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. 

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

pressure

• 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 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!

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 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. 

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

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

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