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Congratulations to everyone who represented Gracie Barra Sydney,
and the wider Gracie Barra team, this past weekend at the NSW State Championships!
Together, we won:
- 1st in the Gi
- 1st in the No-Gi
- 2nd in the Kids
We had over 30 competitors, both Kids and Adults, and came away with over 35 medals!
Congratulations to everyone who went out there to support our team, and to all our athletes on representing the Red Shield!
Prof. Marcio Feitosa is a 5th degree black belt under master Carlos Gracie Jr. – who starting training when he was 12 years old.
Prof. Marcio Feitosa was one of the most successful Gracie Barra competitors capturing a World BJJ Championship
before turning his efforts to being a head instructor at Gracie Barra and working to grow the Gracie Barra team
both in Brazil and the earliest schools in the USA.
Prof. Marcio had a mat side chat where he discussed some of the life and leadership lessons that he learned through his experiences, mistakes and successes while teaching and working to grow Gracie Barra jiu-jitsu.
How to overcome mistakes through the lessons of Jiu-jitsu with Prof. Marcio Feitosa
Leading by Example
“My conclusion is that leadership equals setting the example. If you work on you, you set the example. Everything else will fall into place. As far as leadership roles, as far as being able to lead your school, your instructors, your athletes, your students.”
“I like challenges…”
“About one a big mistake that I did as a leader a mistake that I did learn a lot from, it was a mistake I did in 2004 when I was working full time through Gracie by North America helping school honors in the support department, helping the team with the teaching related things like the curriculum, training camps and I was also working full-time in leading the headquarters in Irvine and I was leading the GB headquarters since 2005 when I moved from Brazil to California together with a group of people to start that school. So I was for nine years doing that. I started teaching when the school opened its doors.”
“I wanted to be more aggressive and I felt like I could increase more challenges and it was right when Gracie Barra was growing very fast in Brazil.”
So Prof. Marcio moved back to Brazil to work on those GB schools and delegated the running of the HQ in Irvine to some other GB team members. However, this expansion of Gracie Barra was not without its challenges and problems at the flagship school in California.
“I don’t think I was able to get everyone to work together and to function as a strong team.
Long story short, we got to a point where in late – 2015, less than two years later we had a major problem in the headquarters. It was clear that the school was not doing well.”
Prof. Marcio waited until the situation had run its course and then was ready to take responsibility again to rebuild the school in Irvine.
“…and they said ‘we’re out’ so I got the keys and I said no problem.
Now I will come back and it’s my responsibility.”
” just like in jiu-jitsu – it’s always about going back to the basics”
“So I did come back and in my mind I kept thinking I needed to just work hard. Of course that’s number one work extremely hard – but to go back to the basics.
I believe that just like in jiu-jitsu – it’s always about going back to the basics and making the fundamentals work.”
So I made a decision to live for three months inside the school. I built a room in there. There was no TV. I had a small bag, my computer, a shower.
And I stayed there for three months and the idea was to learn the students names again. To know every single person that was coming through the doors of our school to make sure that again we have a very solid and a strong family inside the headquarters and that’s what I call going back to the basics. Because the basics of making a strong Gracie Barra school understanding Master Carlos’ vision and teaching his teaching systems that I do understand. I’ve been studying jiu-jitsu under him since I am 12 years old but you also need to really care about the people within the school, you need to know that people, you need to create strong relationships inside the school.”
During this time Prof. Marcio gives big credit to fellow world Champion Prof. Otavio Sousa during that critical team rebuilding period.
Choosing the right leader.
“I was having a conversation with over the last years which is Professor Phillip della Monica “Furão” (who is the current head instructor at GB HQ in Irvine) and we had a conversation. I shared with him my desire to be back in Brazil. That I wanted to be back in Brazil I wanted to help the team there and he made a commitment to take over the leadership for the headquarters.”
“The strongest headquarters that we ever had”
“In my opinion he did the strongest headquarters that we ever had. Today our students are extremely happy. It’s a place where great American instructors and school owners can go to receive support, to see their school operating. We have over 500 students we have three mat areas and the entire grace of our team is very very proud of the headquarters in Irvine and most importantly Master Carlos sees it as his home in the United States.
