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. 


Professor “Duda”, Professor Fernando and Coach Robert

Training Fundamentals at Gracie Barra Centennial Jiu-Jitsu

Trying a Jiu-Jitsu class for the first time can be very intimidating. When you walk into a new school the presence of all the skilled practitioners is somewhat daunting. Maybe you have a friend that trains jiu-jitsu or you are intrigued by the use of jiu-jitsu  in the UFC. In any case it sparked your interest and you decided to give it a shot.  You have called Gracie Barra and spoken to either the Program Director, Professor or Coach to schedule your first class.

There are a few options when taking a first class. You can either take a private intro class or jump right into a fundamentals class.

        The Private Intro Class

Some people prefer to schedule a private trial class. This is a one-on-one session with a Professor or Coach. In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu a Professor is a Black Belt. It sometimes takes 10 years or more to achieve this level. A few have done it it five or less, but it is definitely not the norm. Coaches are Jiu-Jitsu teachers that have not made the black belt rank yet. They may be Brown, Purple and sometimes Blue Belts. It takes years to reach new levels in Jiu-Jitsu and artists at these levels can be great teachers. The one-on-one trial class gives a great outline of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for the new student. You start with a smooth warm-up to get the blood flowing and muscles moving. The teacher then goes through the basics of Jiu-Jitsu self-defense. Many people new to Jiu-jitsu have this impression that it is a fighting/competition art first, most likely due to its prominence in UFC. However, this is not the whole story. Jiu-Jitsu is a Martial Art that focuses on Self-Defense and Self-Improvement. It does have an emphasis on grappling, ground game and submissions but self-defense comes first. The professor starts with some self-defense techniques while standing up. If someone approaches you with a kick, punch or headlock, he/she show you how to stop the assailant from hurting you. Usually they will show you the technique multiple times and then practice it with you. This format allows for a solid understanding of the technique in its raw form and the practice begins the process of developing it into muscle memory. It takes months and sometimes years to perfect a technique, so this is only the beginning. After working on the stand up game the Professor or Coach will begin to teach the ground game. The ground game begins by teaching the guard. The guard is when you are using your legs to block the attacker. Most likely you are on your back with your legs up to protect your body. Closed Guard is when you have your legs wrapped around your opponents waist with your feet locked together. There are many variations of guard you will learn during the journey of Jiu-Jitsu, but closed guard is a staple of the art. For the remainder of the intro class you will see a few more techniques demonstrated and practice them as well. After 30 to 45 minutes you will come away with a clear understanding of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and how Gracie Barra Centennial Jiu-JItsu teaches.

        The Fundamentals Class

Lineup for Fundamentals class

The other option for a new student is joining a fundamentals class. The Gracie Barra philosophy that Jiu-Jitsu is for Everyone sets the stage for each fundamentals class. All are welcome and we strive to make sure each class is safe and fun.  When entering the mat each student wearing the Gracie Barra Gi bows to the center. The Professor/Coach lines up the students in belt order, attendance is taken and class  begins with a seven minute warm-up. We go through a series of Jiu-Jitsu centric exercises to prepare our bodies for the forthcoming workout.  After the warm-up the Professor gathers the students to teach the first technique. The first technique in each fundamentals class is self-defense. For this article we will reference week 1 of the Gracie Barra Curriculum. Gracie Barra has a 16 week rolling curriculum for the fundamentals class. It was developed under Master Carlos Gracie Jr. with the assistance of numerous black belts.  Week 1 Class A self-defense technique teaches how to avoid a straight punch and proceed to a double leg takedown. The professor works with a partner to show the move. He usually does it three times and one in full speed. He gives time for the students to ask questions about it. After showing the technique your real Jiu-Jitsu experience begins. Each student is paired with a partner to practice. Usually new students are paired with a higher belt which helps with safety. We also try to match students with similar heights and weights. The students move to an open space with their partners and begin practicing the moves. While you are drilling professors and coaches are monitoring progress and helping students perform the move properly. After several minutes when everyone has a good understanding and performance of the technique the professor calls all to line up to learn the next move.

Professors teaching technique

The second technique for Week 1 Class A is how to pull guard. During this demonstration the Professor executes the technique three times again with his partner. He shows a good way to pull guard to put yourself into a protective and even offensive position. And, once everyone has a clear understanding the students break off into pairs again to practice the technique. Once again professors and coaches watch the students practicing and help them with the execution. After the students work the move a few more minutes they all get a water break and line back up for the third and final position of the day.

Practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Technique

The third technique for Week 1 Class A is the Scissor Sweep. In this position you learn how to sweep someone from the guard position on the bottom and gain a top mount position. The professor demonstrates the new position in the same format as the others and you once again break off to practice with your partner. At the end of practicing the third and final position for the day we move on to specific training. This is where you practice some live rolling with your partner. You start in one specific position determined by the curriculum and spar with your partner till one person advances or gets to a better position. In Jiu-Jitsu there are several standard positions ranked in the following order:

  • Standing – a neutral position
  1. Mount -The top position with legs over the belly
  2. Back Mount or taking the Back – on top of the opponents back or behind the opponent with feet hooked around hips or legs
  3. Side Mount – Passed the bottom opponents legs and chest to chest
  4. Half Guard – One leg secured by bottom opponent
  5. Full Guard – Both legs and or waist secured by bottom opponent


