With the popularization of the UFC, Jiu Jitsu schools are popping up all over America. In a not so distant past, Jiu Jitsu schools used to be few and far between, and one had to travel great distances just to take classes a few nights a week on a racquetball court. My how times have changed. The dilemma facing modern Jiu Jitsu students is not if there is an academy near by, but which is the best fit for their particular needs. In central New Jersey alone, one need simply to drive down a heavy trafficked road to find a martial arts school hoping to serve you as their student. So, Why train at RABJJ?
Have you ever played that game “Telephone”?
Where we all sit in a circle, and someone whispers a phrase into the ear of their neighbor, and this continues on around the circle until the message gets repeated back to the source, except their words have been altered to the point of being unrecognizable. This game is a perfect metaphor for the conveyance of knowledge. The farther one is from the original source, the more watered down and misconstrued their education becomes. Jiu Jitsu is no different.
Luckily for the students at RABJJ, Ricardo Almeida comes from the direct lineage of the Gracie family. Learning from Master Helio Gracie himself, and studying relentlessly under the likes of Master Carlos Gracie Jr. while being the right hand man to the legendary Renzo Gracie, students at RABJJ have the opportunity to learn the truest form of Gracie Jiu Jitsu. A beacon of grappling knowledge, Professor Almeida is the grappling coach to UFC royalty Frankie Edgar, among many other modern MMA stars. The fact that future Hall of Famer drives west an hour most mornings to study under Professor Almeida is the highest form of testimonial in and of itself.
Along with Professor Almeida, who himself teaches class daily, RABJJ is led by a host of knowledgeable instructors who have dedicated their lives to using Jiu Jitsu as a means of personal development for their students. From world champions to school teachers to authors, the team of instructors is well-versed in the ways of continued growth and education. From the kid’s program to the advanced adults, these instructors serve their student base with unrivaled commitment to the actualization of their goals. Perhaps the most reassuring and inspiring notion worth entertaining, is that each and every instructor is themselves also a student, each with the fervent dedication of pursuing mastery in this art to whatever degree their circumstances allow. When teachers are students themselves, constant evolution and refinement is a certainty.
Finally, beyond Professor Almeida and his instructors, we arrive at the most important reason one should train at RABJJ: the students. Ranging from the ages of 3 to mid-60s, one look across the mats and it quickly becomes apparent the sheer diversity of the student base. From lawyers to mothers to college kids and preschoolers, this cornucopia of men and women could never exist outside of the mats. To see the apparent dissimilarities in the lives of our students, and to see this matched only by the bonds they have forged, is always inspiring. RABJJ is truly a community in which men and women from all walks to life come together to work toward their goals. On any night, one can find husbands and wives training together. Fathers and daughters. Brothers and sisters. RABJJ is a community that so many call home, and the relationships forged on the mats are deepening daily.
With a class structure geared toward the development of the entire student base, no one is left behind. Beyond the scope of the ability of the instructors, less experienced students are always paired with the senior ranking students in the academy, to ensure that the junior student receives the best instruction while accelerating their development, and our high ranking students continue to show great leadership in the way of service.RABJJ has grown into a community of mutual growth and service. It is a place where each student recognizes the sincerity with which each other live their lives, and recognize that it is their responsibility to continue to grow and become more of whoever they already are not just for themselves, but for each member of the academy. RABJJ is a brotherhood that allows for the highest expression of what teamwork really is, and possesses a type of fellowship largely unseen in the modern world. It is a place for the striving individual under the umbrella of unity.
RABJJ is a home to many, and its foundation is built upon the love of Jiu Jitsu, and the love of each other.