At a very young age, Helio Gracie learned traditional Japanese Jiu-Jitsu techniques from his older brother, Carlos. In the late 1920s, he began to modify these techniques to accommodate his frail physique with the objective of developing a system that would enable him to defend himself against larger opponents. After years of refinement, he proved his art's effectiveness by routinely defeating larger and stronger opponents, some of whom outweighed him by as much as 100 pounds. As a result, Helio's techniques quickly became the new expression of Jiu-Jitsu in Brazil and set the stage for a worldwide revolution in martial arts.
Gracie Combatives is our beginner program for adults. In this program, you will learn the 36 core techniques of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu in a fun, safe, and cooperative environment. Each one-hour lesson addresses one standing and one ground self-defense technique. You can start the program at any time and participate in any class without previous experience and, since safety is our number one concern, there is no competitive sparring in this program. Upon successful completion of the Gracie Combatives program we will promote you to Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Blue Belt and you will qualify for advancement to the Master Cycle program.
If you’re unsure about trying martial arts training for fear of injury, embarrassment, or any other reason, then the Gracie Combatives program is for you. Scroll down to learn more about Gracie Combatives or click here to find a Certified Training Center near you.
Although Gracie Jiu-Jitsu consists of over 600 techniques, studies of real fights conducted by members of the Gracie Family have shown that 36 techniques have been used more often and with greater success than all the other techniques combined. Originally developed for the U.S. Army, Gracie Combatives is the only course that is entirely dedicated to the mastery of these 36 essential techniques. You need absolutely no experience to start this program. Our instructors conduct all classes in a cooperative training environment and are committed to ensuring that every new student has an informative, enjoyable experience regardless of age, gender, or athletic ability.
Step 1: Learn the Techniques
We have divided the 36 Gracie Combatives techniques into 23 one-hour classes so that you can complete the course at your own pace. We designed each lesson so that you can start at any point in the course. As a result, you can complete the 23 lessons in any order. Upon enrolling, we will issue you a Gracie Combatives attendance card on which we will track your progress every step of the way.
Step 2: Develop Your Reflexes
Once you complete each of the 23 Gracie Combatives lessons twice, you will qualify to participate in the Reflex Development (RD) Classes where you will learn how to combine the 36 techniques to address the most common occurrences in a real fight.
Step 3: Earn Your Blue Belt
Once you complete each of the Gracie Combatives lessons three times, and you’ve completed at least 12 Reflex Development Classes, you are eligible to test for promotion to Blue Belt! We will administer a 25-minute test to assess your ability to execute the 36 essential techniques individually and in combination. If your performance meets Gracie Academy standards, you will qualify for promotion to blue belt and you will be allowed to attend our advanced Gracie Jiu-Jitsu program, the Master Cycle.
Upon enrolling in the Gracie Combatives program at any Certified Training Center, you will receive a free subscription to GracieUniversity.com. Through this interactive website, you will have access to detailed video instruction on every technique in the course enabling you to study the lessons on any computer or mobile device 24 hours a day! Furthermore, all active students at a Certified Training Center qualify to train at any other Gracie Certified Training Center around the world. Since the curriculum is the same at all Certified Training Centers, you will receive credit for every lesson on your Gracie Combatives attendance card when you return home!
Most martial arts schools limit you to only one free trial class. We offer new students a 10-day risk-free trial that includes a free uniform and unlimited access to all of our beginner group classes. We’re confident that the class structure, the camaraderie, and high quality instruction will convince you to let us guide you on your path to jiu-jitsu mastery. If it’s not exactly what you are looking for, we will never charge you a penny (the only requirement is that you return the free uniform that we provided to you). To take advantage of our 10-day free trial, simply contact the Certified Training Center nearest you, and a student services representative will help you get started right away!
