Frequently Asked Questions

If you have questions that are not answered here, please reach out to us and we'll be happy to help you with anything! 

About Our Gym

Who runs Atlas Grappling and what is the team like?

Damien and Beth Nitkin own and run the business. Damien is the head coach and has been practicing Jiu-Jitsu since 2009 and teaching it to adults and kids since 2010. Damien received his black belt from coach and mentor, Ranson Shepard (under John Lewis of Nova Uniao). Beth has received all her belts from Damien, as he introduced her to the sport and has been her coach since white belt in 2015. Beth runs the “behind the scenes” while Damien spends every day at the gym. The gym is named after their first son, Atlas. Atlas Grappling opened in October of 2020 during the midst of the Pandemic after their home gym closed. Even though the gym has only been open since 2020, many of the teammates have been training together for several years before. Some of the members have been Damien’s students since 2010! These “original” members of Atlas Grappling have helped create a warm, friendly, and inviting family environment. The team size has almost quadrupled over the past 2 years and continues to grow. We are happy to have a remarkably diverse group of students from new white belts to black belts.

Damien and Beth have carefully selected coaching and staff because of their skills and their outstanding personalities. Our Strength coach Kekoa was introduced to by Damien’s original coach and has amazing work ethic and mindfulness. Charleen, our Little Kids coach is a mother of four, dedicated wife, and spends her extra time volunteering at church, the gym, and in the community- we are lucky to have her caring personality and motherly instincts to coach our Littles! Michael is a 2x All-American wrestler for UNLV that has been grappling most his life. Michael coaches our club wrestling team is working towards becoming a firefighter. Beth teaches Fundamentals and assists with most other classes, when she is not at the gym she works as a pediatric ICU nurse here in Las Vegas. Sam is the gym "everything" man. Sam started out simply mopping the mats and has gradually taken on more and more responsibilities at the gym- if you need anything, he is your man! The staff, coaches, and team at Atlas Grappling are always happy to welcome new members!

Who coaches the classes at Atlas Grappling? 

Damien Nitkin is the head Jiu-Jitsu coach at Atlas Grappling. There are several other coaches that run specific programs that work on a part-time basis. Beth Nitkin, Michael Canada, Lukas Seoane-Scheitermaier, and Charleen Vogel are also part of our coaching staff. 

Where is the gym?

Atlas Grappling is in Las Vegas, Nevada off Serene Avenue in the Serene Neighborhood Plaza at 9272 Tamarus St. It is in the Silverado Ranch area that borders Henderson. Some nearby landmarks include Silverado High School, Dutch Bros, Challenger School, Sam’s Club and Home Depot.

 

Can you tell me about the facility at Atlas Grappling?

In July of 2022, the gym expanded to nearly 5000 square feet and has 2 separate mat spaces (one tatami surface and one has smooth mats with extra impact protection), a large weight room and workout area, locker rooms, bathrooms, kid’s room, and lounge area.

Are there showers and lockers available?

Grappling will make you sweat! We promote great skin hygiene and are happy to give you the option to take a quick shower after a workout. We provide all the essential toiletries (body wash, shampoo, conditioner) so all you need to bring is a towel. The gym will remain open for at least 30 minutes following each designated class time so allow for adequate time to freshen up before you continue your day! We do not offer lockers but do have ample open shelf space to keep your belongings on while you train.

Are there beverages available if I forget to bring a drink from home?

Nothing goes better than coffee with Jiu-Jitsu, so we make sure to stock our café area with a blend k-cups and all the beverage extras you need. We have a self-serve and pay refrigerator stocked with bottled water, Gatorade, and energy drinks. Our main gym area has water fountains as well.

Can I bring my kids to the gym while I train? Is there anything to keep them occupied while I train? What is your kid's room?

