Special Mothers Day Class At Gracie Barra Centennial Jiu-Jitsu

Are you ready to celebrate Mother’s Day?

Spring is finally here. The sun coming out… a little more often. Here in Colorado we still have possibility of snow. As most are aware it may be spring, but all four seasons show up over the course of a few days. But, more importantly than weather is the special day coming up to celebrate our Mothers. On Saturday May 12, at 9:00 am we are having a special family class dedicated to our Moms. This is a great opportunity to share some of the self-defense and Jiu-Jitsu techniques we have learned over the year. We will have some special snacks and refreshments to enjoy as well. We hope to see everyone there. 

For new families get tickets Here.


Week 12 Gracie Barra Jiu-Jitsu Training Curriculum

In week 12 we move on to some great self defense techniques from stand up position and then we learn turtle guard and taking the back on the ground game. 

GB1 – In our fundamentals class we learn to defend the bear hug both from the front and the back. This is a common attack position for a bully or assailant.  When the game hits the ground we learn how to protect ourselves in turtle guard as well as how to attack someone when they are in the turtle. You will learn a choke from top position over turtle, how to take the back and how to finish from the back in a rear collar and rear naked choke. 

GBK – Our kids will also learn how to defend from a bear hug and a rear choke. On the ground game the kids will practice controlling from the mount position, how to take the back as well as a few submissions. 

GB3 – In our advanced curriculum, our professors will lend some keen insight about foot throws as well as some awesome submissions from the ground. 

As we have said in the past, every week is a good week to begin at Gracie Barra Centennial Jiu-Jitsu. And, there is not a week you want to miss as an advanced practitioner. See you on the mats. 

Week 11 Gracie Barra Training Curriculum

In Week 11, we get to review some of the basics. At Gracie Barra we believe having a solid understanding of fundamentals is key to having a strong game. 

GB1 – We start every GB1 class with self-defense. This week you will learn to transition from turtle position and knee-on-the-belly to to full guard. You go from being very vulnerable to the control position.

In  The sport Jiu-Jitsu aspects of the GB1 class we review keeping a solid posture and how to break a closed guard. You will also learn to classic passes, one arm under and two arms under. 

GB2-3 – In our advanced classes the professors key in on Leg Grab takedowns and techniques from the Top Guard. 

GBK – Our Little Champs work more on distance control – How to stay at a safe distance from their opponents. We will also share a class single leg takedown. From Top Guard position we will learn how to keep good posture, break the guard and pass to mount. 

Whether it is your first time trying Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or you have been practicing for years, this week is good for your game. Stop by for class today. 

Mental Preparation For Competition

The time before a major competition is when the athletes sharpen their skills, push their level of physical conditioning and look to strategies for the matches.

The physical part of preparation is important, but many experienced competitors also point out the importance of the correct attitude and mind set before a tournament.

One of the most common questions that new competitors have is “I feel very nervous before a competition. Is this normal? How do I deal with it?”

This week on Gracie Barra Blog, we talk with several experienced competitors and coaches about how they approach competition, the mental attitude behind a winner and some advice to help you be at your best on tournament day.

Prof. Draculino has often headed the competition training camps at GB Headquarters in California
GB: A common question many beginner students have about competition is feeling very nervous before the tournament.
What advice do you have to help with pre competition stress?

Professor Draculino: It is very common for beginners. I would say no matter what, that they are going to be nervous in any combat sport, competition will bring the butterflies.
It happens to all of us. Even after all of these years I still have it before competitions.
It is normal.

It is something that some people are addicted to, to be honest.
It is something that is always going to happen but you have to control it.
After all of these years I have found out that it is inevitable that you will feel that.
It is very rare to see somebody going there without any kind of nervousness or being anxious. They always going to be.

I think that it is better to try to take your mind off of the task in times that you don’t need to be 100% focused.
You don’t need to be thinking about this thing 24 / 7 because then it drains you.
Try to get something that brings you pleasure and takes your attention out of the mission.
Then at the time of the competition, at the time that you make weight, the time of the warm up then you focus 100%.

I think that a lack of focus is as bad as too much focus.
I try to watch a movie, have some friends that laugh, play video games or just play with my dogs.
Something to take my mind off of the task.

GB: What advice do you give your students regarding strategy or game plan before a competition?

Professor Draculino: I say something simple: try to impose your game. Try to do what you do best.
Competition is not the time to experiment! You have to experiment at the school, at the gym, in training.

That is where you have to risk yourself, put yourself in situations that you do not normally do to evolve your game overall.