Beyond blue belt, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu consists of hundreds of advanced techniques organized into a clearly defined, systematic curriculum called the Master Cycle. The Master Cycle’s unique structure simplifies the journey to black belt by organizing all of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu into seven positional chapters (Mount, Side Mount, Guard, Half Guard, Back Mount, Leg Locks, Standing), each of which is studied for several months before moving on to the next chapter.
If you've achieved the rank of blue belt or higher, and you would like to continue on the path to black belt in a safe, structured, and friendly learning environment, the Master Cycle is for you! Scroll down to learn more about this groundbreaking advanced Gracie Jiu-Jitsu program or click here to find a Certified Training Center near you!
Every Master Cycle lesson begins with a 15-20 minute review/warm-up period during which you will review previous lessons or explore techniques you may have learned online through Gracie University. During the review period, we encourage you to collaborate with your training partners and ask questions of the instructors.
After the review, the instructor will present 2-3 new techniques from the current chapter of study. Then, you will practice the techniques with a cooperative partner until the movements become natural.
At the end of class, you will have a chance to test your skills against a variety of training partners in a variety of controlled training exercises, such as: Rapid Mastery Drills, Focus Sparring Exercises, and Fight Simulation Drills. Safety is the primary concern during these sparring exercises, and any students who do not train in a safe and productive manner will not be allowed to participate. Sparring is 100% voluntary for Master Cycle students.
There is a remarkable difference in the rate of progress between students who study in their off time and those who don’t. As an active member of the Master Cycle program at any Certified Training Center, you qualify for a free subscription to GracieUniversity.com, which gives you unlimited online access to the Master Cycle video-based curriculum. Use this resource to review past lessons, learn new techniques, and prepare for future belt tests 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from any computer or mobile device! Take advantage of this powerful tool and take your technique to the next level!
As an active student in the Master Cycle you qualify to train at any Certified Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Training Center around the world. If you travel to a city with a Certified Training Center, simply let them know that you’re a family member, and you can participate in any class for free!
If you’re interested in joining the Master Cycle program, we invite you to take advantage of our 10-day free trial. To take advantage of our 10-day free trial, simply contact the Certified Training Centernearest you, and a student services representative will help you get started right away!
If you do not live near a Certified Training Center that is qualified to teach the Master Cycle program, then we invite you to complete the entire program from the comfort of your own home via our fully interactive online learning center at GracieUniversity.com.
Master Cycle Videos
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The Master Cycle
Women Empowered is the official Gracie self-defense program for women. In this 10-lesson program, we will teach you how to neutralize the 15 most common attacks ranging from having your hair grabbed to being pinned to the ground by a weapon-bearing assailant. Each one-hour Women Empowered lesson addresses two techniques. You can start the program at any time and participate in any class without previous experience. Unlike most self-defense systems that rely heavily on strength, speed, and coordination, the techniques in the Women Empowered program employ leverage, technique, and timing, so anyone, regardless of age or athletic ability, can make them work against larger opponents. Once you complete the Women Empowered program, you may test for promotion to Pink Belt!
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If you have no previous martial arts experience and you want to learn how to defend yourself in a fun, safe, and cooperative learning environment, Women Empowered is for you. Scroll down to learn more about Women Empowered or click here to find a Certified Training Center near you.
Law enforcement officials and survivors of sexual assault helped us identify the 15 most common attack strategies that a male assailant is likely to use on a woman. From hair-grabs and choke-holds, to bear hugs and weapon defenses, the Women Empowered program covers it all.
Step 1: Learn the Techniques
We have divided the 15 Women Empowered techniques into 10 one-hour classes so that you can complete the course at your own pace. We designed each lesson so that you can start at any point in the course. As a result, you can start the program at any time and complete the 10 lessons in any order. Upon enrolling, we will issue you a Women Empowered attendance card on which we will track your progress every step of the way.
Step 2: Develop Your Reflexes
Once you complete each of the 10 Women Empowered lessons twice, you will qualify to participate in the Reflex Development (RD) classes where you will learn how to combine the 15 techniques to address the most common occurrences in a real self-defense situation.
