“Organized like a team. Fighting like a family.” is the motto of Gracie Barra. Founded by Master Carlos Gracie Jr., Gracie Barra is the largest Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy in the world. It is no surprise that Honolulu would find itself home to a Gracie Barra with the most students on the island. In just over a year, Gracie Barra University of Hawaii (GBU) has grown to nearly 250 students.
The academy itself is spacious, offering two mats, changing rooms for women and men, a lobby and lots of seating area for family and friends interested in watching the classes. Classes are offered every day of the week and on most days include morning and evening classes. In addition to its standard program open to all adults, there are Kids’, Juniors’, and Women’s’ programs available so that the whole family can train.
GBU is headed by Professor Aldo ‘Caveirinha’ Januario, a 3rd Degree Black Belt under Master Carlos Gracie Jr. Professor [span class=”inset-right”]Editor’s Note: Jason is traveling across the US, to different BJJ Academies. We’re happy to present his travels and experiences with JiuJitsu, people and personal exploration.[/span]‘Caveirinha’ has been training in BJJ for 22 years and teaching for 15 years. To say his knowledge of the gentle art is vast would be an understatement. Many students who have had the opportunity to take private lessons have stated that Professor ‘Caveirinha’ was able to add just the details that their game needed. With a 5-2 record in MMA, his other skills are not a joke either.
One of the key aspects that drew me into GBU is the program. I had been training for over a year already and I really enjoyed the structure of the Fundamentals program, which allows students to work on all aspects of their game before going on to the Advanced program. Another element I enjoyed was that the advanced students are highly encouraged to assist the newer students. The end result is an environment where not only people love training Jiu-Jitsu, they also love sharing it with others.
So if you are in Honolulu and want to train with a high level of instruction at a nice facility, you should check this school out. To learn more about GBU, go to www.gb-uh.com or call (808)944-9000 and ask for Operations Manager Clinton ‘Sapinho’ Dela Cruz.