But in the competition you should stick to what you do best.
Sometimes the strategy goes in the toilet when the match happens, you have to be ready to perform according to what is on your plate!
That is why the base period in the gym is so important. You have to be good overall because you never know what you will be facing.

Try to do what you do best during the matches.
Always face very match as though it was the last one. Don’t try to think about the next matches because maybe you will get surprised!
It happened to me before and I am pretty sure that it has also happened to a bunch of people.

Always remember to go out there and have fun.
At the end of the day don’t put so much pressure on yourself because you stop thinking well.
Strategy is king! In the short periods of rounds and depending on what weight classes and belt that you compete at,..one mistake can cost you the match.

Prof. Andre Almeida
GB : What is your philosophy about winning and losing in the tournaments?
What inspires you to train so hard to compete?

Andre Almeida : Like everyone, I always want to win, but more than that I always believe I’m going to win. I get really frustrated when I lose a match that I know I could have won.
There are some matches that you can easily see the mistakes that you did, the positions that you lose and the opportunities that you missed, and that really pisses me off!

Besides that, if I lose because my opponent did a great job on simply blocking my attacks and were able to overcome my defences I try not be mad and learn from my weakness to come back stronger.

For years of my life I stayed full days on the library studying for countless hours and I believe that gave me a profound notion of discipline, and with good disciple almost anything is possible.
About the inspiration to train so hard to be able to reach a competitive level, the only thing I can say is that you have got to love the path, not the end.

On my life I have always tried to love, or learn to love, the path.
When I say that I workout from Monday through Saturday some may think of this as unbearable, I think I am lucky to have the time to be able to workout 6 days a week.

Of coarse some days are rough, but life is like that with everything, some days you just have to push through, but the majority of the days I’m doing tremendously grateful.

GB : Can you give some advice to Gracie Barra students who like to compete?
May students deal with stress before the competition and ask for advice on how to overcome the nerves.
What was the most helpful advice that either of your brothers Ricardo or Flavio told you about competing?

Andre Almeida : If I could give one piece of advice it would be go forward! The benefits of you registering for a competition are uncountable, winning or losing you will already have a great take away from it.
You will always feel nerves, it’s not a friendly game, its fighting, you will fell stressed.

What can help is to start on smaller tournaments to get used to the nerves, start getting used to the tension and then go climbing up the ladder little by little.

The best advise that I have gotten from brothers was really simple, give your best and then you will be comfortable by knowing that you did all you could do.
They always supported me 100% and gave me all the tools necessary for me to perform at my highest level.

Brown Belt competitor James Harnish
GB: Can you share with the Gracie Barra readers how you prepare for a major competition?

James Harnish : The way that I am preparing for my fight is putting myself in every possible bad position and trying to work my way out of it. I don’t really go to the gym to much for weight lifting, when I do go to the gym I usually work on my cardio as well as low weight high reps for explosiveness and speed. Most of my time is spent on the mats drilling and some high intensity training like being on the mat for about a half hour or more with a new training partner attacking me every couple of minutes so there is always a fresh person attacking me when getting ready for any competitions usually over a four to six week training camp before the event.

GB: What is the role competition plays for you in your jiu-jitsu?
James Harnish : The role that competition plays for me in my Jiu-Jitsu I would have to say would be that no matter what the outcome is I am always learning when I compete. I love to compete, it allows me to showcase what I have been working so hard on in training and also allows me to try out my techniques on someone who I have never trained with before but the big thing that competition does for me is that it helps makes my Jiu-Jitsu stronger….some people would say that competition and training are the same but in my opinion they couldn’t be more different, training is a time for learning and competition is a time to test what you have learned!

GB: Do you have any advice for young Gracie Barra competitors on training and competing?
James Harnish : If I were to give any advice to the young Gracie Barra competitors on training and competing it would be train safe and always look out for the safety of your training partners because if you hurt your training partners you will eventually have no one to train with. Also with training in Jiu-Jitsu and competing it has helped me overcome failure and accomplish my goals, not only on the mats but in life. Never get frustrated while training or competing, always stay humble and never give up….because you will never know your full potential if you do!

Prof. Fabiana Borges
GB: What is the role competition plays for you in your jiu-jitsu?
Prof. Fabiana Borges: I love competing. It keeps me disciplined in the way that I eat, I sleep, and I rest. It also keeps me motivated to learn, train. I learn a lot about my self when I am getting ready for tournaments.

GB: As an active competitor. Can you share with the Gracie Barra readers how you prepare for a major competition?
Prof. Fabiana Borges: I am always training with my students and working out, but when it gets closer to tournaments, I start to work more on my endurance and resistance. I usually do my preparation at Max Training in Austin two times a week and on the mats I focus a lot on drills and specific training.
I try to sleep earlier and eat better then I already do.