He’s extremely proud of that…”
“I feel like today, because of this past history, the team is even more proud and embraces even more our headquarters in Irvine because we all know how hard we had to battle in order to have what we have today.”
“I’m so glad that each generation of Gracie Barra school owners, instructors, athletes, students is better than the previous one.”
“I’m also very proud and I strongly believe that this is directly a result of Master Carlos Jr. concerned and focused into providing support, providing information and educating this is for sure directly result of his approach.
I’m so glad that we have a strong instructors program.”
Learn more about Coach Sean Fong!
Click the button below to check out this amazing video about him, his outlook on life, and how Jiu-Jitsu has inspired him!
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GB Oceania Ambassadors, Prof. David Willis and Coach Mohamed Abdi, will be at
Gracie Barra Sydney on Saturday the 31st of August to show their lapel guard attacks and passes!
Save your spot now!
Why Should You Participate?
» Fast track your learning;
» Allow the student to focus on specific BJJ subject;
» Allow the student to focus on specific BJJ needs;
» Maximised retention of technical details;
» You will be working with a group of students that want to study the subject in greater detail;
» The students will have the time to practice and adapt the techniques to their own and their partner’s body types;
»You will work for 4 hours on the specific subject, allowing the instructor to work more time to improve your BJJ game.
»You will be supporting the GB Oceania Ambassadors!
A Gracie Barra student asks “I’ve been training in the gi and have been thinking about doing some no-gi training. What is the biggest difference between gi and no-gi training?”
Master Carlos Gracie Jr., when asked about the difference between self defense jiu-jitsu and the more sport oriented training replied that he felt there was only one jiu-jitsu. That is to say the core techniques, positions and principles of jiu-jitsu are mostly the same despite a different rule set for competition or a street self defense situation. A back mount position is dominant with or without the gi. The fundamental jiu-jitsu technique – the rear naked choke is as effective in a self defense situation as it is training no-gi at the Gracie Barra school.
Now that we have made that point, what ARE the main differences between gi and no-gi?
1) The Grips
This is the most obvious difference between the 2 styles of jiu-jitsu. At the higher levels of competition, the black belts wage fierce technical battles to secure their own preferred grips and deny their opponents grips. Switching from gi training, you might be surprised to discover your favorite gi grips have disappeared entirely!
Students who have only no-gi experience, when putting on the gi quickly become frustrated with the numerous grips their training partner has to control them.
A number of black belts I’ve spoken with shared the opinion that it was easier for a primarily gi based jiu-jitsu student to transition to no-gi than the other way around – the no-gi adapting to training in the gi.
These grips tend to make training in the gi a slower, more tactical game. Conversely, no-gi rolling is generally faster with more scrambles for position.
2) The gi has more choke attack variations.
The number of gi strangles alone are a significant difference in submission threats between gi and no-gi. Add the creative uses of the lapels to control and chokes like Baseball Bat Choke, Brabo Choke and Breadcutter Choke and the no-gi student suddenly has a whole lot more to worry about!
Interestingly, the most successful submissions in professional MMA are the no-gi chokes – the rear naked choke, the Guillotine choke, the Anaconda and Darce chokes and the Arm Triangle (Kara gatame) are all available in gi training as well.
3) Leg attacks.
Since the rules of sport competition will strongly influence the primary strategies of the competitors and how they train every session, the difference in rules between IBJJF gi competition regarding legal leg locks and the no-gi / submission only format where all leg locks allowed (especially heel hooks!) have created a big difference in the way leg locks are approached.
Now one can certainly train heel hooks with the gi in your school – provided the rules of training in the school allow it and the training partners are sufficiently experienced to train heel hooks safely. That said, most gi jiu-jitsu schools adhere to the IBJJF rules regarding legal leg locks (according to belt rank) as the rules of rolling in the class. Much less emphasis on learning leg locks generally speaking.
No-gi focused students spend much more of their training time on leg attacks and have contributed greatly to the evolution and sophistication of the leg attack aspect of jiu-jitsu. Fans of competitive no-gi jiu-jitsu have seen the biggest innovations in leg locking systems in the last several years.
