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#431669 - 03/06/11 10:25 AM Gracie Garage/Gracie University?
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2577
Hi Folks

Recently I was invited to a "Gracie Garage". The Gracie academy in Torrance, California, has launched an online training program (its been going several years) known as Gracie University. In a nutshell the Gracie University teaches Gracie Jiu Jitsu online. They have material from white belt to blue belt, and have most of the material online for blue belt to purple belt up online now too. Plans are to put the purple to brown and brown to black material online too. The emphasis of the traning is self protection, rather than winning comps.

A Gracie Garage is a persons garage (or basement or whatever) where people get together and train the online material from Gracie University. The Gracie Academy tests people for rank by getting them to submit videos of themselves demonstrating all the material from Gracie University. The Gracies approve each Gracie Garage, and part of the rules of being a Gracie Garage means you can't charge people to train with you.

So far, here are the pros and cons as far as I can see:


+ Free training
+ The online tutorials are top quality (probably the best BJJ tutorials I've ever seen actually)
+ Everything is presented in a structured logical order
+ So far the techniques are universal as far as grappling goes, by which I mean you they work with or without a gi.
+ It makes an attempt to demonstrate how to use BJJ against different sorts of energy e.g. against punches, stick attacks etc...

- Online gradings suck. Belts by correspondence suck.
- There are some weird requirements made. One example is a person has to buy into the Gracie Diet. Not just know about it, but undertake it too. A person will be quizzed about this on their black belt test if they ever get that far
- Only the Gracie family in the Gracie Academy can promote you. Even if you earn a black belt in Gracie Jiu Jitsu from the Academy, you can't promote people to blue or purple or brown. This is unlikely most other BJJ schools where black belts can promote people to blue/purple/brown.

Anyone any experience thoughts about this? As you can tell from the above, I have mixed feelings!
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

#433162 - 07/09/11 06:01 AM Re: Gracie Garage/Gracie University? [Re: Prizewriter]
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2577
There was a slight issue with the website this week, so I'm adding that to the "CON" list. I know from professional experience if you are updating a website or software you want to do it so it causes minimum disruption to end users. Thing is the GU website went down for maintenance this week. As people from all around the world use Gracie University, it meant I (and others in my time zone) couldn't access the online lessons.

Ok, you can get all the lessons for blue belt in a DVD set, which solves the problem. The issue is that because there is apparently so much material at purple/brown/black belt, it's only going to be available online.

Not a bad thing most of the time, but if the website is down you're not getting what you paid for.

Here's an example of the tutorials BTW:

"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

#433163 - 07/09/11 08:28 AM Re: Gracie Garage/Gracie University? [Re: Prizewriter]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
As long as you are putting the video techniques into actual practice, this is a viable way to train. Because of a dearth of BJJ instruction in my area, my instructor was initially learning from Dave Meyer's instructional DVD BJJ program. Not nearly as good as getting in-person instruction, but a good example of video learning. Meyer did not allow video submission for grading, though - you had to do it in-person with him or another recognized BJJ instructor.
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

#433165 - 07/09/11 10:59 AM Re: Gracie Garage/Gracie University? [Re: MattJ]
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2577
Funny Matt, that basically describes the way BJJ got started in Ireland!

I agree with the idea of learning with people (people with prior martial arts/grappling training is better still) by using DVDs/online learning is fine, but I also agree the best way to grade for your belt is to do so in person with a proper instructor. I can't imagine I'll ever submit a video to get a belt. Ryron Gracie did a seminar this year in Dublin, I think they are trying to get him back so if I ever decide to go for promotion (assuming I'm ready) I'll ask to do it in person.
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.


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