This post was originally posted  

Week 9 Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Training Curriculum

Week 9 training is awesome. We learn some great self-defense moves from standing, transitions to the guard, sacrifice throws and fun ground game techniques.

GB1 Fundamentals: Come learn to duck a hook punch and transition to a throw and takedown. Work on the art of the Pendulum sweep and perfect the armbar. You definitely will not want to miss how to take the back from closed guard or how to do a solid triangle. This week is going to be fun. You do not want to miss it. 

GBK: Our kids will learn how to protect themselves by using distance with a safe stance, arms and legs. It will be cool to see them practice the open guard and keep their opponents away with the legs. The more advanced kids will work on cross color chokes, kimura’s and triangles. Watch your kids Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu improve this week. 

GB2-3 Advanced: Come this week to see our Professors share their favorite sacrifice throws, transitions to the guard ans setups for solid submissions. Each week in the advanced class there are always some new trends to learn. 

IBJJF Denver International Open One Month Away

Hello all Gracie Barra Students, 

We have a great tournament coming to Denveron April 21st, the  IBJJF Denver International Open. It will be held at Regis University at 3333 Regis Blvd, Denver 80221. This is a great opportunity for adult students that would like to compete in Jiu-Jitsu. This tournament does not have any kids divisions.

In order to compete there are a few steps to follow for registration. First, by March 30th, you have to register your affiliation with our Academy, Gracie Barra Centennial. It is $35. Professor Rafael will then sign off on your registration. Once this is completed you can sign up for the tournament. You must sign up for it by April 15th. When signing up you have a few options. You can compete in Gi or No Gi. Then, you select your age, weight and belt. The cost for registration is $119 for either gi or no gi, and $200 for both. Here is a link where you can sign up. IBJJF DENVER OPEN

Week 8 Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Training Curriculum

GB1 – Fundamentals – This week’s focus for Self Defense covers clinches and holds on our feet in the offensive manner to either subdue the attacker with a submission or control the attacker for negotiation by taking the attacker to the ground. Week 8’s Sport BJJ  will take your game from good to great by going from side control to mount for 4 points in competition, or ending the fight with a submission when you have control control.

GB2 – Advanced – This week we learn some great options for foot throws in the Gracie Barra Advanced Curriculum. In addition, we learn how to use the lapel to our advantage from side mount position with great attacks and submissions.

GBK – In our kids program we teach our students how to recover from a bear hug and take down his/her opponent, some good options to move from side control to mount and a great foot sweep from standing. 

Week 8 has some great techniques. Regardless of being week one or week eight any week is a good week to start Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at Gracie Barra Centennial. Call us at 855-548-5488 or email at robert@gbcentennial.com

Week 7 Gracie Barra Training

This week we learn some great options for distance control in the fundamentals self defense training plan. By now through seven weeks of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu we have started to build the basics for guard, using our legs to protect us from the opponent. This week we add some elements of distance control using our legs to keep our opponents away while holding grips on their sleeves and ankles to keep them off balance. 

In our advanced classes we have some options for spider guard with lasso sweeps that can dominate even a skilled opponent. If your a student already you’ll definitely not want to miss class this week. If you are thinking of trying a class, drop by to start training today or call us at 855-548-5488 with any questions. 

6 Other Reasons to train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at Gracie Barra besides family :)

There are so many reasons for everyone to train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but some are not as obvious as others. Here are a few of the  “Other” reasons to train. 

