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Natalia Biasca-Shepler reviewed Gracie Bradenton
via Facebook

For being a woman 115 lbs , all the guys train with me and have amazing rounds , thank you so much for a great friendly place make my day awesome

Maria Beatriz Zamora-Levesque reviewed Gracie Bradenton
via Facebook

Great facility ran by one of the coolest dudes around. Sonny is always down to help everyone with not just technique but also with strategy (and the occasional joke). Make sure to follow their social media, as they bring some of the biggest names in the BJJ world to teach seminars in this location. If you are passionate about BJJ and would like to further your knowledge, you must check them out.

Paul Gaetano reviewed Gracie Bradenton
via Facebook

Just had a private lesson with Sonny. Been training on East Coast of Fl. for the last 6 months.
Here for 2 weeks and I wanted to get some BJJ time in so took a lessons from Sonny. Was a little aprehensive walking into a new place. After a brief meet and greet Sonny made me feel at home. All I can say is I learned so much in 1 hour that I was amazed! Im only a beginner, so just learning a few things to add to my game makes me feel more comfortable and confident. Small improvements in my BJJ means a lot to me! If your not comfortable you will loose interest. Every time you can add just one thing to your game you will be wanting to come back for more. If your a 60 year old beginner like me or just a beginner, don't hesitate to go to Sonny's Gracie BJJ!! BJJ will change your life! He's AWESOME!

Greg Besaw reviewed Gracie Bradenton
via Facebook

Awesome experience! I trained at the gym while on vacation. Sonny and his students where all great. Very inviting, didn't feel like an outsider at all. Had a great time rolling with very skilled grapplers. Looking forward to visiting again.

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Our latest news & thoughts

Fighting not to Lose

One of my biggest pet peeves in jiu jitsu is a practitioner whose sole purpose in a match is to “not get tapped out.” It’s even more annoying when people use it as a measure of success against their training partners. “I rolled with so and so for 10 minutes and he only caught me twice.” This thought process is extremely flawed and in no way an honest measure of one’s jiu jitsu skill, unless you were also attacking. Basically, if you spent the entire match fighting out of one submission after the next, you were not the better grappler that match.

When you train, you should always be trying to submit your opponent. Rolling with the goal of “not getting caught” is an admission of defeat because the default position of this mindset is a lack of confidence in your ability to win the match. The only possible outcome to a strategy like this, especially in a no time limit match, is defeat. If your opponent is constantly taking shots at the goal, the inevitable outcome is that your opponent will get a step ahead of you and submit you.

So how do you turn the tables when your partner is attacking constantly? Attack back! During the chaos, you turn the tide by hunting your own sweeps and submissions. Sometimes a simple base check of your partner can change the entire dynamic of the match. However, in order to attack, you must be willing to take the risk of being submitted yourself. That’s the game, my friends. There’s no free lunch, ever. There’s no passing the guard without putting yourself in danger. There’s no baiting submissions without the possibility of getting caught and there’s certainly no victory without attack.

Even the term “self defense” is a flawed concept. If someone attacks you, you’re not going to sit there and simply try to not to get hit. You’re going to attack your attacker. You’re going to neutralize the threat by breaking a limb and/or choking your attacker unconscious. We don’t “defend” ourselves, we attack those who seek to do us harm. It’s not self defense, it’s self offense.