Of course! Atlas Grappling is actually named after the owner’s child who spends every day at the gym with his parents. For Beth and Damien to have a balanced life, providing a safe space for their (and your!) children was mandatory. There is a 12x12 gated kids’ room that is visible from the main mat area at the gym so parents can train and keep an eye on their kids. We do not offer childcare- so you are still responsible for them during your workout but know that they are in a safe space and have plenty of toys, Wi-Fi, and a TV with Disney and Netflix to keep them occupied! A changing pad and pack-and-play are available for the littler ones, too!

Is there a minimum age to join Atlas Grappling?

Our Jiu-Jitsu program accepts ages 6 & up currently. Wrestling Sessions are available at varied ages, sometimes as young at 4-years old! To use fitness equipment, members must be at least 18 years of age or be directly supervised by a guardian and comply with state safety regulations. All minors must have a waiver signed by a legal guardian to train at Atlas Grappling.

Memberships & Billing

What classes does Atlas Grappling offer? Are they included with membership? Where can I find the class schedule?

You can Click Here for the Atlas Grappling schedule. Depending on your membership type, different classes are included. There are some small group classes that require an extra fee (marked with a “$” on the schedule.)

I am looking for membership prices. How much does it cost to join?

Pricing will vary depending on your age and membership type. We offer fitness only memberships, wrestling, and Jiu-Jitsu memberships. Please contact us for details on the price plan that is most appropriate for you.

What different contract lengths do you offer? Can I pay on a month-by-month basis?

At Atlas Grappling, we offer some paid-in-full memberships and month-to-month options. We do not offer a year-long contract. Our month-to-month option is the most common membership type and we do not have any cancellation fees if you provide a 31-day cancellation notice.
 

I have family, friends, or a significant other that would like to join the gym with me. Do you offer family or joint membership options?

We pride ourselves on being a family-oriented gym, so we like to make it easier for families to join. We offer family discounts for same-household families of 20$ off for each addition member. (1st member is full price, 2nd is $20 off, 3rd is $40 off, 4th is $60 off, etc.) Each individual will have their own membership, so if one family member decides to stop training, the others can continue.
 

Do you offer first responder, law enforcement, or military discounts?

We do! Our community is our priority to Atlas Grappling. We are happy to offer substantial first responder (EMS and fire), law enforcement (police and corrections), and active military discounts. 

Is there a discount for military veterans?

We offer some perks for veterans throughout the year including specials on private lessons, additional apparel discounts, and surprise gifts for Veteran's day and Memorial Day. We do not have a monthly discount for military veterans at this time. 

What is your cancellation policy? Is there a fee for breaking my contract?

All cancellation policies are outlined in the membership agreement for your specific membership. Monthly memberships need to cancel with a 31-day notice to have zero penalty. If memberships are cancelled sooner than 31-days, you will be billed the remaining month and then charges will stop. Paid-in-full options are non-refundable unless proof of military deployment.

 

What happens if I miss a payment? Is there a late fee?

We understand the sometimes life happens. If you’re unable to pay your bill, please reach out to us prior to your billing so we can work something out. Our billing system will automatically try to bill for your outstanding balance every 3 days. There is a late payment penalty fee that will be charged automatically after some time. Please refer to your membership paperwork for details.

I need to pause my membership because I got injured or will be traveling for an extended amount of time. Can I freeze my account temporarily?

If you are interested in more information on how to suspend membership or put a hold on your account, you’ll need to speak with a member of the Atlas Grappling staff. We generally will pause a membership for 60-days without penalty, but every circumstance is different. The best way to find out is to communicate openly with us so we can find the best solution for you.

What is your visitor and drop-in policy?

We do allow guests if you would like to bring a friend or drop-in from out of town. Our guest policy requires that visitors come in during staffed hours or times when classes are taking place. Drop-in class fees are $20 per day (more than one class can be attended during that calendar day). You can also buy a 10-class punch card for the price of 8 classes.

What payment methods does Atlas Grappling accept? Can I pay with Cryptocurrency? When do payments get withdrawn on month-by-month memberships?

