I watched friends train for two years before I began to train. What pulled me in was one class in Woman's self Defense. A very small but well trained Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Instructor showed me how to escape a very dangerous position. I was shocked that technique trumped strength! Once she began to show me how self defense was implemented in every day BJJ, I realized what a valuable tool I could learn to teach my Mom, sisters and even children! If even learning for the fun and exercise wasn't enough, now I had a realistic approach of defense for my daily life.
Since watching UFC 1 on VHS, I always said, "If I were to learn a martial art--it has to be Jiu-Jitsu. If a there were an academy around here I'd sign up." As the years past, I had seen other places offer jiu-jitsu classes, however none of them had the credibility of the Gracie name. Then one day in May 2007, I saw a sign for Gracie Barra Springfield. I checked out their website and was amazed to find that such a high caliber academy existed in Springfield.
One intro class and I was hooked. Everyone is so friendly. Training is fun and challenging. Higher belt students are always willing to help you learn, and not just looking to smash you. It's really like a family. The people are genuine and care about you. They notice when you're not there. They hang out together outside of class.
Professor Marcos is a world class teacher. He takes time to roll with the students. He encourages students to reach their goals, not just in Jiu-Jitsu, but in life. He refers to Gracie Barra Springfield as his family and he truly means it.
I know people who have studied other martial arts, and they are all blown away with integrity of Gracie Barra. Most academies charge for belts, you have to pay to take a test in order to promote. Not with Gracie Barra, or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Ask just about anyone who's studied martial arts other than BJJ--they have to pay to test for belts. If you want to pay for a belt, go to ebay, but if you want to get fit, gain confidence, work hard and develop as a person--come to Gracie Barra Springfield.