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Just purchase your uniform and jump into an incredible summer!

We did it! Thank you for helping us earn the top spot in the Academy Overall Awards at the Compnet Chicago Summer Championship on June 11th.

1st Place: GB Downers Grove
2nd Place: GB Springfield
3rd Place: GB New Lenox

Congratulations to everyone who competed and to the Compnet Illinois team for putting together an incredible, memorable tournament experience.

We cannot wait to do it again!

*Offer available to first time students only


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We are excited to annouce this year’s GB Downers Grove & GB East Naperville Summer Competition Training Camp for Kids & Teens
If your child is competing at the IBJJF Pan Kids or any other tournament this season, this camp is for you!
1st Session:
June 13th – 30th
2nd Session:
July 11th – 21st
📍Gracie Barra Downers Grove
152 Ogden Ave, Downers Grove, IL 60515
☆Free 👕 with your registration
Take advantage of our Early Bird pricing. Enroll now!

📱 (630) 964-1414


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Registration for the Compnet Chicago Summer Championship 2022 on June 11th is now open!

Sign up now at https://compnet.smoothcomp.com/en/event/7527
☆The first 75 competitors to register will receive our special Early Bird pricing☆

What’s new?

For Kids:

  • All competitors 15 and under will receive one complimentary spectator ticket per family.
  • Kids 8 and under will compete in a round-robin format.
  • Parents will now have the option to coach his/her child for the matches.

For Adults/Masters:

  • The Absolute division is now available to all gold and silver medalists with the rank of blue belt and above.
  • The first 20 female competitors (adult and master divisions) will receive 50% off their registration.

💻 Register now and spread the word!

We cannot wait to see you there!


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To celebrate Gracie Barra’s 36th year anniversary, new members that sign up in April and May will get their first month of training for $36. In addition, they will also receive a $36 credit that they can use at the Pro Shop. Also, all existing students can use the Legacy Referral Card to refer a friend and if they sign up, the referring student will receive a complimentary four weeks or tuition.
Take advantage of this limited time offer. Refer your friends today and take part in our legacy!
📱 (630) 964-1414

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We are proud to announce that we are officially Premium Certified for 2022, the third year in a row.

We continue to uphold only the highest standards of Gracie Barra instruction and experience for our community!

Congratulations to the entire GB Downers Grove leadership team, coaching staff & members. This wouldn’t be possible without you. Thank you for your continued support.


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Refer a friend your friend gets a month free (30 days) and you get a month free for every friend you bring!

In addition to that, we will have a contest for the students that bring the most number of new members to the schools (Downers or Naperville).

The prizes are:

  • 1st place ( full set GB wear premium gi, rash guard and short ) in addition to the free months per new student brought to the school;
  • 2nd place a private lesson with Professor a Carlos Lemos Jr in addition to the free months per new student brought to the school;
  • 3rd place a no-gi full set uniform GB wear rash guard and GB wear shorts.

Don’t miss out!


