Crosley Gracie has been teaching the artform to locals since 2005 at a Brentwood karate studio, and since then has developed a clientele large enough to open his own location. On June 9, he opened the doors to the Crosley Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Brentwood, offering a wide variety of classes for men, women and children.
Smaller in size than most of their competitors, the Gracie family adapted their own style of jiu-jitsu in the early 1800s to level the playing field during combat. The result was a ground-fighting style that emphasizes leverage and balance over brute physical strength.
"Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is more about closing the distance between you and your opponent and then taking the fight to the ground so you can apply finishing holds," Gracie said. "Since most fights end up on the ground anyway, people trip or just get taken down, it makes it more effective because it's how you can beat your opponent with out actually having to strike or create serious damage to your opponent."
Photos by Jennifer Birkland