  1. 1. You don’t like to “workout”.  How many of us actually like to workout? Going to a gym, building a routine, fighting for the right equipment, knowing how to use proper technique… etc. etc. Sometimes its more of a workout just getting to the gym. Then, when you are there the actual routine becomes just that – routine. It is sometimes boring and painful at the same time. As cerebral beings we need stimulation, we need to learn we need to progress. Some of this is available at the gym, but all is available at Jiu-Jitsu. I always tell people the fitness and the workout is a byproduct of training Jiu-Jitsu. You have fun training Jiu-Jitsu and just happen to get fit while doing it. I know of many people to lose over 50 lbs training without changing much in their diet. I am not sure many can say this going to a regular gym. At Gracie Barra Centennial Jiu-Jitsu in addition to having fun you learn. Our Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu curriculum is an ever evolving program that tests your knowledge and abilities. We constantly press the fundamentals. Fundamental are key to success in any program. When we have success the journey becomes even more fun. So, next time you think, I need to workout, but you don’t like working out… Come to Gracie Barra and have some fun training with us.     
  2. 2. Your diet gets better. One of the obvious reasons to train Jiu-Jitsu is that we wan to improve ourselves and get in shape. As we progress in our journey of Jiu-Jitsu we see that a proper diet helps us grow faster. You become surrounded my many people in class with the same mindset of self improvement. You start to see that the ones progressing fastest have great diets. Next think you know you are starting to implement subtle changes to your diet and over a period of time you actually start eating better.  The more you train the better your diet gets. It’s a great byproduct of training.    
  3. 3. You drink less alcohol. This goes along with your diet getting better. Some people say they become addicted to Jiu-Jitsu. It’s not surprising. Any physical training give a great feedback loop of endorphins. You have probably heard of a “runners high”. This is the endorphins being released and creating this positive feeling in the body. In addition to the endorphins, our brains crave learning. When we learn something new we get a similar positive feedback. So, we love to learn. It’s interesting when we master something. Have you ever played a video game and became so good that you could win easily? If you did, you probably became disinterested and moved on to something new. This is that craving in your brain wanting to learn and improve. The great thing about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is that you are always learning. From the White to Black Belt and even to Red their is always something new to learn. This keeps us training and yearning for more. As a result, of wanting to learn more we end up curtailing our drinking. We realize early on that its not easy to train a day after even having only a few drinks. You may not see it when you start training but as you grow you will probably drink less. No a bad side effect of training. Is it? 
  4. 4. Your body changes.  When I started Jiu-Jitsu I was a “round” 205lbs. Within the first six months I actually put on some weight… I got up to 218 lbs at my heaviest. I was putting on muscle in places I had not before. During the next few months the excess fat began to fall off. Today I hang around 180-185 lbs. My waist is much smaller and I am in better shape than I have ever been. When training Jiu-Jitsu we exercise so many different muscles. We use the whole body even your toes. How many gym workouts use your toes? Nat many, but Jiu-Jitsu does. So while you are not paying attention your whole body changes. Your clothes start to fit differently. You may even have to go out and buy new clothes. I know many Jiu-Jitsu practitioners that have lost over 50lbs and some even 100. So, if you are looking for something to improve your physique, Jiu-Jitsu is a pretty good solution. Below are some students from Gracie Barra Brownsville, TX.             
  5. 5.Your attitude changes. You become more humble. One of the crazy traits of Jiu-Jitsu is the more experienced smaller opponent can pretty much dominate a person of larger stature. I have seen many times a big guy, over 230 lbs roll into the school for the first time. You can see they are avid workout guys and maybe even crossfit competitors by body type, big arms and shoulders with a small waist. On the street these guys can look very intimidating. Then, they put on their new gi and fresh white belt and begin their first class. They go through the warm-ups with ease. You can see they are physically fit. But, when they start to learn technique you see the confidence dwindle. Training Jiu-Jitsu presses our abilities and gets us out of our comfort zone. These guys see that strength is not always useful. As they progress through the first class their eyes are wide open as the 145lb purple belt controls them with ease. They ask, “how can that be? I am so much stronger than this guy and he is killing me.” This is when the attitude begins to change. They start to realize there is more to this than strength. The more they train the more they see even strength sometimes is a hindrance. The become more humble. They learn that they are not  “all that”. It also becomes a great driver of motivation. They want to learn like the purple belt and grow their Jiu-Jitsu. This attitude change begins to help in your everyday life. Humility is one of the most powerful virtues. 
  6. 6. You Gain a Worldwide Group of Friends. When you train at Gracie Barra you have the ability to train at any Gracie Barra school in the world – For Free. You can visit Gracie Barra in the places you would think like California and Brazil. But, did you know you can visit GB in other great vacation destinations like Playa del Carmen, Rome, Vancouver, many locations in Australia, Japan and more. It is great when you are on vacation and visiting a town with a GB. You get the hospitality of family and often times you get to visit the best places only the locals know. Joining Gracie Barra truly opens the world.

Gracie Barra Week 6 Fundamentals: Headlock and Back & Turtle Bottom

The Gracie Barra Fundamentals Curriculum allows for students starting Jiu-Jitsu for the first time and even the experienced competitor to learn and refine the basics. Each week we go through a series of  new techniques all layered together by Master Carlos Gracie Jr. and may of his black belts. 

This week we are learning some very important headlock escapes. A great aspect of our program is the practical use of self-defense techniques we learn. These escapes are great for jiu-jitsu competition as well as on the streets in a confrontation. In addition to the headlock escapes we learn a very important guard – Turtle. The turtle is a good way to protect yourself while transitioning back to a full guard or top dominant position. Drop in one day this week for a free class an you can begin to learn for yourself. Call us 855-548-5488 or by email at robert@gbcentennial.com