There are multiple payment options to best fit you. For recurring membership fees, we accept all major credit cards (Mastercard, Visa, Discover, and American Express). For one-time payments cash and some forms of cryptocurrency are also accepted as methods of payment (like apparel, uniforms, private lessons, personal training, paid-in-full memberships). Payment timing is dependent on when you join, and billing can be adjusted if you speak with staff.
 

I’d like to update my credit card. How do I change my payment details?

If you would like to change payment settings, update billing, or change the credit card on file, please reach out to staff. We can update your information in person, or we can send a secure link to update your info yourself!

Will my membership automatically renew at the end of my term?

Paid-in-full memberships will not automatically renew. If you wish to continue your membership after the end of your term, we will check payment methods with you and renew your membership paperwork first. Month-to-month memberships will continue and bill indefinitely until you cancel them. Please contact us to cancel.  

​What different personal training and private lesson options does Atlas Grappling have?

Personal Training is offered in a one-on-one format lead by a personal trainer, providing a very personalized experience. Pricing and availability vary based on your trainer. Private Lessons may be available in both Jiu-Jitsu and Wrestling. The prices and availability differ between coaches. If you’re interested in private lessons or personal training, please contact us for more details.

Jiu-Jitsu Classes

What is Jiu-Jitsu?

The simplest explanation is that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a grappling style that emphasizes taking a fight to the ground and controlling your opponent. BJJ teaches you how to reach a controlling position, then finishing with a choke or joint lock (there are no strikes).  Jiu-Jitsu teaches great concepts for self-defense, and when combined with situational awareness and some striking, you can be very skilled at protecting yourself.  At Atlas Grappling, we mainly focus on training Jiu-Jitsu as a sport with a point system, and we love the complexity of it, kind of like chess. Rolling is a major part of our training, but you can ease into it as you become more comfortable with technique when you are starting out.

Will I get punched or kicked in Jiu-Jitsu?

Even though Jiu-Jitsu is a combat sport, there is no striking (kicking or punching) in Jiu-Jitsu. The whole goal in BJJ is to get your opponent into a position where they chose to tap out (or quit) without actually hurting them.

What is a typical adult Jiu-Jitsu class like?

An adult class at Atlas Grappling lasts anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half. Classes start with a short warm-up and is followed by time spent learning and working on the technique of the day. Hour and a half long classes also involve position training or rolling.

What happens on my first day of practice? Where do I go? What do I bring?

We prefer that you contact us via email, phone call, or message us from the website so we know when you are coming in for your first day (so we can ensure that we have a Gi ready for you and a waiver pulled up), but this is not required. You need to wear or bring workout clothes (See Here). Arrive about 5 minutes early to the schedule class (or the time set up when you speak with a staff member on the phone) so you can fill out an electronic waiver at the front desk. If you are a minor, bring a guardian for this part! After paperwork is done, there are locker rooms and a restroom where you can change into the Gi that staff will provide for you. You do not need a belt for your first classes, it will be provided to you from the head coach. You must wear shoes when you step off the mats, and no shoes when you step on the mats! You can come on the mat as soon as the class before yours is finished. There are usually a few minutes between classes to allow the previous one to clear out and the current one to fill up. Someone from the gym will introduce themselves and help you get started; everyone is friendly! The coach will lead you through practice and before you’ll know it, your first class is done!

What do I wear to Jiu-Jitsu class?

Comfortable form-fitting workout clothing like shorts or leggings and t-shirt or rash guard, will be fine for your first day of training with us. We do ask that you wear a top that covers your armpits and bottoms that won’t allow anyone to see more than they bargained for (especially if your upside down!) If you are attending a Gi class, we have your size available to borrow for the day. Once you decide Jiu Jitsu is right for you, you will want to purchase your own Gi (training uniform.) 

Where do I purchase the uniforms that I need for Jiu-Jitsu? How do I shop for a Gi? How does the sizing system work? How many Gis do I need to have?

