A martial arts academy is celebrating its 10th year in Preston city centre with an open day.Advertisement
Gracie Barra Preston is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu academy located on Falkland Street, just off the Fishergate and Corporation Street junction.
On Saturday 6 October the club will open its doors to the public to train, spar, or find out more about Gracie Barra (pronounced bah-ha) and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
All Jiu-Jitsu players are invited to the Open Mat, which will take place from 10am to 6pm. The Gracie Barra Preston Black Belts will be teaching at regular intervals throughout the day, along with special guest Black Belts from across the UK.
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One of over 700 Gracie Barra schools worldwide, the club was among the first of its kind in the UK when it originally opened in Longridge. It was founded by Paul ‘Leão Marinho’ Hartley, who brought then World Champion Lúcio ‘Lagarto’ Rodrigues over from Brazil to take on the role of head instructor.
These days the school has over 100 members regularly attending training. Although it can take over ten years to earn a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Gracie Barra Preston has six Black Belt instructors, making it one of the top places to train in the UK.
The school has also been a breeding ground for new coaches who work across the UK and worldwide. Many members have gone on to make careers from the art outside training, such as documentary film-making, illustrating and writing.
Programme director Artur Klecha said: “Some members will never compete, but use Jiu-Jitsu to build their self-confidence, knowledge of self-defence and as an outlet for built-up stress. We have a lot to offer to accompany and complement our Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training, including classes like Strength and Conditioning, Fit and Flex, and Combat.
“For those who catch the competition bug, we have a competition-specific class, which I would describe as two hours of hell. We have members who frequently compete and win gold. The team is often the largest contingent at tournaments and brings home team trophies.”
To find out more about the school visit the Gracie Barra Preston website or follow them on Facebook.
Are you a member of Gracie Barra Preston? Will you be going to the open day? Let us know in the comments below.