Thursday, May 28, 2009

Miscellany: Gracie Jiu-Jitsu of Gulf Brezee

The increasing popularity of mixed-martial arts competitions like the UFC has led to an upsurge in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training classes and students. BJJ is a martial art that emphasizes grappling and fighting on the ground instead of standing up and punching and kicking at an opponent. There are a wide variety of classes available, some better than others. If you live in or near Pensacola, you can find good training with Pat Vito at Gracie Jiu-Jitsu of Gulf Breeze.

Pat Vito's class may be run out of a health club, but it's in no way a fad or exercise class designed for housewives. This is solid, technical jiu-jitsu, taught in an atmosphere with minimum attitude (it's hard to get too macho when your classmates are so diverse - your training partner might be a middle-schooler or middle-aged). The class is offered four times a week in the evenings.

Vito, who is part of the Team Hopkins-Pedro Sauer line of instructors, has eight years of experience in BJJ. Class is conducted in a straightforward fashion - warm-up, instruction on a specific technique, practice with that technique, and then open mat ground fighting. I really appreciated the fact that a total newcomer (like myself) was allowed and encouraged to grapple on the ground with a live partner on the first day.

For more information, call Pat Vito at 484-464-3758 or "The Club," the gym where the class is offered at 850-916-7946.


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