With so much media attention on mixed martial arts and the UFC, one Brooklyn martial arts school is seeking to shift the focus of adult martial arts practice back to its roots. Brooklyn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu believes that the central message of Jiu-Jitsu – self-improvement through discipline and focus – is still relevant to the busy and over-scheduled lives of adults from all walks of life.
“Just 2 years ago I weighed 450lbs. I could barely move – it weighed on me to do a simple task,” says Nar Molina, a student of Brooklyn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. “I had let things go too far for too long and I needed to take action right away. I couldn’t just get on a quick diet or do some exercise every other day. I had to change who I was.”
Brooklyn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, has a longstanding record of success in transforming lives through the practice of martial arts. With a student population comprised mostly of adults, the school has become an expert in lifestyle changes and personal empowerment.
“It took me over a year and a half to lose 100lbs in the gym,” continues Molina. “After 8 months at Brooklyn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, I had already lost about 80lbs. When I came here I couldn’t even do some of the warm-up exercises. My classmates probably remember me wearing sweats because I couldn’t fit into a full uniform. Nowadays my uniform fits me baggy and I move like I never thought I could.”
What they teach at Brooklyn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu goes beyond just kicking and punching. “Our philosophy weaves together physical fitness, mental discipline and a strong sense of personal ethics,” says Chief Instructor Gene Dunn.
The school contends that the timeless principles of martial arts training are compassion, generosity, perseverance and community involvement. Rather than emphasizing competitions or tournaments, they believe that physical practice is a vehicle to express core values for living a saner life.
“Training here has been an amazing experience…this is a community I want to be a part of,” concludes Molina. “I feel that I’ve found a safe place to train and grow. I haven’t had a partner I was uncomfortable with. Doesn’t matter if we’ve trained together before or not…we all have a bond. We start with a bow of respect and we end with a handshake.”
Brooklyn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu hosts free community events each month, ranging from “Bully Buster” clinics for children to “Personal Protection” seminars for women of all ages. For more information on these free events or to register for a one-on-one introductory lesson, please email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.