We keep Fuji brand Gis in stock at Atlas Grappling and you can purchase them whenever suits you best. We have discounted them for our members, and you can try it on for size before you take it home. You do not have to purchase your Gi from us, there are many suppliers online. Make sure you purchase a Jiu-Jitsu gi; we can use the uniform to move and attack our opponent, so the uniforms are made much more durable than that of some other martial arts. Sizing for Jiu-Jitsu gear is not universal, so make sure you check the sizing charts for the brand you choose. You should have enough Gis to be able to wear a clean and dry gi to each practice you attend. If you train twice a week and do laundry once, you will need 2. If you train 5 times a week and do laundry 5 times a week, you may only need 1.

What are the ranks/belts in Jiu-Jitsu? How do I earn my belt? How long does it take to get my next belt?

There are 5 adult belts (starting at 16 years old) that begin with white, blue, purple, brown, and finally your black belt. With consistent training, black belt could take you roughly 10 years. You should not really focus on belts, but instead focus on the techniques and working towards your personal goals. Everyone has a different journey! At Atlas Grappling, your head coach will decide when you have earned your next belt promotion. We do not have a test or require you to compete; instead, the head coach regularly trains with the students to assess their progress. Belt promotions happen twice a year and when it is your time, you will receive your promotion surrounded by your teammates and peers.

How do I get in shape and prepare for the beginning of my martial arts journey?

You don’t need to be super fit to start training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. In fact, BJJ is a great way to get fit. If you focus on technique when you’re starting out rather than your fitness level, your endurance, coordination, and strength will soon follow! There is no need to lose weight or “get in better shape” before you start, BJJ will help with all of that! At Atlas Grappling, we do not require that you roll (or spar) during practice. Rolling and position training is something that you can ease your way into when you feel your body is ready.

 

How many training sessions is recommended per week to make progress?

Our head coach recommends starting with at least 2 practices a week. Your progress will be directly affected by the amount of time you spend practicing Jiu-Jitsu. There are some of our more serious athletes that attend as many as 10 practices a week (there are at least 17 classes available for adults during the week) In other words- you get what you give.


What is the difference between Gi and No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu?

A Gi is uniform that is worn with a belt. In Gi Jiu-Jitsu, you can grab the clothing which allows you to manipulate your opponent in multiple ways. In No-Gi, you cannot grab the clothing, so the natural grips of the body are used to control your opponent. No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu tends to favor athleticism, quick reflexes, and generally requires a higher pace, which translates very well if you have wrestled before. With the grips of Gi Jiu-Jitsu, the technique can become more complex with grip breaking, new submissions using the gi, and different ways to control your opponent, allowing for unlimited creativity with your Jiu-Jitsu style. Gi and No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu each have unique personalities.

Do I have to train Gi and No-Gi or can I choose one style?

Gi and No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu differ slightly, and each style compliments each other. We believe everyone should train both styles so that you become a well-rounded athlete, but Gi and No-Gi can be studied individually if you prefer. At Atlas Grappling, we offer classes in both styles. Please see our schedule for details.

How would Jiu-Jitsu private lessons benefit me? What happens during a private lesson?

Private lessons are hour-long 1-on-1 lessons with a coach so they can work with you on techniques that you choose and are very specific to your needs. Generally, you are responsible for bringing a training partner (sometimes 2 people split the price and get a 2-on-1 lesson) so that you can practice the technique while the coach watches and helps. Private lessons can help you sharpen your tools and connect the dots.

Do I have to compete in tournaments? How often does the team compete?

Competing is optional and the recommendation to do so will depend on your personal goals. The team competes in several tournaments a year (at least 4 local ones as a team), but Coach Damien makes every attempt he can to get the people that want more opportunities the chance to compete much more often (sometimes competitions and super fights are available weekly during the season)!

 

I have a physical or cognitive restriction, is Jiu-Jitsu right for me?

