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Rolling at Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Seoul (Korea)

July 28, 2014

A Review Done By a Headquarters Blue Belt

For our family's summer vacation, my wife came up with the great idea of visiting Seoul, South Korea, a place I have long wanted to see but have never visited. While I really looked forward to the trip, I was bummed to miss training at Gracie Jiu-Jitsu for two weeks. That night I looked at the list of Gracie academies, and was excited to see a Certified Training Center in Seoul. I contacted lead instructor Jason Park to ask if I could work out there during my visit. To my delight, Jason wrote back immediately and welcomed me with open arms. Plus, he wrote back in perfect English - having received his college degree at New York University.

Gracie Jiu-Jitsu - Seoul is located in the fashionable district of Gangnam (yes, the same place as in the song "Gangnam Style"). It is at the top of a tree-lined street, just a five-minute walk from the subway station.

While I have visited numerous jiu-jitsu schools in the United States, ranging from Washington, D.C., to South Dakota to Maui, I have never trained in a foreign country. Because of that, I was a little worried that the instruction would be in a different language and therefore hard to follow. But, as it turned out, Jason is one-hundred percent fluent in English and Korean, and conducted the class in both languages. He would give the instruction in Korean and quickly restate it in English. Most of my fellow students also spoke English fluently, having grown up or studied in the U.S.

I attended four classes at the Seoul CTC during our two-week stay - one Combatives, a Reflex Development, and two Master Cycle lessons. The classes were awesome. Jason teaches in the classic Gracie
style: detailed step-by-step instruction, an easy to follow demonstration of the technique, and positive feedback to the students. It was amazing to see how similar he was to the instructors in Torrance.

The students were great too. The classes ranged in size from four to 12 students, and all of the students welcomed me like a member of the family. The facility is everything you have come to expect with Gracie Academy: impeccably clean, full locker room, expansive green mat, and a large portrait of Helio Gracie overlooking the students.

If you find yourself in Seoul, Korea, on business or pleasure, Iwould recommend a visit to Gracie Jiu-Jitsu - Seoul to satisfy your jiu-jitsu fix.


-Brian Gee (Gracie Academy blue belt, Torrance, CA)

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