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“I think the biggest mistake is to not try.” Prof. Lemos
Many Gracie Barra students start jiu-jitsu and begin to become interested in the idea of competition. It’s a great way to motivate your training and test your skills in a live situation.
Along with the decision to enter a competition, there are many questions that come up for the novice competitor. This week we have Prof. Carlos Lemos to answer some of these questions for you.
IG: Prof. Carlos Lemos
Have you checked out the GB Online Instagram account?
GB: For newer students to Gracie Barra, how does a student know when they are ready for competition? Is it time training? A level of physical fitness? Knowing a certain number of techniques?
Prof. Lemos: Normally I advise my students to not compete unless they reach the 3rd stripe on their white belt. The GB Method and Curriculum allows our students to start live sparring at the third stripe. Before that, they are really doing only set / specific sparring and practicing drills or techniques. Live sparring starts at the third stripe. Therefore live sparring is the closest experience to a competition before they start to compete.
Once they start doing live sparring, and you start to see a better level of fitness and condition. I start to detect an improvement, the dedication. Then I start little by little talking to them about competition and the benefits of winning or the learning that competition can bring to somebody. And to jump-start the jiu-jitsu development of each new student.
GB: For a first-time competitor, what should be their mindset looking at that first tournament experience? Dead serious about winning or look at it as having fun?
Prof. Lemos: That’s a really good question. I strongly advise my students to compete with the mindset of winning and learning. Because if they come with that approach of winning or learning – regardless of the outcome of the competition there will always be room for growth. When they perceive the competition as an opportunity for growth. So I never send them over there with the mindset that ‘win…or it’s the end of the world”. I think that is the worst thing that somebody can do to the students.
But more of an open mind that ‘Okay, we are going to train and do everything that we can to win’, but it’s only in the competition that our weakness or mistakes can be exposed. Therefore if we can see what we need to work on to improve, that is always a win-win opportunity for the competitor.
GB: What to focus on in training for that last month before the tournament?
Prof. Lemos: Focus on the last month before the competition is essentially work on your best moves is to set up a game plan that you are going to be using. Workaround the situations and the possibilities of that game.
I normally like to have a few guard moves, a few passes, a throw, and a transition to the guard. That’s how I normally work. And of course, from a few spots, you can always capitalize on your favorite submission depending on what game you are setting up for your competition. So it’s really working exclusively on your favorite moves and working the possibilities around those moves. That’s how I normally train for a competition.
GB: What is the biggest mistake novice competitors make?
Prof. Lemos: You are allowed to commit mistakes. I don’t think ‘what is the biggest mistake?’
I think the biggest mistake is to not try. To stay in the comfort zone of your Gracie Barra academy and only train with your buddies that you are used to. I think that is the biggest mistake.
Coming down to competition I think that the novice – the earlier belts are the best ones for you to get out there and try and learn from it. When you can afford to commit mistakes. Rather than in higher belt levels where when you are a brown or especially a black belt one mistake can cost you the tournament.
So I think the time to commit mistakes is really when you are a beginner. I think the biggest mistake is to not try.
GB: The most common question we get at Gracie Barra’s blog is “I feel really nervous before a tournament match. Is this normal? How do I deal with the nerves?”
Prof. Lemos: The most common question is of course natural. Everybody feels nervous when they get out there. You know the possibility of an injury, the shame of losing in the first round, of not being able to perform, and the list goes on. The disappointed friends and family.
But what I normally tell my students is: ‘You see the person on the other side. He is feeling everything that you are!” And the one that is going to come out of this on top is whoever can control these emotions. There is a famous saying of Napoleon Bonaparte, the French emperor, and dictator which was like ‘The coward and the hero, they fear the same way. The difference is what they do with their fear. That is what defines them.’
GB: What advice can you share with the new competitor?
Prof. Lemos: My advice for the new competitor would be don’t be afraid to try. Don’t be afraid to fail. Leave all that you have out there. Don’t bring anything back home. And whatever happens, you will feel fulfilled and that you achieved something.
Most important to not give up. I have a saying which is ‘Hard to beat… impossible to break!’ That’s the mindset and the spirit.
See also on GB Blog: GB Inspiration: Prof. Flavio Almeida on overcoming struggles
Writer: Mark Mullen, Gracie Barra Black Belt

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📢 Don’t miss the biggest event of the year! 🚨

GB Chicagoland 2021 End of the Year Party, Seminar & Belt Grading Ceremony

Hosted by Professors Carlos Lemos Jr.,
Marcos Barros and Cristiano Ribeiro

Featuring special international guest Professor Salvatore Pace
all the way from Gracie Barra Bath in the UK

Saturday 12/11 3PM-10PM
at the Megaplex Sports Center in Homer Glen, IL

Book your spot now!
👇
For members: https://www.cognitoforms.com/GracieBarra/EndOfYearCelebration12112021

For friends & family: https://www.cognitoforms.com/GracieBarra/EndOfYearCelebrationnonmembers12112021

💻 gbdownersgrove.com
📱 (630) 964-1414

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