Right now all these terms may look like Greek, but soon they will become all to familiar. We start specific training in one of these positions. For example we start in full guard. If the student on the bottom in the guard sweeps the top person he advances into mount or guard, he/she wins then you switch starting positions. Or, If the person on top in the full guard passes to a half guard or side mount position he/she wins. Again, we switch positions. This format of training is a great fun and safe way to start training Jiu-Jitsu. You start to learn your body movements in a controlled environment. After you have earned your third stripe at Gracie Barra you will move on to live rolling with opponents which can go from 5 to 10 minutes per session. This takes a minimum of four months depending on your attendance and progression. This mandate keeps our students safe and helps add to a lasting Jiu-Jitsu journey.  At the end of your first class you will do a series of cool down exercises line up with the class in belt order for the professors final words and announcements if necessary. And, with that one hour you have begun your journey into Jiu-Jitsu. 

Congratulations, You have taken the first step on your way to black belt

8 Reasons why train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at Gracie Barra Centennial



Gracie Barra Women Program

1. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a fun way to get fit.  Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is often likened to a game of human chess. If you don’t like to work out at a gym because you get bored, you’re not alone. Many of our students were tired of going to the gym, and they couldn’t find new songs or audio books to entertain them on the treadmill. They found Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to be the perfect workout because it requires a high level of concentration proportional to the amount of calories burned and pounds lost. What’s more, you’ll still learn to defend yourself. It’s a win-win situation.


Gracie Barra Family

2. Gracie Barra Family.  When you join Gracie Barra Centennial you are now part of a global organization of over 700 BJJ schools. When traveling you can train all over the world for no additional cost. And, you will be treated as a family member.

Carlos Gracie JR

3. Carlos Gracie Jr. In 1986, Carlos Gracie Jr. founded the first Gracie Barra school, in the city of Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro. From that one location he created the most expansive Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu organization there is, with offices in the USA, Brazil, Australia and Europe and around 700 hundred schools spanning the world. He created a structure that could protect the Gracie Barra banner while still offering support to instructors and school owners, to create career opportunities via certification programs and professional training. The aim of the schools is to help their communities by offering Jiu-Jitsu for everyone including you.

Fundamental Brazilian Jiu-JItsu CurriculumAdvanced Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Curriculum

4. Unmatched Curriculum. The Gracie Barra curriculum ensures that students will be led through a proven progression of positions and techniques in order that they may learn jiu-jitsu in the fastest way possible. It allows instructors to cover all areas of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, leaving no gaps in the BJJ knowledge of the students. It is a complete jiu-jitsu that pays attention to the areas of:

1) Self defence (the reason why most people start learning a martial art)
2) Takedowns (90% of street fights hit the ground but 100% start standing!)
3) Ground – the strength of brazilian jiu-jitsu. 

Each week Professors and Coaches study and prepare to teach the ensuing classes under the well planned curriculum. With over 700 schools around the world we have the input and support of hundreds of blackbelts. Gracie Barra is always refining and improving our program. As a result, at Gracie Barra Centennial you get the best in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu teaching today and the teaching of the future. You can check out our programs HERE.


Gracie Barra Centennial Instructors

5. Superior Instructors. At Gracie Barra Centennial we have world class instructors with years of training and coaching experience. Each instructor has gone through intensive training under the Gracie Barra ICP certification program. This ensures our students are given the best direction and are able to progress in a safe and healthy environment. 



Gracie Barra Centennial FacilityGracie Barra  Centennial Jiu-Jitsu Changing Rooms Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Mats

6. Beautiful Facilities. Located at 4181 E. County Line Rd in Centennial, Colorado you will find over 3300 sq. ft of the best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu facilities in Colorado. We have almost 2000 sq. Ft of Mats, men’s and women’s changing rooms. We have two beautiful showers great for professionals heading to work after a training. We have comfortable couches to watch your friends and children train. For kids, we have a library of books, games and homework tables. They can keep busy while their siblings and parents train. 

Jiu-jitsu friendships

7. Excellent Training Partners – Lifelong Friendships. Gracie Barra Centennial Jiu-Jitsu students are the pride of the school. Without good students its impossible to have a good school. Our students are like-minded individuals. They are always looking to better themselves in health and fitness and have found a good place in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. They treat each other with the utmost respect. Jiu-Jitsu can be intimidating when sparring with another person. People are afraid of getting injured. At GB Centennial our students talk and learn what each other is looking to gain in the training session. This helps them become comfortable with each other and help prevent injuries in the session. This communication leads to strong friendships that can last a lifetime. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is pretty special. You can improve yourself and meet some great people along the way. If you are curious and would like to try a free class, call us anytime at 855-548-5488 email at robert@gbcentnnial.com or stop by. Jiu-jitsu changes lives and could change yours too. 



Professor Rafael Visit

This weekend we had Professor Rafael visit us from our Gracie Barra Chino  and Rancho Santa Margarita locations. He has been training Jiu-Jitsu over 24 years and is currently a 3rd degree black belt. He captivated our kids class with his solid training. He also shared his expertise with our all levels class on Saturday. Professor Rafael visits us often. So, when he is here our students take advantage of the time. Follow us on FB, twitter and instagram so you know when he is here next.