What do YOU feel is the biggest difference between training gi and no-gi?
If I asked you what is the most important escape in jiu-jitsu, what would you say?
If we asked a room full of students at the Gracie Barra school this question,
for certain at least one hand would be raised in the air “I get stuck underneath side control and can’t get out. How do I escape?”
Yes, this just might be the #1 problem for first year jiu-jitsu students. Therefore, it follows that the solution to the biggest problem is likely the most important escape. This escape is a technique not only important for white belts, but one that all jiu-jitsu students will use everytime they roll for their entire jiu-jitsu careers.
Fundamentals Jiu-Jitsu: Recovering The Guard From Side Mount
There are multiple variations of side control and the different escapes for escaping those respective variations but the most commonly used escape from side control is the guard replacement or “elbow to knee” escape – as taught by Prof. Flavio Almeida in the video above.
Having confidence in your ability to recover guard from the bottom of side control is super important for a less obvious reason: it helps your submission game from guard.
How does an escape help your submissions?
When you are unsure of your ability to escape side control after giving up a guard pass, you become afraid to try that triangle attack from your guard for fear that you will fail and end up in a bad position. When you have faith in your ability to escape side control, it frees up your jiu-jitsu and you can own up (and thereby improve) your offensive game from the guard.
Here are 3 tips on how to better perform the most important escape in jiu-jitsu.
1) Your first priority is to protect yourself. Place your arms in a defensive position with elbows in tight to your body. Think of using your arms as frames instead of trying to push your opponent off of you – which requires much more strength.
2) Create the space. One Gracie Barra instructor explained it to our class like this: “The job of the guy on top is to remove all space and be tight. The guy on the bottom needs to do the opposite – create space.” How do we create space?
This is where all of those bridges and shrimping down the mats come into use – move your hips!
3) Timing. If your opponent is 100% focused on holding you in side control and applying all of their weight…escaping is not easy! Black belts know that to attack a submission requires moving your position and releasing some of that pressure and opening a little space. Now is your time to bridge, shrimp and perform your escape. Go in the moment your opponent attempts an attack and take
Check out the highlights below!
Click here to view all the amazing photos!
Congratulations to our entire GB Sydney team on their amazing performance! Together, we managed
to remain the fittest GB School for 2019!
Contact us for more information about our BarraFIT Program!
This is a debate that is increasing in the jiu jitsu world as jiu jitsu becomes more popular and the availability of sport jiu jitsu competitions increases and more schools move towards teaching sport jiu jitsu in their classes.
The fundamental question at the heart of the debate is “Does training sport jiu jitsu prepare someone adequately for a street self defense situation?”
One side says that schools that focus on sports jiu jitsu positions and strategies are not preparing students for real life violent situations. The opposite responds by saying that an experienced jiu jitsu student is well equipped to handle the average person in the event of a street confrontation. For purposes of this discussion we are not talking about a fight between a trained MMA opponent. We are talking about the 95% if the average population in a street self defense scenario.
Let’s start by remembering the real fighting origins of jiu jitsu. Unarmed combat in the days if feudal Japan and the samurai warriors. Master Jigoro Kano, the founder of what we know as Judo today, synthesized a system of techniques from the old schools of ju-jitsu. This made its way to Brazil and was further adapted and evolved by the Gracie family into the art we know today. The roots of jiu jitsu, from its earliest days, were about defending against and defeating an opponent in a real fight.
Shortly after jiu jitsu became more well known in the USA, jiu jitsu saw the rise of sport jiu jitsu competitions. Rules – and of course the strategies to gain.victory under those rules – became exponentially more popular in the years that followed right up until today. In hotbeds if jiu jitsu, there is a tournament every weekend. Many jiu jitsu schools shifted their emphasis from self defense to sport jiu jitsu. This led to a great evolution of new positions and techniques that were very successful in sport jjiu jitsu tournaments.
This evolution has its vocal.critics. Their argument is that many techniques for sport are not only ineffective for the street, but lead to bad habits. Practising ineffective sport moves can provide a false sense of confidence for jiu jitsu students who think they are learning to defend themselves but instead are learning and practicing techniques like Spider Guard and pulling half guard and looking for 2 points for the sweep to win a competition match.
