Week 5 Gracie Barra Training – Sacrifice Throws, Foot Sweeps and Guard Bottom

Sacrifice Throws, Foot Sweeps and Guard Bottom

GB1 – This week in Gracie Barra Fundamentals we learn standing a standing attack with a body lock takedown, a pull foot sweep from standing, and the hook the foot sweep from standing. In Class B we learn distance management, the tripod sweep and the outside hook sweep. All moves that will help your bottom guard game. 

GB2,3 – In the advanced class our Professors and Coaches share their favorite sacrifice throws. Come see an uchi mata setup to sumi gaeshi. On the ground come learn some solid techniques from guard with sweeps and submissions. 

GBK – In the kids program we are working distance management, using your feet and guard. Once on the ground we are practicing our scissor sweep from guard. Remember on Fridays our kids have some time for competition matches. Hope to see you this week. 

3 Tips to improve your Jiu-Jitsu Guard

Practicing the Jiu-Jitsu Guard Game.

Since 50% of your training time in jiu-jitsu you will be working from the bottom, your guard is super important. The sophistication of the jiu-jitsu guard position is the most significant difference between jiu-jitsu and the other world grappling arts.

Having a great guard game is about having an arsenal of submissions and more. There are additional factors of guard retention and replacement. That is to say your ability to move and counter your opponent’s passing attempts. This is an underappreciated aspect of having a strong guard.

Your instructor can teach you the various different styles of guard and the key techniques from each. “The right tool for the right job” means that you need to use different guard styles depending on the range of your opponent.

Example : Butterfly guard would be effective to deal with a close passing opponent while De la Riva guard would be better to deal with a standing passer.

There are a few guard position principles that Black Belts have shared with me that were helpful in tying those techniques together into an effective jiu-jitsu  guard game.

1) Attack!

One of the best pieces of advice on playing guard I got from the most dangerous guard fighter in my academy. His advice was simple “Be the first to attack! And, Don’t wait to see what your opponent is going to do.”

If you can immediately start to threaten the passer with a sweep or break the posture or control the elbow for an arm bar, the passer must immediately stop their pass attempt and defend your attack.

When the passer is constantly defending one attack after another attack, they have little opportunity to start their own offence.

2) Get a grip

The old school Helio Gracie hand in the collar guard is doubly effective because it accomplishes 2 things at the same time:

A) It breaks the posture of the opponent making it difficult to pass

B) Threatens the choke which creates submission combinations when the opponent defends the choke

When you can establish the grips that you want, you have an advantage in controlling your opponent. Ideally, those favorite grips ex. Spider guard sleeve grips lead directly to your most dangerous triangle submission attack.

On the other side of the grip battle, denying your opponent’s passing grips is a skill that we witness in high level competition by the guard player.

3) Move your hips!

How often during a roll have you heard your instructor shout “Move your hips!”?

Too many times to count!

The ability to manage the space between the guard player and the passer is every bit as important as whatever grips you may get. Watch a black belt roll and observe how often they make adjustments to position by moving the hips from one side to the other.

We are accustomed to using our arms to perform most of our tasks in daily life and we must learn how to use our legs and hips. Hence, performing various drills (like shrimps and hip escapes) are so important early in our jiu-jitsu training.

Lastly, focus some if your training time on guard retention and replacement movements. This is a hugely important yet often neglected part of having a great guard.

Want more ways to improve? See also on Gracie Barra /3-extra-things-you-can-do-to-improve-your-jiu-jitsu-in-denver/

Credits: Mark Mullen
Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam
Instagram: @bjjmarkmullen

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!

Kids Summer Camp – Gracie Barra Centennial Jiu-JItsu

Our martial arts kids summer camps are open to everyone.

If you are in the Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree, Littleton, Centennial, Parker, Englewood, Cherry Creek or any of the South Metro Denver area and looking for a Kids Summer Camp, Gracie Barra Centennial Jiu-Jitsu is the place for you. 

No prior martial arts experience is required! Our kids summer camp is led by a highly-qualified martial arts instructor with years of experience teaching children. There’s no one more qualified to give your child the best summer vacation of his or her life. Classes taught during our GBK Camp offer instruction in the following topics: • Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu • Self-Defense • Bullying Prevention If you have a child between the ages of 5 and 14 years, then I urge you to get him or her involved in our GBK Camp this summer. Your child will gain confidence, discipline, respect for others, and learn life skills that will help shape him or her into a stronger adult.

How much does it cost? The cost to participate in our 5 day Kids Summer Camp is only $199. There is a discount available for our adult students who wish to register their kids or a family member in our camp. Current Gracie Barra students pay just $149! That’s less than $10 per hour at our Summer Camp. Family rates and referral discounts available. 3 Day Camp Also Available, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Prices Start at only $125 for Non GB Members and $99 for GB Members.

