit while serving the Duncan congregation.

According to Middletown historians and sisters, Lillian May and Lula Lauck, a cow was essential to rebuilding Fairview Methodist during the 1890s. Fairview was an old, small, and dilapidated church house (built 1861) between High View and Canterburg. The Rev. Strother, at a revival meeting, so stirred up the crowd as to the need of a new Fair View church (now Fairview), that an old lady started the new church fund by selling her cow. Miss Lillian May and Miss Lula, as young girls, worked ardently getting subscriptions for the church. It was built on the site of the old one, close to Friendship U.B. Church—both churches are still [1950] there, at a road intersection and this corner is now known as “The Double Churches.”

Encouraged by the success at Fair View, the Rev. Strother held a six- week revival in a big tent near the Fairfield School, a location then shown on county maps as “Fairfield” but which was far better known locally as “Lost Corner.” Rev. Strother said that this place should be known as “Lost Corner” no more—that he would build a church of refuge for the “Lost Corner” people. Subscriptions came in fast after the revival, the Lauck sisters said. The church was built and renamed “Refuge”; and Lost Corner is now known to everyone as the town of Refuge.

Again, in the 1890s, Rev. Frank Strother, then pastor of the Stephens City Methodist Church, held an evangelistic meeting in a grove near the schoolhouse. The meeting resulted in the organization of another Methodist church. George Thomas Massie, one of the converts, donated the lot, and the present church building was started in 1891. It was dedicated, free of debt, in 1892, and was named Relief Church.

Miss Lillian May and Miss Lula wrote in 1950 that there was a settlement known as “Lickspittle” on Middle Road about three miles west of Stephens City, an area part of Stephens City Methodist Circuit. There was no church at Lickspittle, said the sisters, and Rev. Strother set out to raise money to build one there. Again, he was successful; money came in, and soon the church was built. Rev. Strother said the church would bring the people relief from “Lickspittle,” so the new church was named “Relief,” which became the settlement’s name, and “Lickspittle” has been forgotten except by a few of the older residents. [2]

Another story tells how Rev. Strother prevented Macedonia Methodist Church from closing. Although the church was founded in 1843, and a new church was built in 1879, services were becoming infrequent there in 1894. Rev. Strother, the Stephens City MECS pastor at the time, declared the need for keeping the church open by having regularly scheduled services.

Rev. Strother began holding tent revivals, attracting around forty new members. The increased membership allowed the church to become part of the Stephens City Charge. By 1896, a church school was organized and the good Rev. Strother preached there two Sundays each month. Macedonia then went under the White Post Charge of the Methodist Church where it began to flourish.

Bethany Church was founded July 2, 1903, and from then until 1929 it was known as the Purcellville Methodist Episcopal Church South. Rev. Frank Strother, who was pastor of Hamilton Circuit, founded Bethany, and it was originally one of four churches served by pastors of that circuit. The others were Harmony at Hamilton, Trinity at Rock Hill and The Grove at Woodbury.

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When Rev. Strother came to Hamilton as pastor in April 1903, he found churches all around Purcellville, but none in the town. Noted as a planter of churches, he lost no time in organizing a church in Purcellville with 36 charter members, most of who were transferred from Harmony Church at Hamilton. That fall the new church bought the property of the now closed Presbyterians, which they occupied until the present church was completed in 1929. Under Rev. Strother, the original membership of 36 increased to 64 by 1907. [3]

In a letter to Inez Steele in 1905 (published in her book, ”Early Days and Methodism in Stephens City, Virginia, page 75), Rev. Strother wrote, “I followed Rev. J. H. Du Laney on the circuit and found it in a healthy, prosperous condition. After two years administration, the circuit was divided and Middletown and Stephens City Circuits were formed. I was continued in charge of the Stephens City work and remained there two years, during which time two new societies were formed and thirty-eight hundred dollars were expended in building and repairing churches and four hundred paid to Middletown for interest in parsonage and the circuit was absolutely free from debt when I left. Truly much was accomplished and under God, it was due to universal and perfect unity and cooperation of people and pastor.