A true martial art must include realistic, proven techniques for situations that happen in real life.
The other side of the argument is that an experienced jiu jitsu.practitioner would not elect to pull guard and look for a Lasso guard sweep in a real life confrontation, instead taking the opponent to the ground and controlling from mount or the the back. In addition, sport jiu jitsu competitors are prepared for high stress, high intensity physical conflict with an opponent and are relatively familiar in these situations compared to the untrained individual.
Above whatever specific techniques a jiu jitsu student is learning, they are also training their reactions to rapidly changing and chaotic fights, physical attributes that are critical in a physical confrontation.
The way boxing, judo, jiu jitsu are trained live against a fully resisting opponent has proven in reality to be far more effective for preparing students for the unpredictable nature of a street encounter than choreographed “lethal” self defense techniques performed with compliant training partners.
Experienced boxers, wrestlers, judoka and bjj competitors have an enormous advantage in dealing with physical aggression compared to an average untrained individual.
It is important to mention (especially in the case of women and young people) that martial arts training helps build confidence that is the first step in not being a victim and avoiding conflicts before they escalate to becoming physical.
Gracie Barra starts students off in the Fundamentals program where training in common self defense situations like escaping head locks and clinch to takedown is an integral part of all student’s introduction to jiu jitsu. After completing the Fundamentals classes, students start to focus more on sports jiu jitsu positions that make training with the other students a lot more fun.
Bring your Dad in for our special Father's Day class, and enjoy some Jiu-Jitsu techniques together!
Time: 10am to 11am
Date: Sunday 1st September
This class is free to all GB Members! You can either bring your Dad to the class, or bring your son to try Jiu-Jitsu with you!
We can't wait to see you all there!
Don't miss out on enrolling your kids in our Spring school holiday programs!
Learn essential life skills and the best self defense program while having a ton of fun!
Gracie Barra Sydney will be running our Spring school holiday program for 2 weeks f
rom Monday 30th September to Friday 11th October!
Our holiday program is open to kids of all ages and levels!
• No prior martial arts experience is required!
• No Uniform required!
Our GB Spring Kids Camp includes:
• Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes
• Techniques from standing and on the ground
• Self-Defence techniques
• Anti-Bullying strategies
Book your spot today!
Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone!
I have a chance to travel all over the world and train in many GB Schools. Gracie Barra Sydney with Prof. Marcelo and his team is top notch. What an incredible welcoming and positive atmosphere, for kids and adults and at the same time incredibly technical training sessions. I definitely got my body, mind and heart worked here!
I've been training at Gracie Barra in Brookvale for more than 2 years now and love it!! It is my first experience in martial arts and the staff made it so easy that now i am very proud to represent the team in competitions whenever i can. Coaches are so great with kids, I can't wait to give mine a try next september!
Coaches are really nice and friendly. Gym is super clean and welcoming. Really good place for women :)
If your ever curious about bjj and want to know more jump into Brookvale Gracie Barra they were very friendly and encouraging and will be happy to help or to answer any questions you have.Very clean Gym. Come and try it out, you will only regret it if you don’t!
Gracie Barra Sydney is by far the best Jiu Jitsu school in Sydney. If you're a seasoned competitor, a newcomer, male, female, or child, this school is for you.
Gracie Barra Sydney is a world class jiu jitsu gym. Professor Marcelo and all of the team there do an amazing job teaching jiu jitsu for everyone in a safe, welcoming and friendly environment.
There are a large number of students to train with, whether fundamentals or advanced classes, sparring or the regular competition training sessions with high level GB competitors.
