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.
A Chat with CrossFit Tornado
What services does your business offer and what makes your business stand out from the competition?
We all have different needs when we start a new strength and conditioning program. It doesn?t make sense to throw you right into classes before you have properly learned the movements. Our comprehensive Fundamentals course will prepare you for the regular CrossFit classes.
Exercise is challenging. How do you keep clients motivated and engaged?
The CrossFit routine becomes more enjoyable and motivational as the individual progresses. Constantly varied, high-intensity, functional movement increases work capacity across broad time and modal domains. Our trainers are positive and constantly push the client with inspirational words.
What was the inspiration to start or run this business?
I have opened a CrossFit gym because of my desire to make a difference. I wanted to work with others to help move them forward in profound ways in their lives. I knew that I could offer the service, support, guidance and honesty others needed to make big transitions in their lives.
What do you love most about your job?
I love my job because it's so relaxing and it's a very positive environment. It does keep me on my toes, but making people happy makes me happy.
Erica Kovacs leads students through Zumba classes that burn up to 1,000 calories. While trading boring repetitions for an energetic dance-party atmosphere, Zumba marries Latin-style dance moves with international music. Erica teaches three varieties, starting with Zumba Basic for beginners and fans of the original flavor. Zumba Toning participants shake maraca-like weights to add resistance to their shimmies. Alternatively, students dance with chairs during Zumba Sentao. This challenging workout blends dancing with squats that make the chair really jealous.
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