While it has been my privilege to serve in all my charges an exceptionally good and kind, generous and devoted people, Stephens City has equaled, if not excelled, any one of them.”

Richmond Times-Dispatch

19 October 1925, page 7

Hold Memorial Service.

WINCHESTER, VA., Oct. 18. –

A memorial service for the late Rev. Frank A. Strother was held today in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, at Stephens City, where he died about a month ago. The principal address was delivered by Dr. H. P. Hamill, Washington. A tablet unveiled during the services contains the inscription: “Rev. Frank A. Strother, 1847-1925, Soldier, 1861-65, Mosby Ranger, Preacher, Pastor, Leader. Erected forty churches, Friend of Man, Servant of God, Teacher Golden Rule Bible Class.”

Why you should try Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (3)

Memorial tablet located on the north side wall of the Stephens City UMC sanctuary. Nobody knows why the tablet was placed in this sanctuary. It could be because this was a beloved appointment for Rev. Strother and the members of the congregation were respectful of the work he did in the Stephens City circuit. Photo courtesy Mark Gunderman.


[1] History of United Brethren and Methodist Churches in the Winchester and Harrisonburg Region, 1777-2017, Volume Three-Churches in Frederick County, dated July 2017, page 979.

[2] Bill Garrard, “Scrapbook of Correspondents Who Have Been Writing for The Star for 54 Years, The Winchester Star, July 1950.

[3] History of United Brethren and Methodist Churches in the Winchester-Harrisonburg Region, 1777-2017, Volume Two—Churches in Loudoun County, dated July 2017, page 154.

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Why should you try Jiu Jitsu? ›

BJJ keeps you healthy by Increasing Flexibility, Strength, Endurance, Cardio and burn more calories than your traditional gym session. 2) Self-Defense. BJJ teaches a safe, simple and REALISTIC way to defend yourself from a would-be attacker. 3) Builds Confidence.

Why is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu so effective? ›

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu deeply emphasizes live sparring compared to other types of martial arts. From the earliest levels, students are encouraged to practice their techniques against resisting opponents in a safe environment. This experience makes it among the most effective of all martial arts in terms of self-defence.

What Jiu Jitsu teaches you about life? ›

Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a martial art that teaches not only ways to control and submit your opponent but also ways to live your life. The lessons and values you learn from BJJ include patience, persistence, humility, respect and loyalty.

Why do people love BJJ? ›

People love BJJ as they find it to be a continual course for learning. It is a technical sport that provides them something new to learn every time. As you cannot be perfect in all aspects of BJJ even after spending years in training, there is always something productive to learn at every moment in this sport.

What are the benefits of learning jujutsu? ›

Build Body Strength

Jiu-Jitsu is a great way to build your body and tone up your muscles. As you will put all your muscles to work during training sessions, your muscles will become stronger. As such, your body will become stronger.

What are the benefits of jujutsu? ›

The main benefits of jiu-jitsu:

- Develops strength, endurance, flexibility and coordination. - Helps lose weight and improve physical condition (strengthens muscles, develops cardiovascular and respiratory capabilities). - Develops self-confidence (also teaches self-defence techniques).

Is Jiu-Jitsu useful in real life? ›

The Effectiveness of BJJ Training. BJJ training is extremely effective when a person is dealing with an unwanted attack in real life. The victim is able to take control of the situation and if necessary use self-defense as a tool without having to hurt the other person.

Why Jiu-Jitsu is good for self-defense? ›

In the context of self-defense, BJJ is an incredibly effective martial art. BJJ focuses on using leverage and body movement to control and submit an opponent, rather than relying on punches and kicks. This makes it an ideal martial art for smaller individuals to defend themselves against larger opponents.

Is BJJ good for real life? ›

BJJ is incredibly effective in fighting conditions. It allows the fighter to take control and most importantly finish the fight without hurting the other person. The technique is so effective that the opponent will either give up or be incapacitated.