Each person can have a very different experience in Jiu-Jitsu. The best way to figure out how you or your child will do in class is to speak to one of the coaches about your individual limitation first, and then attend a class. We always offer 2-free trail classes to help you make your decision. Obviously, your privacy is important to us, and we will do our best to be discrete and respectful of anything you share with us. Please make sure that coaches are aware of any physical limitation, injury, or disability so that we can ensure a safe training environment. It is important that coaches know of any developmental disabilities, mental health concerns, or social and learning differences that you or your child may have so we can provide the best experience possible. After your trial classes, we’d like you to meet with the coach to talk about the experience and see if we are a good mutual fit.

  

Are there any accommodations for women training? Is it required that women train with men? Is there a separate Jiu-Jitsu class for women-only?

We have a Women’s Only class taught by Beth, please see our schedule for days and times. It is recommended that you train in a co-ed environment, as women-only class times are limited. If you are uncomfortable training with another gender for personal or religious reasons, please inform the coach in private so they can respect your wishes. Remember- it is OK to respectfully decline to train or roll with someone else, regardless of gender if you feel uncomfortable or unsafe. If you ever feel like a training partner did prioritize your safety or respect you, please inform the coach so the situation can be addressed (in private)!

Wrestling

Who runs your Wrestling Program?

Coach Michael Canada is a 2x All-American college wrestling for UNLV. Erik Escutia assistant coaches and is a wrestler from UNLV. Beth Nitkin is the organizer and USA Wrestling Director for Atlas Grappling, but she only assistant coaches.

What is the goal of your Level 1 Wrestling Program?

For our young children, we are focusing on building fundamental wrestling techniques and a love of athletics with our new athletes. We believe that an early introduction to sports is essential in any future athlete’s life, but “too much too soon” can destroy a kid’s love of a sport. We see far too many children that begin overtraining for their developmental age. To us it is more important to foster a love for sports, teach intrapersonal skills (teamwork), build basic body coordination, and help children become comfortable with uncomfortable things. At Atlas Grappling, your child’s emotional, physical, and mental development is far more important early on than making sure they know every technique available. Advanced technique will come in time, but if a sport does not nurture development early on, you child may not want to continue practicing or competing.

What is the Level 2 Wrestling Program?

Children 8 & up are usually able to follow instruction and stay focused exponentially better than a couple years ago! The Level 2 Wrestling program at Atlas Grappling introduces beginner and intermediate wrestling techniques. Your child will learn technique through short instructional breaks with coaches, followed by supervised and assisted time to drill the moves. With regular technique drilling your kid’s strength and conditioning will improve as class intensity increases. This class will incorporate live wrestling to prepare the team for competitions.

What is the Level 3 Wrestling Program?

Atlas Grappling’s Level 3 Wrestling program allows people 14-year-old and up to practice. This class may have adults in it. Coaches teach beginner to advanced technique to our Level 1 athletes. Practice involves high repetition of wrestling with moderate to high intensity. There may be live wrestling involved in this class, and position training.

What do I wear to Wrestling practice?

For wrestling practice, you should wear comfortable form-fitting workout clothing like shorts, sweatpants, or leggings and t-shirt or rash guard. We recommend wearing kneepads, especially if you choose to wear shorts. You can opt to wear a singlet if you’d like. Headgear is recommended, but not required. You must wear either wrestling shoes, socks, or be barefoot. No outside shoes may be worn on the mats and whatever footwear you have on the mats may not be worn off the mats.

How would Wrestling private lessons benefit me? What happens during a private lesson?

Private lessons are hour-long 1-on-1 lessons with a coach so they can work with you on techniques that you choose and are very specific to your needs. Generally, you are responsible for bringing a training partner (sometimes 2 people split the price and get a 2-on-1 lesson) so that you can practice the technique while the coach watches and helps. Private lessons can help you sharpen your tools and connect the dots