It’s hard to believe it’s been almost 29 years since the first UFC. As a student at the Gracie Academy back then I received this flyer in the mail in early October 1993 promoting the first UFC. I was in the middle of a job relocation at the end of October and was unable to attend. Of course looking back I really wish I would have gone, but instead my wife and I watched on TV from our new apartment in Cincinnati, OH with the other 86,000 pay per view subscribers. Can you imagine $50 ring side seats? I was confident Royce was going to be successful that night since I had already been training with him for 3 years and knew first hand the effectiveness of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. By then I had already witnessed several challenge fights at the Gracie Academy, which a few are showcased in the “Gracie In Action” video series. I don’t think it was ever intended to be, but UFC 1 was the launch of a new sport which we now call MMA. It did for sure show the world the effectiveness of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and helped it become the fastest growing martial art on the planet. Prof. Greg Eldred
With the growing popularity of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu more and more people are giving it a try. But how does one decide which academy is right for you? Where ever you train you need to plan on going to class at least 2 times per week. Going to a jiu-jitsu academy is not like belonging to a health club, where you show up, use the equipment and leave. It’s an educational and learning environment. So, first and foremost you need to look into the quality of instruction. You should look into the background of the head instructor. You can do some of that homework online. You should sit in on a class to see how a class is ran. Is it a structured class? Does the instructor communicate in an understanding and logical way? Do they have a beginners curriculum? Does the school focus more on Self Defense (street) or competition jiu-jitsu? Also, ask students in the class about their experiences there. Most academies have a trial period which is a great way for you get a better feel for the quality of the instruction. So definitely take advantage of a trial period.
Another big thing to consider is what the atmosphere is like. Is everyone friendly to one another? How are people treating each other? Are the students helpful to you and to others. Do the other students seem to be happy there? Is it a place where you seem to belong? You will be spending a lot of time there each week so you want to make sure you are comfortable there and you fit in. Many students make gre... Read More
Greg Eldred and Grand Master Helio Gracie.
Helio Gracie was born October 1, 1913. He would have been 108 years old today. The Grandmaster made his life a mission to expand Jiu-Jitsu throughout the world. Let’s all remember this day and his legacy and we all thank him for how Gracie Jiu Jitsu changed our lives.
Should you get in shape before starting Jiu Jitsu Lessons?
From time to time while meeting with a prospected student I hear they want to “get in shape” before they start training jiu-jitsu. I thought I’d share my thoughts on it.
What does getting in shape actually mean? There’s not really one definition. It can be everything to having muscular strength, to cardiovascular endurance, to having low body fat, or even having good flexibility. But it really depends on what your goals are. Due to the fact you’re visiting a jiu-jitsu school, I believe you desire to learn an effective martial art for self-defense. Maybe you have in your mind you may also want to one day compete in sport competition, or even MMA, and you can eventually work towards those goals too, but for now let’s just consider you’re starting at the beginning.
What I tell those who think they need to get in shape first is to consider this. If you want to improve your life stop making excuses or procrastinating about it, and dive right in. Participation in a jiu-jitsu program does not require strength, nor speed or quickness, nor tremendous flexibility, nor lean body fat, nor considerable cardiovascular endurance. It’s an art that uses principles of leverage, timing, efficiency, and control. But this does not mean that practicing jiu-jitsu won’t help or show improvements in any ... Read More