It’s been just over a month since our last newsletter and the academy has been booming! It’s such a good feeling to see our mats full again with returning members as well as lots of new students starting their Jiu Jitsu journey!

The end of June and into July will be no less eventful as we continue to add exciting new additions to our timetable; including our women’s only class and beginners/all levels NoGi class (more further down the page).

Also get ready for some footlock mastery as we kick off our summer seminar line up. Lloyd Cooper is up first on Sunday 11th July at 10am! This seminar will be invaluable to all of our members but in particular those training hard for upcoming competitions!

It has also been my pleasure to promote many of our members this month and see everyone’s progress on the mats both in our adults and children’s programme. Keep scrolling to see some smiles with their new stripes!

Enjoy the read, I’ll see you on the mats soon!

Learn to do Takedowns
We believe in JIU JITSU FOR EVERYONE and I am incredibly proud of the culture we have at GBH. Our members always comment on what a great mix of people we have within the academy and how inclusive it is from complete beginner, to advanced competitor regardless of age, sex, race, religion etc.

However, women’s safety has been a hot topic recently, and the statistics clearly show that women are more likely to be attacked or sexually assaulted than men. Learning self defence shouldn’t have to be the answer (we should all be able to go about our business safely), BUT it is a good precaution regardless. BJJ certainly ticks the boxes in preparing you to deal with larger and more aggressive adversaries!

That aside, I don’t subscribe to the narrative that women should only train Jiu Jitsu for self defence. The benefits of training BJJ extend far beyond this and we hope that many more women pursue BJJ as a lifestyle hobby as well! Check out this article by Jiu Jitsu Times on 5 reasons why women should train BJJ (that’s not self defence) if you aren’t convinced.

Led by our amazing female coach Tanja (and occasionally me) our women’s class will cover self defence and sport Jiu Jitsu and will be the perfect entry point for any ladies unsure about what to expect from BJJ! We hope to see as many of you as possible on Saturday 26th June!

Reserve a spot on our first women’s class to secure an exclusive on the day membership offer by booking in for a trial below.

BarraFit Flex

No-Gi Class for Beginners

(Tuesdays at 18.00)

The NoGi vs Gi for beginners debate is something that people love too rave about! I myself have (in the past) advocated for solely Gi training at the start of your journey. However, as with many things in life, our thoughts and opinions change and grow over time.

While training in the kimono will always be at our core here at GBH, there is no denying that our martial art and sport has changed, and so has what members want from their training. The rise in popularity of MMA and submission grappling has led many people to want to explore NoGi training from the off set. Not to mention it’s FUN!

While training in the Gi will still be mandatory for those wishing to progress through the BJJ grading system, we will now include a NoGi ALL levels class into our schedule!

This will be a fantastic starting point for our members. Open to everyone, we will tailor the class based on the theme of the week according to our curriculum and show beginner and advanced variations so everyone can take something from the class.

If you are wondering if NoGi is for you or not, then check out this video by BJJ YouTuber Chewjitsu who I think shares some valid, balanced ideas!

Seminar with Lloyd Cooper

On the 11th July at 10am we will be hosting local legend Lloyd ‘The Yorkshire Gripper” Cooper for a NoGi seminar on leglocks!

Lloyd is good friend of ours at GBH and has built a reputation for himself as a high level UK competitor in the submission only circuit as well as holding notable titles in the Gi at IBJJF tournaments. Renowned for his leg lock game, we couldn’t think of a better person to give our team an introduction to leglocks as we open up our NoGi classes.

The seminar will be aimed at all levels, starting with the basic mechanics of the straight footlock and progressing through to more advanced variations of toe holds and knee bars.

We have limited spaces available, but If you are not a member and are interested in coming to one of our seminars then please email us at info@gbharrogate.com

Don’t miss out and reserve your place now!

BarraFit Flex


It has been a difficult year for our students with regards their personal Jiu Jitsu development. While many were committed to virtual learning over zoom and undeniably increased their skill, we don’t believe in online grading at Gracie Barra Harrogate and therefore many of our members have been long over due their stripes!

So its safe to say, it has been a month of levelling up! We weren’t able to get pictures of everyone, but congratulations too all those who were promoted. Keep up the good work!

Not only was I fortunate enough to award some much deserved stripes. I myself received the 1st degree on my black belt from my instructor, world champion Professor Victor Estima.

3.5yrs have passed since I was awarded that black belt in Dec 2017. The journey doesn’t get easier, I don’t want it too! If you are training with the right people and the right mindset there should be constant room to challenge yourself and improve!

There are two popular phrases I’ve been using a lot recently which I think sit well here and they are:

“A black belt is a white belt who never gave up” and “the best times to start Jiu Jitsu is when you are 6 and NOW”

If you’ve been thinking about starting Jiu Jitsu, or any other goal for that matter. Don’t wait, stop procrastinating, stop thinking about it. Start any way you can and get the wheels turning!

BarraFit Flex
BarraFit Flex

Last month we added two new classes to our programme: Yoga for BJJ and Gi Takedowns.

Both have been hugely popular and our members have been giving high praise for Coach Kamil and Sensei Balazs.

If you’ve not had chance to get to one of these yet, be sure sure to check it out soon.

Remember; recover as hard as you train and every match starts on the feet!

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