Brooklyn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Mon, Feb 1st, 2010

If you have ever walked by Brooklyn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at 412 Myrtle Avenue near the corner of Clinton Avenue, noticed the crowds and wanted to know more about the school, here's more. We caught up with Professor Jay Lynch, one of the school's owners last week:

What is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art that has been around for about 100 years. It promotes the principle that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend himself against a bigger, stronger assailant using leverage and proper technique. Mitsuyo Maeda, a martial arts expert from Japan was sent to Brazil to teach the artform. While there, he befriended the prominent Gracie family and was asked to teach two of the younger Gracies the art. When Maeda left the country, the Gracie brothers continued to practice but realized rather quickly that if jiu-jitsu requires a partner and they only had one another to practice the art with, they had better take out the more violent aspects of it. They expanded on the concepts of leverage, chokes, and joint-locks in order to be able to still practice with one another to their fullest ability. The art evolved under the Gracies and became known as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art. It is about self-defense. If you are looking for a fitness regimen or an art form that builds discipline and spurs confidence in every area of your life, you might want to look more closely at it.

Why Fort Greene/Clinton Hill as the place for your new biz venture?

I live on Washington Avenue. What better location than ones own neighborhood for this type of venture? When we were looking around locally, we found a place in Cobble Hill that we thought was terrific, but in the final hour, it fell through. We were really discouraged at first but when we subsequently found the space on Myrtle and finally opened our doors, we quickly realized that Myrtle Avenue was the better choice. Its down the block from where I live. We have a huge number of referrals and mostly local students, both residents and business owners from the immediate vicinity. Many who drop in say, I took a little karate as a kid, but of course, this is not the case for everyone.

Not everyone who studies an art form wants to then teach that art form, no less opening a school centered on that art form. When did the teaching and entrepreneurial bugs hit you?

I had an inkling that I wanted to teach when I started studying Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I also looked around me and noticed that the calmest, most confident instructors were people who wanted to and found ways to do it all the time. These instructors were extremely tough, but also warm and very giving of their craft. Also, I think the operation of a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu school offers a bold business paradigm shift so to speak. In many business environments, the thought is  if I win, you have to lose. Not in this discipline.

Does the school operate on belt promotion? Tell us more about the school.

Yes, we operate on belt promotion. We are not a competition school in the sense that there are fights or competitions to advance to the next level. Instead, attendance, attitude and commitment are what go into belt promotion. We thought this over long and hard before opening the school and thought it the best model to go with. At the end of the day the real benefits to training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu are learning, training and dealing with things directly applicable to lifeconstantly being in and learning to get out of difficult situations. In competition schools, losses far outweigh wins anyway and a win at the end of the day doesnt last for long. However, all of the other things one learns make them a winner for long-term, far sustaining.

Black belt is the highest belt but we consider it in a lot of ways the minimum goal. After all, once you achieve it, your work has just begun.

Private and group lessons are available. Our Myrtle Avenue location is primarily adult-oriented, about 8:2. We do take children and as young as 8-years-old.

Our introductory special is $19.95, which includes a private lesson and a uniform.

We noticed that BBJJ had clothing and food drives going on in November and December for the holidays and that you are organizing around Haiti Earthquake Relief now, is community-involvement or giveback a part of your business philosophy?

Absolutely. It is always the season for giving. Giving is the best way to help yourself and to help others.

Professors Jay Lynch and Gene Dunn are the owners of Brooklyn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, located at 412 Myrtle Avenue, just off of Clinton Avenue. Please give them or their very capable powerhouse staff of three a call to find out more about Brooklyn Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Read more about Professors Jay, Dunn and other instructors here: http://www.brooklynbjj.com/staff/

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