Aside from climbing out of rattlesnake-infested quicksand or posing for rattlesnake-infested watercolor portraits, few activities combine the focus and physicality seen in jiu-jistsu training. Give fist-paintings a little martial artistry with today's Groupon: for $20, you get one month of unlimited jiu-jitsu and self-defense classes at Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy (up to a $206 value, including a one-time $50 registration fee).
Led by second-degree black belt Rodrigo Clark, certified instructors at Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy teach kids and adults the fundamentals of jiu-jitsu and self-defense with a comprehensive curriculum used in more than 300 schools worldwide. Highly structured classes condense diverse Brazilian jiu-jitsu tactics into a set of fundamental moves and basic principles that prepare students to defend themselves against would-be assailants or strangers with sugar-free candy. Within 30 days of training, students of all ages can learn more than 60 techniques that stress both fun and fitness. Depending on their skill level, Groupon-holders can create their own self-defense patchwork quilt by attending as many sessions as they wish from a schedule packed with up to six classes a day.
A massive, 1,800 square-foot facility affords ample space to brandish their skills, while clean mats pad practice grapples. Much more than a fighting style, jiu jistu emphasizes discipline and respect for others and oneself, and students will quickly learn the rules of etiquette that come standard in every classroom. Though Groupon-holders are not required to wear uniforms, they may opt to purchase the school's uniform at half off ($70, normally $140), and will receive a free uniform if they sign up for a membership after their free month. While the deal is only valid for this location, full membership will give patrons access to any of its 300 schools.
Gracie Barra Jiu-Jitsu Academy Santa Barbara
Highlights of Rodrigo Clark's two-decade Brazilian jiu-jitsu career include training with Master Carlos Gracie, Jr., reaching 3rd-degree black belt status, and medaling at the World Nogi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championship seven times. At Gracie Barra Jiu-Jitsu Academy Santa Barbara, Clark shares his vast knowledge of the Gracie style of self-defense during programs for all ages and skill levels. His and his team's teachings don't just show students how to defend themselves, though. They can also boost self-esteem, burn calories, reduce stress, and improve one's ability to dice vegetables with their bare hand.