3 Extra Things You Can Do To Improve Your Jiu-jitsu in Denver

Come learn to improve your Jiu-Jitsu at Gracie Barra Centennial

Everyone reading this article who would like to improve their jiu-jitsu faster raise their hands (all the hands go up). Now that we have your attention, lets discuss a few ideas that can accelerate your improvement in jiu-jitsu.

The #1 important factor in your jiu-jitsu training is regular attendance in class. No amount of watching jiu-jitsu videos is going to help you if the start of class does not find you on the mat!

That said, HOW you use your time on the mat when you are in class is really important.

Here are a few tips on how to get the maximum benefit from each class.

1) Cultivate training partners
Next to having a Black belt professor who can teach you solid fundamental techniques, good training partners will make the most impact on your jiu-jitsu.

In larger, established bjj schools there will be an abundance of advanced belts to work with. In new and smaller academies you need to build those training partners.

– Be the first to say hello to new students and welcome them to the school
– Have a helpful attitude to share information with newer students to help solve their problems

With more experienced training partners, build the training relationship by agreeing to meet and partner up at specific times. Make a pact to train regularly at certain times. Discuss what aspects of your jiu-jitsu game that you are trying to improve and make a plan to help each other improve each others games using Tip #2.

2) Drill
The best jiu-jitsu students I’ve observed will team up with their favorite training partners and agree to a plan to work together on drilling a certain position that they both wish to improve.

They arrive early to class or stay a little later to drill techniques that they wish to improve on top of whatever was taught in class that day.

I recall several blue and purple belts who liked working together and would coordinate to drill together at any open mat time available. It is little surprise that they were among the most technical members of the academy and successful in competition.

This was all on their own initiative and occurred outside the regular class times at open mat and both before and after the classes. You can do it too!

3) Ask questions
This is the single thing that most jiu-jitsu students could easily do to improve their own games. Yet many seem to be too shy and unwilling to ask their instructor questions about problems they encounter in their rolling.

Think about the last time that you rolled a few rounds. What worked well? What didn’t work so well? Did you get swept repeatedly by a specific technique? Was your guard passed or you got submitted several times?

Now take those jiu-jitsu problems to your instructor and ask “Last class I tried to pass the guard using the knee cut and I got my back taken. Am I doing something wrong?”

Now you are addressing problems and building your personal game in a targeted way. Brick by brick you can build your jiu-jitsu game and find solutions for the rolling problems that you experience.

Good training to you!

Week 3 Gracie Barra Training Curriculum

Come learn the single leg takedown and double leg this week at GB Centennial

The fundamentals continue at Gracie Barra Centennial Jiu-Jitsu. Serving the entire South Metro Denver Area, our Black Belt Professors can help you improve your game. Gracie Barra is the prime place to learn Denver Jiu-Jitsu.

This week we are escaping the mount and side mount with our self defense. When we get to the ground game we are honing our skills on breaking the guard from the knees and standing, learning the one arm under pass and the double arm under pass. 

In the advanced program we show many options for takedowns including the single leg takedown and the double leg takedown. This is will help all our competitors get the first points in competition. Our professors then share their favorite positions from top, passing guard and submissions.

In the Gracie Barra Kids program we learn how to break fall, use the guard and the technical lift. These are some of the most basic positions in Jiu-Jitsu as well as most important. For our Gracie Barra Kids competitor we are working on the single leg takedown. 

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 1 Gracie Barra Training Curriculum

Gracie Barra Fundamentals

This week at Gracie Barra Centennial Jiu-Jitsu  we start a new training cycle with week 1. This is a great opportunity for existing practitioners to hone their skills and for the first time student to begin. 

We begin each fundamentals class with a classic self defense move to help protect our students when involved in a confrontation. This week we learn how to avoid a straight punch and slip to a single leg or double leg takedown. 

In classic sport Jiu-Jitsu we learn the art of pulling closed guard. We also learn a solid scissor sweep. And, finally we hone our front chokes. 

Gracie Barra Advanced

In the advanced program our professors share their favorite transitions to the guard, sacrifice throws and submissions from the guard. 

Gracie Barra Kids

our kids learn how to control distance with punches and jabs, how to do a sit up sweep and learn mount control. The word of the week is brotherhood and at the end of each class we talk about the meaning of brotherhood. 

If you have been on the fence about trying Jiu-Jitsu, week one is the time to make the jump. Come on in and try a free class today. Schedule it HERE!

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. 

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. 

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

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