What is the main focus of Jiu Jitsu? ›

A modern martial arts discipline, with ancient roots.

Unlike other martial arts that focus on strikes and/or kicks, jiu jitsu focuses on close-contact “grappling” holds and techniques, and the application of chokes and joint-manipulations.

What Jiu Jitsu means to me? ›

For me, jiu-jitsu is a philosophy, a way to approach the world. Jiu-jitsu trains us to find the best, most efficient and effective ways to do things. Everybody has different goals in life.

How Jiu Jitsu changed my life? ›

Jiu-Jitsu helped me realize that sometimes in life, you have to stay calm and keep your composure. No matter if the situation you've found yourself in is good or bad, just stay calm and do what needs to be done. At this point in my Jiu-Jitsu journey, I stand as a two-stripe white belt.

What makes BJJ so addictive? ›

Your body releases endorphins through most forms of exercise. It's why you might feel intense happiness or excitement following a run or other activity. However, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu releases all of these endorphins and more.

Why do most people quit BJJ? ›

One of the most common and sound reasons that people give up on their BJJ career at the blue belt level is injuries. In a combat sport like BJJ that involves plenty of joint locks, chokes, and takedowns, injuries are unavoidable. Though injuries can take place at any belt level, blue belts are more prone to them.

Is Jiu-Jitsu a good skill? ›

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is often considered one of the most effective martial arts for self-defense, as it emphasizes techniques that can help someone escape from or avoid an attacker who has the advantage of size or strength.

What age should you start jujutsu? ›

At the age of 4, the kid can start their BJJ training, but training at such an early age may cause the child to dislike the sport. According to most experts, a child of 5–6 years is ready to start their training.

Is jujutsu good for girls? ›

Jiu Jitsu will teach women how to fight off their back which is very important for them, it will teach them how to use their body strength for submissions and locks, and it will show them how to use their hips. These are just some of the reasons that bjj is the best martial art for women.

Is jujutsu better than BJJ? ›

In comparison to BJJ, Japanese jujutsu has a broader variety of techniques that are taught to students with the purpose of taking down the opponent, either by using strikes, takedowns, or by placing chokes and joint locks. BJJ is all about getting the opponent to the ground without causing them harm.

Why Jiu-Jitsu is good for mental health? ›

You don't have to look very hard to find the "surface level" benefits Jiu-Jitsu can have on your mental health. It can improve your fitness, increase your confidence, help you build a friendship group, test your brain, release endorphins and serotonin, and probably lots of other things that are really hard to spell.

Is Jiu-Jitsu the best fighting technique? ›

Other martial arts systems recognize the value of grappling as an integral part of a comprehensive system for self-defense or competition. The grappling techniques taught in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are considered to be the finest in the world.

How does Jiu-Jitsu build confidence? ›

You learn to defend yourself.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu teaches you a practical skill that ultimately leads to an increase in your confidence level. Learning the skills to defend yourself, if ever needed, can go a long way in how you present yourself to the outside world.

Does BJJ help in a fight? ›

Judo and BJJ are two distinctive martial arts. Judo is more focused on standing fights and BJJ is more focused on grappling or ground fighting. BJJ can help you defend yourself when attacked. Whereas, Judo teaches throws and kicks and is more suitable when facing multiple opponents.

Does BJJ work in a fight? ›

It teaches you to get the opponent down to the ground and apply chokeholds, joint locks and submission holds. Brazilian jiu-jitsu can be effective when faced with a single assailant in a street battle but it is rarely effective when faced with many attackers.

Is BJJ practical in a street fight? ›

Originally designed for the U.S. Army, the core moves that make up Gracie Combatives not only teach new students the basics of jiu-jitsu; they are also moves that can effectively be used in a street fight situation.

What are the core values of Jiu-Jitsu? ›

Discipline, integrity, respect, personal courage, and commitment: these are the core values instilled in the curriculum at Top Level Martial Arts. The knowledge and skills that kids learn in martial arts classes is something that applies directly to their education. BJJ teaches persistence both on and off the mat.

