The grappling fighting style known as jujitsu first came to Brazil in 1914 stored in the hands and mind of Mitsuyo Maeda, a Japanese immigrant and master of the art. He only stayed a year, but it was enough time to plant the seeds for a new jujitsu academy in Brazil. One of the first students at that academy was Hélio Gracie.
Hélio absorbed the fighting style quickly, adapting many of the techniques to suit his small frame. He discovered methods of leverage that allowed him to execute joint locks, choke holds, and takedowns on much larger opponents, forming the core of his new Gracie jujitsu method. Ultimately, Hélio's son Royce brought the fighting style to America, famously winning UFC 1, 2, and 4 by defeating opponents many times his own size. Suddenly, Americans lined up to learn this newly unveiled Brazilian fighting style, demonstrating their eagerness by folding themselves inside a box and shipping themselves south.
Relson Gracie, Hélio's second oldest son, chose to be an ambassador of his family's fighting style. He was already teaching abroad when his little brother Royce skyrocketed Brazilian jujitsu to popularity. He founded his first school under the name Relson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu in Hawaii, and as the art became popular, he opened new branches of his academy all across the United States. Today, he visits more than 40 academies and associations, sharing his knowledge with thousands of students. In his absence, he leaves instructors whom he personally trained to oversee the education of aspiring fighters.
At School of American Kenpo, third-degree black belt Ron Hickey calls on 15 years of martial-arts training to instill each student with not only strength and technique, but also character, confidence, and inner peace in every class he leads. Though the roots of traditional American Kenpo run deep in the studio, Hickey encourages his students to blaze their own trails in their development in the martial art. From four-year-old fighters just starting out to older athletes with hopes of achieving a black belt, School of American Kenpo seeks to help every student achieve their personal, fitness, and self-defense goals.
Though Eddie Bravo initially moved to LA to pursue his career in the music industry, he soon found himself on a series of other paths. The musician, comedy writer, and author first began training in brazilian jujitsu simply as a means to stay in shape. After honing his skills training and competing, he popularized a style of jujitsu in which fighters grapple opponents without wearing the traditional gi, bringing a series of new movements and holds to the combat art. His vision has now led to the development of more than 20 worldwide schools under the umbrella of 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu. He and his fellow instructors lead students through the practical self-defense techniques, which are akin to wrestling, only with the goal of making opponents submit instead of pinning them and then gently lulling them to sleep with bedtime stories.
Kung Fu San Soo?s instructors believe that a fight that last five seconds is four seconds too long. They teach students?both kids and adults?how to handle themselves against real-world aggressors, from muggers to a mime that won't stop copying everything they do. Classes also help students gather confidence and skills to peacefully temper encounters before anything gets out of hand. Alternatively, fitness-focused Gracie Jiu-Jitsu classes teach grappling, striking, and throwing techniques to overcome any opponent while getting a great workout.
Whether students are interested in losing weight or learning practical self-defense techniques, TrySelfDefense.com gives clients the tools they need to do so. With courses designed for adults, teens, kids, and even families, each program works toward the common goals of honing physical strength, developing confidence, and improving agility in a fun environment.
From the bleachers that overlook its indoor soccer field, you can watch players dribble down Alpha Athletics & Fitness's fresh turf. The sprawling soccer field claims just a portion of the 15,000-square-foot facility. A basketball court sprawls across the neighboring space. Elsewhere within the athletic center, free weights sit ready for lifting, and group exercise classes unfold.