Monday June 25th Thru Friday June 19th, 9am – 12pm Daily.  and Monday July 23rd to July 27th

Our camp will:

• Increase your child’s self-confidence and self-esteem

• Improve your child’s focus and self-discipline, leading to better behavior and better grades

• Provide your child with the skills and self-confidence to stand up to bullies and to avoid peer


• Improve your child’s fitness level and athletic ability, while providing a constructive outlet for his or

her youthful energy

• Provide your child with valuable, tested, real self-defense skills

• Build life skills that will stay with your child

• Learn new skills and have a great time while making new friends

8:40 – Doors open

9:00am – Class starts

9:00-9:15am – Warm up

9:15-9:45am – Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu/Technique & Drills

9:45-10:15am – Game

10:15-10:30am – Self Defense – Anti Bullying

10:30-11:00am – Snack Break

11:00-11:20am – Gracie Jiu-Jitsu history class

11:20-12pm – Game

12:00pm Closing • Parents should arrive by 12 Noon to pick up campers.

For tickets to June 25th week Click Here

For tickets to July 23rd week Click Here

To find out more about our GBK Camps, pick up the phone right now and call 855-548-5488! One of our associates will be happy to assist you.

Week 16 Gracie Barra Training – Clinch & Holds and Mount & Knee on Belly

Have you ever wondered whats the best escape for a bear hug from the front or the back? If so, come to Gracie Barra Centennial Jiu-Jitsu this week and we will teach you. We focus on this in our GB 1 fundamentals class. You will also learn how to sweep somebody mounted on top and learn how to defend the Knee on Belly. 

In our advanced classes our professors share their keen insight to foot throws. They also will share some great submissions from mount and Knee on Belly.

In our kids program, our students will learn how to defend a choke from the back. We also teach them a great outside hook sweep takedown. Whwn the game gets to the ground we teach them classic mount escapes. 

Every week will buid on the fundamentals so make sure you get into class today. If you are looking to try jiu-jitsu for the first time, drop in for a free class. We would love to have you. 

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. Professor Rafael was the highlighted professor of the week for all Gracie Barra schools and share a great single leg to a submission and two advanced sweeps. 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. 

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

Week 14 Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Training

This week at Gracie Barra Centennial we are teaching some very important moves of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Many times a fight moves to the ground and sometimes we are in bad positions. This week we learn how to turn from those bad positions into better ones. 

GB1 – In the fundamentals class we learn how to move from turtle and being in a headlock to top position. We all are very familiar with the difficulty of recovering from side mount. This week under Master Carlos Gracie Jr.’s guidance we learn some classic guard recovery. 

GB2 – In the advanced classes our professors will share their favorite hip and hand throws to help you get those important first two points in competition. We will also learn some great submissions from side mount. This is a great week to up your game for competition.

GBK – In our Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Kids Program we follow along the same lines of our fundamentals. This is great for parents and kids growing in the program together. They can share their experiences and practice together. Our Kids will learn important headlock escapes, how to recover the guard from side mount and a great hip throw. 

Week 14 Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu taining at GB Centennial is great for everyone in the South Metro Denver Area. If you live in Centennial, Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree, Parker, Littleton, Castle Pines, Englewood or surrounding areas you should come try a free class today. Gracie Barra has the best jiu-Jitsu training program and we would love to share it with you. 

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. 



Kayron Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Seminar

Saturday October 28th Professor Kayron Gracie will share his excellence in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from the son of our founder, Master Carlos Gracie Jr!!! Look forward to seeing you all there! Open to all BJJ Students for only $75. All Gracie Barra Students are only $50.

Buy tickets – Click Here!

Kayron Gracie was born on the 4th of May, 1988 in Rio de Janeiro – Brazil. He is the oldest son of CBJJ (Confederacao de Brazilian Jiu Jitsu – aka IBJJ) president “Carlinhos” Gracie who is also the founder of Gracie Barra – one of Jiu Jitsu’s strongest teams. Though his first sporting passion lied with surfing, Kayron also started training BJJ from a very young age, competing for the first time when he was 9 years old at the Brasileiro (Brazilian National Championship), a competition he would win the following year as a junior yellow belt.

When Kayron was 17 years old, he moved to the United States, where he continued to compete (and win) while also beginning a career as a coaching member of the Gracie Barra team. Though he received his black belt from the hands of his father (on October 2009), the main responsible for Krayon’s tuition in the sport throughout his life was Marcio Feitosa. Marcio was also his main inspiration as a fighter when growing up.

In 2008 Kayron Gracie showed true toughness at the Mundial (World Championship). He fought in the Open Weight, and after a gruelling fight where he was pushed to the limit and ended up puking outside the arena after the win, he returned to the mat in exhaustion to fight Joao Assis (a fight he ended losing). Though he did not medal in the absolute, he did manage to win his weight class.
Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie Sr. > Helio Gracie > Carlos Gracie Junior > Kayron Gracie

Main Competitive Achievements:

IBJJF World Champion (2008 brown)
IBJJF Pan American Champion (2010 black, 2007 purple, 2006 blue)
IBJJF World No-Gi Champion (2007 purple)
IBJJF/JBJJF Asian Open Champion (2017)
IBJJF Boston Open Champion (2015)
IBJJF Brazilian National Juvenile Champion (2004 blue, 2003 orange, 2001, 2000 & 1998 yellow)
IBJJF World Silver Medallist (2009 brown)
IBJJF World Bronze Medallist (2010 black)
IBJJF Pan American Bronze Medallist (2008 brown)
Favourite Position/Technique: Lapel Chokes and Spider Guard

Biography and notes from bjjheros