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. 

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

Week 2 Gracie Barra Training Curriculum

Hello Denver, Are you ready to learn some headlock and side mount escapes?

This week at Gracie Barra Centennial Jiu-Jitsu we move into week 2 of our curriculum.

GB1 – Fundamentals 

We start class A learning how to do a rear corner takedown from a a standing headlock. Then we learn two of the most basic side mount guard recoveries. 

In Class B we learn to lift and side step o soto gari from a  rear headlock. On the ground game we practice getting to turtle guard from side mount and how to transition to a double leg takedown. 

GBK – Kids

In the kids program we also learn how to defend the headlock. In addition we work some hip throws from judo grips. On the ground game we are working solid side mount escapes. 

GB3 – Advanced

At Gracie Barra Centennial Jiu-Jitsu we love to work our stand up game. This week in our advanced program we work on hip throws. On the ground game we work on some variations of submissions from side mount. So if you are in Denver and in the South Metro Denver area drop in this week to improve your game. 

Week 15 Gracie Barra Training Curriculum

The Gracie Barra Training Curriculum is now on to week 15. 

In our GB1 class we learn more self defense with our guard transitioning to a triangle and how to work a proper technical lift. In the ground game we are back to the basics of passing guard from top position. We learn the over the leg pass and and a few option of the bull fight pass. We also learn some great techniques on how to pass the half guard. 

In our GB2 and 3 advanced classes our professors share their favorite leg grab takedowns. Come learn a great single leg to a submission and two advanced passes. Come check out our advanced classes so you can add these moves to your game. 

Our GBK program often follows our GB1 program as it does this week. We learn some sold guard positions. How to pass the guard and the half guard. Our Theme for the week is Inspiration. So at the end of each class we will have some inspiring talks :). 

Look forward to seeing you in class. 

Are You Old School or Modern Jiu-Jitsu?

During the time since jiu-jitsu made it’s introduction to the world outside of its origin in Brazil, the art and sport has evolved significantly.

The basic but highly effective jiu-jitsu (clinch, trip, advance to mount / rear mount and submit) that we saw Royce Gracie use in those early UFCs is still around. But jiu-jitsu has evolved and expanded greatly beyond those early days.

Along with the expansion of jiu-jitsu all over the world, the number of competitions has increased exponentially which has lead to incredible innovations in positions and techniques to score points. At present, if you watch the blue belt category at a major IBJJF event you will see advanced positions like Reverse De la Riva guard, Berimbolo, Truck Rolls and Half Guard techniques far beyond the jiu-jitsu on display at the first jiu-jitsu World Championships in 1996.

Combined with the access to video of both competition footage and technique websites, this has all led to incredible flowering of knowledge in the jiu-jitsu world. Modern blue belts are conversant in sweeps that would have had some old school black belts scratching their heads!

Watch the advanced belt brackets at a major tournament and you will see highly technical displays of a wide variety of techniques. Most everyone agrees that this is a good thing. It is not possible to resist progress in jiu-jitsu tactics for winning competition.

The dilemma however, is that many of these new sport strategies may be the most expedient path to win the gold at a tournament, and many have departed from the roots of jiu-jitsu as a practical art for defending oneself in a real fight. A position like Inverted Guard can be highly effective to prevent someone from passing your guard and attacking triangles. When we add the element of punches, we see that it becomes dangerous to attempt such a position that leaves us exposed to strikes. Would this work in a street fight?

I was at an amateur MMA event a recently and noted that the positions and techniques that were most common and effective are not much different than those early days of MMA. The fundamentals of 2 opponents engaged in a fight have not changed significantly. Example : Statistically speaking, by far the most effective submission in the UFC in 2017 was that same rear naked choke that Royce used to submit his opponents in that very first UFC.

This divide has led to debate within the jiu-jitsu world. There are those of the old school philosophy that are critical of the “modern jiu-jitsu” positions that are removed from the reality and practicality of the basics. There are schools that advertise “jiu-jitsu for self defense” but teach lapel guard and strategies to get 2 points for a sweep still adhering to the essence of the art?

On the other side of the debate is the jiu-jitsu practitioners that say they train jiu-jitsu for fitness and for fun and have no plans to compete in an MMA bout, so learning and enjoying all of the positions of jiu-jitsu is perfectly ok.
They counter the self defense argument by saying that a purple belt in jiu-jitsu is highly skilled at control of an opponent’s body and fully capable of defending themselves in a possible street event. They would not jump to half guard and try a sweep, and use the basic techniques of jiu-jitsu.

Master Carlos Gracie Jr. had a few words to say on the topic.

Where do you weigh in on the Old School vs. Modern Jiu-jitsu debate? Are you old school or modern?

See also on Gracie Barra : 3 Extra things to improve your Jiu-Jitsu

Credits: Mark Mullen
Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam
Instagram: @markmullen.bjj

Arm Bar Setups by Gracie Barra Professors

Great Arm Bar Setups

5 Gracie Barra instructors teach us how they like to attack the arm bar with some creative setups from different positions.

1) Arm bar from mount
When I first saw this trick from Prof. Draculino on how to get the arm bar from mount against a strongly defending opponent I did a face palm and asked myself “Why didn’t I think of that before?!”
And it worked the 1st time I tried it in rolling!