Step 3: Earn Your Pink Belt
Once you complete each of the Women Empowered lessons four times, and you’ve completed at least four Reflex Development Classes, you are eligible to test for promotion to Pink Belt! During this 15-minute test, we will assess your execution of all 15 essential techniques. If your performance meets Gracie Academy standards, you will qualify for promotion to pink belt. As a pink belt, you will be more than ready to move on to the Gracie Combatives program should you choose to continue the jiu-jitsu journey!
What is the Pink Belt?
As with every program in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu (Gracie Combatives, Master Cycle and Gracie Bullyproof) awarding belts is the traditional way to acknowledge progress and accomplishment. With the development of the Gracie Women Empowered program, the course featured so many unique strategies, objectives, techniques, and psychology tailored to a special set of circumstances, that the standard Gracie Jiu-Jitsu belt system did not apply. So, we decided to add an entirely new belt, and since pink was one of the only colors not used in the existing belt system, we introduced the Women Empowered Pink Belt! It not only symbolizes dedication to the techniques of the program, but also an understanding of the philosophy that is essential for survival in life-threatening scenarios. We hope that this reflexive understanding of both the philosophy and techniques will instill a confidence in women that reduces their risk of ever becoming a target in the first place. Since the program was created we have watched women dedicate countless hours to earning their pink belt, and with every pink belt earned, the value and prestige of this belt has become undeniable .
While the Gracie Academy is internationally famous for the quality of its group classes, some people prefer to start with private training. Private classes enable the instructor to teach the lessons in the order that will optimize learning and to adapt techniques to suit an individual’s strengths and weaknesses. Each private lesson begins with a review of previously learned techniques, followed by the introduction of 2-3 new techniques. Once you fully understand the new techniques, the instructor will show you how to combine them with previously learned techniques in a series of Reflex Development Drills. This process continues until you have mastered all the techniques in the module.
If you’re eager to learn Gracie Jiu-Jitsu with maximum efficiency, private training is for you! Scroll down to learn more about the benefits of private training or click here to find a Certified Training Center near you.
Private classes offer maximum flexibility with training available daytime, evenings, weekdays, and weekends... if it's convenient for you, it works for us. Moreover, if you can’t come to the Gracie Academy, we’ll come to you!
The order in which you learn the techniques greatly affects the time it takes you to master the art. In private lessons, your instructor will present the techniques in a carefully pre-determined sequence that will most efficiently develop your reflexes and build your confidence.
The only way to reduce the amount of time it takes to master Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is to set specific training/technical goals in each phase of the journey based on your strengths and weaknesses. Private training enables your instructor to help you assess your ability and develop a personalized plan to take you efficiently to the next level!
Due to the pace of group instruction, it’s possible to miss technical details during the presentation. Moreover, two weeks or more could pass before the class recycles and you get a second chance to learn the technique. In private lessons, your personal instructor will pace the instruction according to your skills and needs, so you will never feel confused or overwhelmed.
In a group class, it’s simply impossible for the instructor to focus totally on one student, so you must rely on your training partners to help you learn the techniques. In private lessons, your instructor is your partner for every technique, so they can physically feel all of your movements and provide instant feedback on every detail.
While Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is the one martial art that anyone can learn, many techniques still require some modification to fit the abilities of each student. In private lessons, your instructor will help you discover your “game” – the specific style of jiu-jitsu that best suits you – so that you can maximize your proficiency based on your age, weight, height, and athletic abilities (or lack thereof).
Each Gracie-certified instructor has a unique style developed and refined over many years of teaching and training. In private lessons, you may learn your instructor’s secret techniques as well as key strategies that are often overlooked, undiscovered, or simply too complex to teach in a group class.
If you’re eager to learn Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, and you want to do it in the most efficient way possible, private training is the way to go! To take your first private lessons, simply contact the Certified Training Center nearest you, and a student services representative will help you get started right away!