Grappling Fighting Team brings Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to Joondalup

Head coach Marcelo Guimares with his children Hugo (6) and Davi (3). Picture: Martin Kennealey
Head coach Marcelo Guimares with his children Hugo (6) and Davi (3). Picture: Martin Kennealey

A BRAZILIAN Jiu Jitsu gym has opened in Joondalup.

The Grappling Fighting Team (GFT), which started in Brazil, has been running in Winton Road for the past four months, with two of its top level students already competing in the Perth State Titles.

Though neither made it to the finals, both lost in earlier rounds to fighters that went on to win the tournament.

“Both of these fighters showed excellent skill and are being put forth to enter the Pan Pacific Championships in Melbourne in October,” head coach Marcelo Guimares said.

“The art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) is becoming a globally recognised sport and it looks to become an Olympic sport as well.

“With the UFC soon coming to Perth, it’s a great time to get people excited about BJJ.”

Chris Harrey (Kinross) with head coach Marcelo Guimares. Picture: Martin Kennealey

Guimares said the gym offered basic and advanced classes for adults every weekday evening.

“Basic classes teach both men and women the fundamentals of BJJ and basic techniques, locks, chokes, dominant guards and defence,” he said.

“The advanced class rolls on from the basic class where you will be taught high level techniques.

“These might be anything from complicated techniques to locks and holds that are illegal in competition for the lower belts and can only be executed by higher belts.

“At the end of the class we simulate the scenario we have been learning in what is known as rolling where you lightly spar with a partner to put the techniques you have learned to practice.”

Head coach Marcelo Guimares with his children Hugo (6) and Davi (3).

There are also gi (BJJ uniform) and no gi classes.

“The gi classes allow students to use the gi to your advantage by way of choke, defence, grip and leverage,” Guimares said.

“In no gi classes you are free to wear sports clothing and you will learn techniques that are adapted from traditional BJJ where use of yours or your opponents clothing in offence or defence is not permitted.”

The gym has also recently started kids’ classes on Mondays and Wednesdays for four to eight-year-olds from 4pm to 4.30pm and nine to 15-year-olds from 4.45pm to 5.30pm.

“We are trying to get children back into sports and away from the games consoles and TV,” Guimares said.

“The kids’ classes comprise of fun martial arts and fitness based activities as an introduction to BJJ.

“The exercises and conditioning is taught through fun games such as climbing ropes and playing tug-of-war to develop a strong grip.

“The young kids’ class is all about building confidence in these young people, allowing them to feel comfortable in the class and make friends and very slowly teaching them the basics to BJJ.”

Head coach Marcelo Guimares with his children Hugo (6) and Davi (3).

Guimares encouraged anyone interested to view a class and take part in a free trial.

“Anyone can get involved; any age, any gender, any size, shape and fitness level,” he said.

“BJJ was specifically designed for weaker, smaller opponents to dominate larger ones using technique rather than strength with absolutely no basis on what gender they are.

“The beautiful thing about learning BJJ as a method of being able to defend yourself and confidently control any physical situation is that while doing so, the positive benefits to your body and mind are amazing and rewarding.

“You inevitably get in shape, increase cardiovascular endurance, tone and shape the body, increase flexibility and promote healthy brain function and mood to relieve the stresses of everyday life.”

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