5 Common Myths Beginners Have About Brazilian Jiu Jitsu | Gracie Bradenton

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I was asked why I travel 30 minutes to Gracie Bradenton when there are closer locations to me? There are a few reasons.
I spent some time doing research on different schools. For starters Sonny Parlin. Outside of the fact he is the real deal and has great lineage. He took the time to reach out and invite me to try out his training. On my first time walking in Sonny and his instructors were welcoming and very knowledgeable. The students that attend are also very much a family and help you when you have any questions. This is a long investment of time and commitment so I wanted a place that I would feel at home. I found that at Gracie Bradenton.

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My son Ben has been training at Gracie Bradenton for almost 4 years and it has been an amazing experience for him. Great instructors lead high energy, but disciplined and safe classes and Kyle Koziel has been a great coach for my son's freshman high school wrestling season.

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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.

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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!

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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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Sonny is very knowledgeable and makes learning BJJ fun and easy with his great attitude. His concerns are solely on your improvement and safety. I highly recommend him to anyone interested in BJJ.

Joe Mcbride reviewed Gracie Bradenton
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great place to train, excellent mat space. the instructor, Sonny Parlin is a wealth of knowledge and a high level active competitor. the student base is amazing, great guys, girls and teens to roll with. Sonny also brings in black belts from the area and out of town to teach specialty classes as well as seminars. would highly recommend anyone to check out Gracie Bradenton.

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This school has some really great things going for it:
- A welcoming environment.
- A large diverse group of students so that you have good training partners whether you are the new guy or an advanced student.
- Lots of mat space so you aren't constantly worried about getting elbowed or kicked in the head by others when rolling.
- Both daytime and nighttime classes to meet your schedule.
- They also offer wrestling classes which is huge for putting you in a dominate position in a competition or a real fight.
- They offer seminars where they bring in some of the best competitors in the country.
- Most importantly, the instructors still compete and love what they do. They are invested in their students and don't just complacently stand around waiting for the time to pass.

If you are looking for a place to train then Gracie Bradenton is a great place to be

Aaron Sprague reviewed Gracie Bradenton
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I stopped by to train here while on vacation in Florida and was welcomed by Sonny and his students. Sonny is a great instructor and even took time after class to troubleshoot techniques with me. I also appreciate a school that trains every submission (neck cranks, heel hooks, etc) as you have to know these techniques, and defenses, in the current Jiu Jistu landscape. Everyone I rolled with trained hard but safe. I will definitely be back to train at this academy!

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5 Common Myths Beginners Have About Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

We’ve talked to many beginners and longtime students to understand some of the assumptions they had about jiu jitsu before they started training. While these jiu jitsu myths didn’t prevent them from joining, the uncertainty of trying something new often scares some people away.

Today, we want to shed some light on common myths you may have before taking your first class, to provide a more accurate picture of what you can expect. Here are the top five:

1. I have to get in shape to start taking classes

Before and after jiu jitsu weight loss

Because jiu jitsu is a great form of exercise, it’s the perfect activity to help you get fit and lose weight.

In fact, our head instructor Sonny Parlin was morbidly obese when he started training. Now in his 40s, he’s in the best shape of his life thanks to jiu jitsu.

Think of it this way: Would you wait to get in shape to join a gym? Just like a traditional chain-style gym, you’ll find people of all fitness levels at a jiu jitsu gym.

As the saying goes, the best time to start was 10 years ago. The second best time is today.

2. I won’t fit in

Starting anything new can make you feel like an outsider. What you’ll find, however, is that the jiu jitsu community is full of great people who are eager to bond over a common interest.

Jiu jitsu attracts people from all walks of life—stay-at-home parents, working professionals, students, pro fighters, and more. And it continues to gain more popularity as it becomes more mainstream as a fitness option.

3. I’m too old/young/large/small

posed photos of jiu jitsu students

Similar to the myth that you need to be in shape to start jiu jitsu, you may also think you need to be a certain age or body type. This is also not true. Students range from children as young as four to adults over 70. And if you visit a typical class at most jiu jitsu gyms, you’ll see students of all shapes and sizes.

The beauty of jiu jitsu as a martial art is that it is a great equalizer. It’s based on the idea that you can gain a dominant position and defeat an attacker, even if they’re bigger or stronger than you. That’s why jiu jitsu is especially effective for women.

4. I won’t know what to do

You’re right, and that’s ok. Everyone feels out of place during their first month or so. The great thing about jiu jitsu is that you’re never done learning. It’s not like you receive a black belt and know everything there is to know. There’s always details and nuances that can further improve your techniques. Keep in mind that no one expects you to get it on your first (or even 20th!) day.

5. It’s a bunch of muscle-bound guys who will smash me on my first day


It can be intimidating to walk into a jiu jitsu gym and see people who are maybe more fit or more experienced than you are. But contrary to what you might think, their goal is not to embarrass or humiliate you. Their goal is to get better at jiu jitsu and help you do the same.

Many times that means giving you suggestions, correcting errors you may be making, or live drilling with you. Becoming good at jiu jitsu is just as much about being a good training partner to others as it is about perfecting techniques and strategies. The key is to just keep showing up and training, and eventually it will all fall into place.


Ready to give jiu jitsu a try? Schedule a free trial class at Gracie Bradenton today!