What age is too late for BJJ? ›

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can and has been adapted for people from all walks of life at every age. People from 3 years to 90 years and from total beginners to elite athletes, Jiu Jitsu can be adapted for you. These things aren't much of a factor in technical skill, however physical ability is where there will be variation.

What percentage of people quit BJJ? ›

Rener Gracie knows this fact, and he has an explanation for JJ drop out rates. For starters, Gracie mentions that BJJ is incredibly complex and challenging. 90% of people never make it to blue belt, and then 1% of blue belts advance to become black belts. Such figures are astounding to say the least.

Does BJJ increase intelligence? ›

Problem-solving is a major component in BJJ and training this skill surely improves the mind overall. BJJ is a great workout that exercises both the mind and body simultaneously and in unison. It unlocks many physical capabilities you never thought you had, and also makes you a more intelligent fighter.

What is the hardest belt to get in BJJ? ›

Purple Belt – The Hardest Belt In BJJ.

What are the disadvantages of Jiu Jitsu? ›

What are the Weaknesses of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?
  • 2.1. Little to No Stand-Up Practice.
  • 2.2. Multiple Fighters.
  • 2.3. High rate of injury.
  • 2.4. Application of BJJ Off the Mat.
  • 2.5. Concussion in BJJ practice.
Jul 20, 2022

Does BJJ lower testosterone? ›

2: It helps your body produce more Testosterone. All the sweating, straining, taxes your body forcing you to become stronger. Eventually increasing your overall Testosterone level. With a higher Testosterone level you will have more muscle mass.

Is jiu-jitsu useful in real life? ›

The Effectiveness of BJJ Training. BJJ training is extremely effective when a person is dealing with an unwanted attack in real life. The victim is able to take control of the situation and if necessary use self-defense as a tool without having to hurt the other person.

Is jiu-jitsu useful in a street fight? ›

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

It teaches you to get the opponent down to the ground and apply chokeholds, joint locks and submission holds. Brazilian jiu-jitsu can be effective when faced with a single assailant in a street battle but it is rarely effective when faced with many attackers.

Does jiu-jitsu change your life? ›

Firstly, you are learning a life skill that can't be taken away from you. You are learning how you can defend yourself if it comes to it and also how to do BJJ as a sport. Through your time training you will start to build healthy routines which will positively impact and change your life in all aspects.

Why jiu-jitsu is good for girls? ›

It will improve your weight, muscle tone and you'll gain a healthy glow from the regular exercise and the best part is you'll have fun doing it. Even though BJJ can help you build a stronger, healthier body it will also help you appreciate what your body is capable of regardless where you are starting from.

Is BJJ enough for self-defense? ›

The answer is a resounding “yes!” BJJ is a highly effective martial art that can be used in both stand-up and ground fighting situations. It is versatile, efficient, and respects the opponent.

What martial art do Navy Seals learn? ›

They all practice Brazilian jiu-jitsu, a style of martial art considered a form of “physical chess.” Former U.S. Navy SEAL Jocko Willink has practiced the martial art throughout his adult life.

What is the most effective martial art in a real fight? ›

1. On a collision course: Krav Maga. This martial art originates from Israel, where it is taught in the army and Mossad (Israel's national intelligence service), and many believe that it is the most effective way of defending yourself against an attacker.

Can BJJ beat boxing? ›

Comparing the two in a direct battle, BJJ will win simply because it's relatively easy to takedown an unprepared boxer, and ground fighting is jiu-jitsu's specialty. Of course, you can't predict every possible outcome.

Is Jiu Jitsu a good skill? ›

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is often considered one of the most effective martial arts for self-defense, as it emphasizes techniques that can help someone escape from or avoid an attacker who has the advantage of size or strength.

What kind of body does Jiu Jitsu give you? ›

BJJ changes the shape of your body to make you thinner and increase your muscles, primarily on your shoulders, back, neck and legs. You should see Abs soon. It is possible to get bruises on your skin when training bjj, but it is able to toughen up quickly to adapt to new conditions.


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