Professor Gui Valente Seminar!

Helio Gracie 5th Degree Black Belt Professor Gui Valente will be Teaching a Seminar at our Academy:
I have trained with Professor Gui for several years now, both here in the UK and abroad. Some of our Students have trained Privately in Miami at The Valente Brothers Academy. Without a doubt one of the most knowledgeable Teachers of Gracie Jiu Jitsu i have had the honour of studying under. Do not miss!

For a review of a Private Seminar i took a few years ago: Gui Valente Gracie Jiu Jitsu Private Seminar

The Seminar will consist of two sections: Stand Up and Groundwork.

When: Monday July 13th
Where: The Dartford Academy
Time: 19:00-21:00

Please Note: White Kimonos only and No admission on the day. Advance Booking only.

Please confirm you place ASAP 07775927352


Jiu Jitsu or MMA?



New Students to our Academies often comment that our Jiu Jitsu is more like MMA rather than the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu they have seen or are maybe are used to.

Our Jiu Jitsu covers five elements or areas of study:

Stand Up Self Defence
Striking Techniques
Clinching Strategies and Throwing Techniques
Grappling Techniques

Mixed Martial Arts also cover several of the same areas, thou focus may differ depending on the relevant Gym.

The major difference between the two lies in their respective Philosophies and Fight Strategies.

In MMA you compete with time restraints and a strict rule set against a perfectly matched opponent re Weight, relative skill set and you are the same sex.
The MMA rules always favour the Striker (wrapped & Gloved hands, penalties for inactivity on the ground etc). Each Round begins on the Feet irrespective of where the previous one ended. The focus is on athleticism and aggression.

In Jiu Jitsu, whilst we have an enormously popular Sport side to the Art (pls see here for an earlier article on that: Gracie or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu? ) our focus at The Academy is on Self Defence.
This begins with what we eat and how we combine our food.
Energy efficiency, natural body movement and punch proof technique are the three guidelines to the material we Teach our Students.
If attacked by a much larger, younger, stronger, more athletic antagonist, Patience and having a Survival mindset are essential attributes,  This naturally connects to the previous mentioned guidelines.
Anybody can study Jiu Jitsu, regardless of age and athletic ability,

I first saw Gracie Jiu Jitsu watching a VHS tape, just weeks after the first UFC in 1993. Royce Gracie quickly defeated all his Opponents. Interestingly one could argue that Royce fought Vale Tudo (anything goes) rather than within the strict rule sets of MMA. There were no time limits, weight restrictions and very few rules, unlike today.

Both MMA and Jiu Jitsu have the ability to be very positive on the individual and indeed for many of us can be life changing!

Cya on the Mats!


Jiu Jitsu for the over 45's

Jiu Jitsu for the over 45's.
In his excellent article, Steve Maxwell (Relson Gracie Black Belt) echo's our philosophy, re training for the Mature Student.
We have many Students in the 45-65 age range (of all belt levels White to Black), whom are on the mats every week.
Age or injury will eventually humble you, so always train smart. Seek the knowledge, defeat your ego & embrace the lifestyle, 
Martial Art, Diet & Philosophy.


Erik Paulson NoGi Grappling Seminar! SOLD OUT!!

After Coaching Josh Barnett to submission victory over Dean Lister at Metamoris 4, Erik returns to our Academy to share his Knowledge with our Students!

Where: The Dartford Academy
When: Weds 17th December
Time: 19:00 - 21:30
Fee: £40

All levels and Affiliations Welcome

Pls Call 07775927352 to confirm your Place


Gracie or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?

Is there a difference between Gracie Jiu Jitsu and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?

Gracie Jiu jitsu is a complete Martial Art of Self Defence. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is the Sportive aspect of Gracie Jiu Jitsu. 

Gracie Jiu Jitsu prepares the Student for a larger, striking opponent. It can be learnt and applied by anyone, not just the athletic/strong.
GJJ encompasses the following areas of Study:
  • Weapon Defence
  • Striking
  • Throws & Clinch Work
  • Groundwork
  • Philosophy (Virtues, Health, Mindset)
  • Sparring (With the Kimono & without the Kimono. With & without Striking)
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a fantastic Sport, producing many World Class Athletes. It also promotes many of the above positive areas of Study.
The main differences from GJJ are in its:
  • Distance Management and Clinch work (no Striking allowed)
  • Vale Tudo Guard
  • Strategy (Points based)
  • Energy efficiency (Points & Time limit constraints)
In summery:

At our Academies we Teach the complete Martial Art of Gracie Jiu Jitsu, which includes the Sport of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The vast majority of our Students train for Self Defence/Health/Self Improvement.

