Gracie Barra Downers GroveGracie Barra Downers Grove

Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone

The joint event of GB Downers and GB Schaumburg yet another success!

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The Gracie Barra family in the Chicagoland area is growing stronger than ever, as evidenced by the joint event this last Saturday between GB Schaumburg and GB Downers Grove.  With well over a hundred students, family members, and friends in attendance, our two jiu-jitsu academies came together to celebrate the Grand Opening of Gracie Barra Schaumburg, and to share the enthusiasm that we have for our beautiful art.

If we were to ascribe one outstanding characteristic to this event, it would be team unity.  For the first three hours our students enjoyed eating delicious food as old friends and new friends conversed, while the children had fun playing on the mats, proudly demonstrating their jiu-jitsu skills to each other and the observing parents.  People from all walks of life, united by their love for the Gentle Art, sat and stood at the tables and benches that were set up behind the academy, highlighted by barbecue perfected by Professor Lemos himself.

After the food was consumed, we were then treated to a demonstration of both jiu-jitsu for self-defense and for competition.  Professor Lemos and Professor Sergio were joined by Professor Mike Buckles, who travelled from Gracie Barra St. Louis to show his support for the opening of the new academy in Schaumburg, and for the development and unity of Gracie Barra jiu-jitsu in the midwest as a whole.  These three Professors showed the efficacy of Gracie Barra jiu-jitsu as applied to self-defense situations, using intelligence, efficiency, and leverage to overcome aggression and brute force.  We were then treated to an outstanding display of competition jiu-jitsu, where Professor Lemos was thrown and mounted repeatedly by his four-year-old son, Kenzo Samejima de Lemos.

Following the demonstrations, we then had a grading ceremony.  As Professor Lemos pointed out, each grading–the receiving of new belt ranks, or of stripes representing degrees of attainment within a belt rank–is representative of many hours of effort, struggle, and endeavor on the mats, and is thus a precious symbol for progression within our art.  Many students old and new received gradings, and all who attended were proud of them for their work and dedication.  It was truly a wonderful thing to see people from many countries across the globe, from all walks of life, united in their pursuit of individual development through the martial way.  We at Gracie Barra Downers Grove are extremely proud to stand together with our comrades-in-arms at Gracie Barra Schaumburg, and we look forward to many, many years together growing individually and as a team!


















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