Gracie (Brazilian) Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a highly effective self defense system of ground fighting. It is designed to allow a smaller, weaker person to defend his or her self in a real world situation. Gracie Jiu-Jitsu does this by the detailed study of correct body mechanics, timing and placement. This is good for you the student because the methods are not based on strength or speed so the skills will not fade as strength and speed will. This is also in line with the self defense mindset of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu meaning your training should prepare you for a real world encounter where you don't get to choose what weight class you will be fighting in.

   The self defense mind set is important because statistics say that 90-95% of all violent attacks and street fights end up on the ground, where Gracie Jiu-Jitsu's techniques are most effective. Unlike most sport based Jiu-Jitsu, GJJ not only studies grappling, but also teaches the student how to deal with the opponent that tries to strike you in each position and how to deal with it effectively. 

  The physical benefits of training are incredible for the student. Most students experience a  physical change in their bodies with 30 days of beginning their training. Students will lose weight and become more lean, gain usable strength, become more flexible and loosen the body. Many students experience lower levels of stress which leads to higher levels of daily energy.

   The focus on real-world self defense is what separates Gracie Jiu-Jitsu from other Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu systems that are more sport based. If personal protection and physical fitness is your goal, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu has an effective answer that will work for you.

   Founded by Grandmaster Helio Graci, who at 135 pounds altered the techniques of traditional Jiu-Jitsu to depend more on leverage and mechanical advantage over strength and speed.  Our program will teach you to use take downs, hold downs, joint locks, strikes and chokes to control and submit your opponent.

   Like most martial arts, Jiu-Jitsu roots trace back to ancient Japan where the Samurai developed the gentle art into a well-rounded self defense system. In 1914, a Japanese Jiu-Jitsu champion named Mitsuyo Maeda migrated to Brazil. There he shared his art with the Gracie Family who had themselves migrated from Scotland many years earlier.

   In 1925, Carlos Gracie opened the first Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Brazil and the Gracie Dynasty was born. Carlos Gracie's younger brother, Helio Gracie, weighed only 135 pounds. He was so small and frail that doctors advised him not to participate in athletic activities. When young Helio began training, he found that he needed to adjust the techniques he had learned so that they would work for someone smaller or weaker than their opponent. As time went on, Helio became a national hero as he challenged and defeated many of the world's top fighters.

   In the late 1970s and early 1980s, several of Helio's sons migrated to the United States and introduced Gracie Jiu-Jitsu to any who wanted to learn. At the time, American's had quite an obsession with the flashy martial arts styles seen in Hollywood movies, each one claiming to be the most effective. Following in the steps of his father, Rorion Gracie issued the now famous Gracie Challenge: Rorion would fight any person, of any style, and any size. Gracie Jiu-Jitsu began to make its mark in America as stylists from all over the United States accepted the challenge and were defeated by the gentle, effective art.

   In 1993, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu exploded onto the world scene as Rorion's 170 pound brother, Royce Gracie, entered the first Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC). At the time there were no gloves, no time limits, and almost no rules. As the smallest fighter in the event, most gave young Royce no chance of defeating his much larger and more athletic opponents. As had happened so many times before, this small Gracie fighter defeated each and every opponent by submission. Almost overnight, a world-wide demand for instruction in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu emerged. 

   Upholding the premise that most of the advantage of a larger, stronger opponent comes from superior reach and more powerful strikes, both of which are mitigated when grappling on the ground, Brazilian jiu-jitsu emphasizes getting an opponent to the ground in order to utilize ground fighting techniques and submission holds involving Strikeing, joint-locks and chokeholds. A more precise way of describing this would be to say that on the ground, physical strength can be offset or enhanced by an experienced grappler who knows how to maximize force using mechanical strength instead of pure physical strength.

   Once the opponent is on the ground, a number of maneuvers (and counter-maneuvers) are available to manipulate the opponent into a suitable position for the application of a submission technique or strikeing. Achieving a dominant position on the ground is one of the hallmarks of the style, and includes effective use of the guard (a signature position of BJJ) position to defend oneself from bottom (using both submissions and sweeps, with sweeps leading to the possibility of dominant position or an opportunity to pass the guard), and passing the guard to dominate from top position with side control, mount, and back mount positions.

   This system of maneuvering and manipulation can be likened to a form of kinetic chess when utilized by two experienced practitioners. A submission hold is the equivalent of checkmate in the sport, reflecting a disadvantage which would be extremely difficult to overcome in a fight (such as a dislocated joint or unconsciousness).