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Our goal at Gorilla BJJ Academy is to help people reach their own personal goals. Whether that is to become a grappling champion, improve BJJ for MMA, learn self defense or to have fun and get in the best shape of your life – Gorilla BJJ Academy is the place for you.

The Academy puts a strong emphasis on self-defense. In a hypothetical situation, if you were FORCED to defend yourself or your family against an attacker, do you think you have the skills? We believe that everyone – men, women and children – should train and always have the advantage if the situation ever arises. The confidence you build while training is another bi-product.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has been proven to be the most effective form of self-defense on the planet. 

​Come try out a free class and see for yourself!​

​At Gorilla BJJ Academy, we are dedicated to keeping a clean, safe, family friendly environment.

Brief history of BJJ:

In 1914, Esai Maeda, also known as “Count Koma,” arrived in Brazil to establish a Japanese immigration colony. Maeda was aided in his quest by a Brazilian scholar of Scottish heritage, Gastao Gracie. Maeda was no ordinary immigrant; he was a direct pupil of the founder of Judo, Jigaro Kano. Further, Maeda was a master of both Judo and Japanese Jiu-Jitsu.

To repay Gastao’s kindness, Maeda taught Gastao’s oldest son, Carlos, the arts of Judo and Jiu-Jitsu. In turn, Carlos then taught the art to three of his four brothers: Oswaldo, Gastao, and George. And in 1925, the first Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy was opened in Rio de Janeiro.

The fourth brother, Helio, was a frail young man, weighing only 135 pounds.  Therefore, he was not included in the original instruction. However, he watched attentively from the side of the mat. One day when the other brothers failed to show up to teach class, Helio provided instruction based on his modified versions of the Jiu-Jitsu techniques. Helio focused on using leverage, rather than strength, to apply the techniques.

The concept of techniques based on leverage, not strength, became the essential principle of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, or BJJ. To prove the effectiveness of their art, the Gracies followed in the tradition of Maeda and provided an open challenge to anyone who doubted the applicability of BJJ in a real fight. These challenges, known as “Vale Tudo” (Portuguese for “anything goes”) matches, manifested themselves in a manner of combat that is the precursor to today’s MMA.

The Founding of the Ultimate Fighting Championship

The Gracies’ fame quickly grew as a result of their success of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in the Open Challenge matches; so much so, that the Gracie family wanted a larger stage to showcase the efficiency of their family’s art.

In 1993, Helio’s eldest son, Rorion, along with Art Davie, held the first Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in the USA in Denver, Colorado. As a means to exhibit the effectiveness of the art, and not the practitioner, the rather meek-looking Royce Gracie was chosen to represent the family. To the surprise of many viewers, Royce won three of the first four UFCs, and in the process defeated opponents up to 80 pounds heavier than he was.

The advent of the UFC and the success of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu caused many martial practitioners to question long-held assumptions about the effectiveness of their martial art in a realistic combat situation.

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