2) 180 degree arm bar from knee on belly
Prof. Phillipe Della Monica is the head instructor at GB HQ in Irvine, California. Prof. Phillipe teaches how he uses pressure to set up the spinning arm bar & triangle from knee on belly

3) Double attack from the closed guard to arm bar / Estrangulamento + Arm lock partindo da Guarda Fechada
The arm bar from the guard is difficult to get if we directly attack the arm. A direct attack is the easiest for the opponent to defend. Check out how threatening the first attack exposes the arm for the arm bar.

4) Arm bar switch sides from mount / Variação do Armlock partindo da montada
How often when you try to attack the arm bar from mount does your opponent counter by the “lion kill” arm defense? All the time!
In this setup, when the opponent protects their right arm, you switch sides to attack the opposite side arm. A great solution to a difficult problem.

5) Near side arm bar from side control
When most of us think of attacking arm bar from side control we think of the 180 degrees arm lock (see video #2). Most opponent’s do not expect a near side attack on the arm.
Professor Marcelo Rezende from GB Australia shows a sneaky way to setup the arm bar from side control.

If you would like to learn these move and more sign-up for a free class today – CLICK HERE!

Credits: Mark Mullen
Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam
Instagram: @markmullen.bjj

Gracie Barra Team Takes 2nd Place 2018 IBJJF Denver Open

Gracie Barra Team 

This weekend the Gracie Barra Team showed up in Denver at the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation Denver Open in full force. We had competitors from GB Schools from all over the globe take medals at the competition. Having only two schools in Colorado and Placing 2nd in this tournament is quite an accomplishment. It is a testament to the Gracie Barra Brotherhood and Team. Check out all the results for Gi Here and No-Gi Here.

Gracie Barra Centennial

Our local school in the Denver Market – Gracie Barra Centennial did well for a school only open for 9 months. Combined its competitors brought home 10 Medals. Professor Duda, scored three – a gold, sliver and a bronze. Coach Robert brought home four, two silver and two bronze. Kirk Pearson won gold in only his third competition. David Heasley and Krista Olsen both took home the bronze. Both Alex Chapman and CJ Kennett battled in some tough matches in their first tournament. 

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.

Family Jiu-Jitsu Class this Saturday at Gracie Barra Centennial

Hello Parents, 

Please come in this Saturday March 3rd at 9am for our Family Jiu-Jitsu Class. This is a great opportunity to learn Jiu-Jitsu with your kids. A family that trains together, stays together. Open to all. Just come 15 minutes early to get ready for the class. Wear comfortable gym clothes or feel free to change in our clean locker rooms. We look forward to seeing you then. 

Best, 

Professor “Duda”, Professor Fernando and Coach Robert

Improve Self-Confidence and Stop Bullying at Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

With the growth of the internet, we are increasingly exposed to new challenges of self. Self-Confidence is at an all time low. Social media dominates the news and much of it is due to bullying and shaming. What we see in the news is merely a fraction of what our kids see.  Our kids deal with these issues everyday. And, most likely they are not telling us parents about it.  They have to deal with bullying while they are at school and then possibly online in front of a much larger audience. Kids today have no escape from the constant pressures of this media. 

To combat these challenges starting Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a great first step. At Gracie Barra Centennial Jiu-Jitsu we have a solid curriculum that helps kids build self-confidence.  We give them the tools to recognize bullying, stand-up for themselves and protect themselves when necessary.  

We start with teaching kids values. We teach them integrity, honesty, respect, trust, and brotherhood. These values help them to understand how important it is to be a good person. When kids respect themselves they have a much better ability to respect others. With our values they start to see what bullying really looks like. It helps them to recognize and even prevent bullying. Some kids may even find that they have been a bully in the past. Our school helps them avoid being a bully in the future. Jiu-Jitsu is a special art that all can learn and it helps us all with self-respect. 

When we teach our students about bullying we approach it in a three step process. 

  1. We teach them to walk away. The first time someone bullies you it may be an isolated instance and not worth the time and effort to engage. As they say, it takes a “bigger” person to walk away.
  2. Next, if the problem reoccurs, we teach them to stand up for themselves and raise awareness.  Let someone of authority know whats going on. 
  3. Finally, if it becomes a physical situation we teach the fundamentals of self-defense in Jiu-Jitsu, which helps kids protect themselves and may times diffuse the situation. 

At Gracie Barra your child will learn more than just about bullying. They will learn about themselves, about being a good person, about improving self-confidence and more. 

Recently, Jocko Willink, a retired Navy Seal officer came out with a great kids book – The Way of the Warrior Kid. The book describes the challenges fifth grader Marc was going through at the end of the school year and trough the summer. Marc was not good in  gym, his math skills were below par, he couldn’t even swim. On top of that, the bully Kenny Williamson, the self-proclaimed King of the Jungle Gym, gave him a hard time. But, that summer Marc had his uncle Jake visit and a transformation was about to begin. Uncle Jake was a Navy Seal and his daily routine was built on discipline. Through that summer Jake would teach his routine to Marc, help him get up early, work out, practice math, learn to swim, and join a Jiu-Jitsu school.  This discipline helped Marc grow, build self-confidence, and when he returned to school he became a new boy.

For a limited time, your child can come try a free class, receive a free copy of the hardcover book, and find out if Marc can stand up to the King of the Jungle Gym.

Come try a free class and Receive a Free Copy of the book*.  Click here and mention this post when signing up for the class. 

*while supplies last