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Featured CTC: Florida

November 19, 2010

The Story Behind Champion Martial Arts.
Jacksonville Certified Training Center


We would like to share our story of how The Gracie Academy and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu has changed not only our lives, but the lives of our students. In 2008 the falling economy caused us to change our career path and follow our passion of Martial Arts and health & fitness. We were losing our home in addition to our Decorative Concrete company taking a drastic turn financially. Both Daryl and I have over 20 years experience in Martial Arts and health & fitness. We have two boys, Tanner (12 yrs) and Hunter (8yrs). As a family we were all involved in the martial arts (Tang Soo Do), but we also knew the value of street self-defense vs. tournament/sports fighting. We wanted to incorporate Jiu-Jitsu and Krav Maga into our training. We began envisioning a studio that would encompass entire families, practicing martial arts together, taking self-defense classes or just working on their health and fitness thru bootcamp classes and personal training. Little did we know that 2 years later we would be here! All because of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and a vision, we were able to start over from the bottom and impact families lives daily thru our school.

In March 2008, Daryl began training at a local Jiu-Jitsu studio. After 6 months he left injured and without full knowledge of any of the techniques. Frustrated, but not hopeless, Daryl began searching the internet and was determined to learn Jiu-Jitsu. He went directly to the source, The Gracie Academy. The timing was unbelievable, in November 2008, they offered an instructor certification course. Although it was a leap of faith, taking the last bit of savings that we had and investing it in training certifications for Daryl at the Gracie Academy. It was the right direction for us. After 11 long days, Daryl completed the instructor course and came back with a wealth of knowledge and detail. Within two weeks after his return we had to move out of our home. He then flew back out to California for additional training in Krav Maga. It was a life changing experience. We began implementing the adult programs under a Tang Soo Do school. We taught our sons the Gracie Combatives techniques until the Academy offered certification in the Gracie Bullyproof program in August 2009. With the support of a handful of Jiu-Jitsu and Krav Maga students and personal training clients, we were able to open Champion Martial Arts & Fitness in September 2009. We immediately implemented the Bullyproof and KidKrav programs for the children. We saw a rapid growth when we opened the doors and right away we had entire families signing up and training together!

Fastest way to street readiness guaranteed!
We have two special stories that happened within the past year where the Gracie Bullyproof and Gracie Combatives program were street tested and passed with flying colors. One of our adult students, Joseph O., was accosted on the street by two thugs. They came up to him and demanded his shoes; he refused and began walking away. One of the thugs called him out and as he turned, the thug threw a punch. He avoided the punch and struck the thug and he was down for the count. He then ended up on the ground with the 2nd thug (approx. 70lbs heavier than him). He successfully did an elevator sweep and put him into twisting arm control and finished him off. He walked away shoes intact and no bruises!

The "proof" is in Bullyproof.
Our 2nd student was Joey D, a 6 year old in our Bullyproof program. He was being bullied by a larger kid in school who attempted to push him. He avoided the push and took the bully to the ground (he "tackled the giant") and successfully got the mount and negotiated. He asked the bully "have you had enough? Are you going to leave me alone?" The bully complied and Joey walked away without a scratch and did not get in trouble at school! Does Gracie Jiu-Jitsu work and affect lives? Absolutely, Joseph and Joey will gladly tell you that it made all the difference in their situations.

Bringing Families together!
We have entire family members training in the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu program and rave about how much closer it has brought their families together. We have watched the children and adults in both programs grow and become more self-confident and healthier. We have numerous family stories, but one that stands out the most is Mike Silvestre. He and his 3 daughters began training in the Combatives program after his wife, Liz, lost 55 lbs thru personal training and bootcamps. Mike has lost 50 lbs and improved his overall health condition 100%, since he started the Combatives program and incorporated bootcamps into his life! It has all come together the way we envisioned. We are amazed at how the program keeps growing and changing, in the past month our population of women in the Combatives program has tripled. Over the past year we have grown to a 50:50 child to adult ratio in our school.

Our Certified Training Center (CTC) continues to flourish and grow because of the support of the Gracie Academy family and program. In February of 2010, Rener was in Jacksonville training the Jacksonville Sherriff's Officers in Combatives and fit in time to provide a seminar at our CTC. Our Bullyproof and Combatives students alike were ecstatic. In September 2010, we were fortunate enough to be able to travel to the Gracie Academy and take some of our students with us to train. While at the Academy we had 4 students test for their blue belts and pass. We spent 6 days training at the academy and all of the students said the experience was unsurpassed.

Our lives were changed and Champion Martial Arts & Fitness is in existence because of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and the opportunity to share it with the community in its pure form. Our school is predominately filled with Gracie Jiu-Jitsu students taking Krav Maga as an added stand up defense. The school is full of friends and families, that might not have ever crossed paths in life without the program. Gracie Jiu-Jitsu changes lives and we are thankful we took the leap of faith in November 2008!

Daryl & Kim Brown
Champion Martial Arts & Fitness
11570 San Jose Blvd. #8
Jacsonville, Fl 32223
www.combatandfitness.com