We continue to train with and Host the Worlds best Jiu Jitsu Instructors to deepen our knowledge of Jiu Jitsu. In the last few years alone we have studied under; Rickson Gracie, Pedro Sauer, Mauricio Gomes, Royce Gracie, Renzo Gracie, Ryron Gracie, Rener Gracie, Gui Valente, Braulio Estima, Rick Young, and of course Professor Marc Walder.

Both GJJ and BJJ are wonderful, addictive, life changing Arts. All you have to do, is step on the Tatami to begin your journey..

See you on The Mats


September Super Seminar! Professor Rick Young & Guro Terry Barnett SOLD OUT!

When: September 20th (Saturday)
Where: The Dartford Academy
Time: 12:00-15:00
Cost: £40

This is a NoGi Seminar.

All JKD/BJJ Students of any level are welcome!


The different types of Black Belt - Gracie Jiu Jitsu

I have been asked several times over the last few weeks about the different types of Black Belt awarded.

At our Academy we retain the original Gracie Jiu Jitsu Belt structure:

The Black Belt with a white Tab, is a person who has been rewarded his/her black belt, yet is still a student whom is not yet a Certified Instructor/Coach/Professor.

The Black Belt with a Red Bar signifies a Black Belt Student whom has started our Instructors Programme of Self Defence and begun to assist teaching at The Academy.

The Red Bar with 2 tab borders is a Professor, certified to teach (by their Professor/Mestre).

As always, seek the knowledge, not the belt.


Professor Pedro Sauer Gracie Jiu Jitsu Seminar Review

Its been 2 years since I last got to train with Professor and it was an exciting prospect to be able to host him at our Academy this May!

Professor arrived with Student and Rickson Gracie 2nd Degree Black Belt Allan Manganello. Neither showed any jet lag after a 20hr journey to the UK and both were warmly welcomed. I have studied with the Worlds best Instructors over the last 30 years and its true to say Professor is the closest i have known, in warmth, knowledge, humbleness, gratitude and passion, to our own Guro Dan Inosanto.

There were over 50 Students (from all over Europe) & 7 Black Belts in attendance. The Academy once again was packed to the rafters. After expressing our gratitude to Professor, he started with a Q&A session. This was to be the format for the whole evening.
Back Mount escapes, Choke counters, Triangle Setup Counters & Guard Passing were all covered. Professor spoke at length about his time studying with Grand Master Helio and Master Rickson Gracie over the last 40 years.
It was the biggest compliment when Professor and Allan said the amazing and unique vibe we have at The Academy was comparable to that of Ricksons first Academy back in the day!!

Quite simply an evening everyone will remember for a long time and i got to do it all over again the next day with Professor at the Laurence Sandum Academy.

I never fail to be amazed at how easy Gracie Jiu Jitsu is...you just got to do it right! 80/20.

Many thanks to Professor, Professor's Marc & Allan, , Laurence for all his help and to all the Students whom continue to make this journey possible.


Royce Gracie Seminar!

Royce with Marc Walder in California in the late 1990's

Marc with Ryron & Rener after completing the first ever Gracie Jiu Jitsu Certification Program

Had the real pleasure to Train with Royce Gracie again this week.
I first met & trained with Royce 10 years ago, having first seen him in UFC1 back in 1993!
We have also had the honour of hosting Royce at The Academy 2 years ago.

10 of us from the Ilford Fitness First Class, met up with Gracie Academy Brown Belt Instructor Sam Fernandez, to attend the Seminar.
Professor Marc organised the event with over 40 Students inc 6 Black Belts on the Mat.

After catching up with Royce, whom had just taught a Sold Out Seminar for my Brother & Family at Westcoast BJJ, we began.
Outline of the material we covered:

  • Defensive Pisao into Clinch & Body Fold Takedown
  • Defence Vs Thai Kick
  • Clinch Vs Jab
  • Arm Triangle from The Mount
  • Stage 2 Guard Defensive & Offensive Strategies
  • Vale Tudo Guard Passing

Royce always in good humour, closed the Seminar with thanks and a few hilarious stories of how he met Professor Marc on his first day as a Student at the Gracie Academy in Torrence. 

Thanks to Royce, Professor Marc, RGJJ Black Belt Danny Macmillan and my Training Partners!