Gracie Barra Sydney has made such a positive impact on my life and I’m fortunate to have found this gym. I have made many friends here. I would highly recommend Gracie Barra Sydney to anyone. I was hesitant to try jiu jitsu at first, but now couldn’t imagine a life without training at Gracie Barra Sydney
I started training at GB Sydney in 2012, and have never looked back. It’s the only hobby/sport I have done that has turned into a lifestyle I am passionate about. I really think my love and enjoyment for bjj has to do with how it is taught and passed down to me and the encouraging culture at Gracie Barra. Marcelo is a dynamic and welcoming teacher and that’s the vibe in the whole gym. As a female, I love the confidence I’ve gained from learning self-defense here and seeing women of all ages and walks of life loving bjj as well. As someone not living in my home country, I love having GB Sydney as my family and home in Australia. If you’re scared to try something that’s out of your comfort zone ….. give yourself the chance and try a class. Everyone there will tell you they remember taking that first step as well. :) :) :)
A great place where I do like to be and spend at least 4 days per week training. With and amazing environment be a part of GB team changed completely my life for good! Awesome coachs and authentic method of teache, make the class much more interesting and pleasurable!
I've been training at Gracie barra Sydney for 7 years and every year the school just gets better.Professor Marcelo Rezende and his structors are always bringing the best positive energy to training sessions.No matter your level you aways feel welcomed from everyone. Definitely the best school in Australia.If you have kids I highly recommend to the little ones!!!!
I have been training martial arts for over than twenty years, but bjj I just started one and a half years ago. Since the first day I loved, it doesn't matter if you want to be a competitor, if you want to lose weight or if you just want to make friends, have fun and pratice one sport, gracie barra is the place.
The facilities are great and the coaches are very attentive and focused to pass the knowledge.
I really recommend.
Gracie Barra Sydney is a unique place. To me it's more then just a martial arts school, it's my second home. Since my first day at GB Sydney everyone has treated me like family and I'm lucky to have so many great people around me on a daily basis pushing me to reach my goals. You will find everything you need here from modern facility, world class curriculum based instruction, great staff members and much more. The level of instruction from professor Marcelo is world class, his ability to break down techniques for sport and self defence Jiu-Jitsu are second to none but his greatest assets are his caring nature and drive to bring out the best in his students no matter what their goals may be. Whether it's to get fit again, learn self-defence, competition or even just to make friends I wouldn't look any further then this awesome place. Take the first step in this amazing journey and let Jiu-Jitsu change your life for the better like it did mine. OSS!
“The first feeling I had after (the competition) this morning was the warmth of gratefulness and pride that comes from being part of Gracie Barra. I know there was a time in my life when I didn’t do jiu jitsu, but now I can’t fathom life without it. Thank you for your support, your knowledge, friendship, putting up with minor meltdowns before comp, making me laugh, making sure I don’t die, challenging me constantly, being all-around amazing and giving me more than I could have ever expected from a sport.”
“Marcelo has been a pioneer in grappling sports in Australia. I first engaged him at the Brumbies in 2004, and he quickly developed a syllabus of grappling drills that were specific to rugby from both a technical and condition perspective. Furthermore, when at the Wallabies in 2005-2007 I sent many players to him for individual and small group training. Without exception, the players love his sessions and appreciate the value for specific game preparation. Eight years on, I still seek to update my knowledge with Marcelo. He is the best grappling coach I have worked with.”
“Marcelo has been fantastic in helping us design our contact skill and conditioning programs for the 2012/2013 pre-season and season. His technical skill and coaching ability set him apart from other coaches. He has a long history with the Brumbies conditioning team”
Such an amazing, welcoming, safe and friendly facility with world class instruction and a real family atmosphere - regardless of if you are someone training to get fit, have fun or compete.
The Instructors and staff always welcome you with a genuine and happy smile, are willing to share their knowledge and the training can be at your own pace or push you out of your comfort zone depending on your individual goals.
Im proud to train here and recommend GB Sydney to everyone I meet
Amazing academy to learn jiu jitsu. Great people and amazing coaches.
Highly recommend this place. I started jiu-jitsu 3 years ago and never regretted my choice. Gracie Barra is much more than a jiu-jitsu school, the philosophy reaches well-being in different aspects of life especially developing a stronger body and mind. Professors and coaches are amazing, they are always supporting the students and keeping everybody motivated. As a woman I can say that’s the best place to train jiu-jitsu, full of respect and friendly environment. It’s truly jiu-jitsu for everyone!
Brilliant, welcoming team. Knowledgeable and friendly instructors.
Amazing school. Very friendly and welcoming. Lots of black belts helping the new students. Definitely recommend this place if you are interested in Jiu-Jitsu.