Gracie Barra Downers GroveGracie Barra Downers Grove

Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone

Kate Dybas

My name is Kate Dybas, and I have been a student at Gracie Barra Downers Grove for almost two years. It’s hard to believe that much time has already passed, because I can still vividly remember sitting in my car in the parking lot and panicking about the whether or not I made the right decision to go to a class.

I was intimidated because I was a girl, walking into a martial arts gym, alone, who had little to no experience whatsoever in this sort of fitness. I was intimated because everyone’s immediate question was “Why jiu jitsu?”.

Looking back at that day, I could not have made a better decision in my life. At Gracie Barra Downers Grove, walking into the gym is like walking into a family get together. You joke like siblings, teach like parents, and (most of all) learn like a family. What’s even cooler, is that many of the students actually ARE family (adults and children alike).

I have found that my entire lifestyle has changed. I find that I have a better diet, I workout more, I’m happier, and most importantly I am more confident in myself. What I love the most about our school is that it is not solely focused on producing competitors or MMA fighters. The Professors teach self defense and apply real world explanations for everything that we learn in class. When you practice, every person you work with can teach you something new. The Professors and coaches at the school are so committed to the education of their students, that everyday I walk out of the doors I feel like I’ve learned something new about the sport or myself. Every day I walk out the door, I can’t wait to walk back in. So to the people who continuously ask me “Why Gracie Barra jiu jitsu?” the best response I can offer is this: Why not .

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