June 16, 2021
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The first session of our GB Chicagoland Competition Training took place on June 12 at GB Downers Grove to kick off our 2021 GB Ambassadors Program of Illinois fundraising campaign.

The event was packed with members from different GB academies in the Chicagoland area and beyond who showed up in droves to participate in 2 hours of fast-paced, high-intensity simulated competition drills, strategic analysis, set sparring, and strength and conditioning exercises.

The session was facilitated by some of the most decorated GB Black Belts in the Midwest including Professor Carlos Lemos Jr., Andre Oliveira, Pedroca Tello, Marcos Barros, Cristiano Ribeiro, Evandro Campelo Jr., Josh Cadenbach, and more.

We would like to thank all of you who made this event a huge success. Special thanks to Denise Andrews for her work with the GB Ambassadors Program of Illinois and for the beautiful pictures.

The second session will take place on June 26th
12-2 PM at GB Downers Grove
⚠️Regular classes are canceled on this date⚠️

A minimum donation of $25 per session is required. All proceeds will be donated to the GB Ambassadors Program of Illinois

*Donation must be in the form of a check payable to GB Ambassadors Program of Illinois*

See you there!

For more information call/text or email us at:
???? (630) 964-1414
???? info@gbdownersgrove.com


June 15, 2021
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GB Ambassadors od Arizona Seminar and Belt Grading Ceremony

We are really excited to announce Gracie Barra Black Belt Ambassadors of Arizona Seminar and Belt Grading Ceremony featuring Professor Flavio Almeida. 
July 9, 6-8PM
at GB Downers Grove 
Doors open at 5:30PM
Open to all GB schools in the Chicagoland area and Illinois. If you have students that you would like to be graded during this event, please send us a list of their  names. Your students’ & school’s names will be called and your school’s professor will grade them accordingly.
* Confirmed participants on the list will receive a bracelet at the door
** There will be no sponsored spots for this event – All the participants are required to donate a minimum amount of $40
Limited spots available. Sign up today at http://gbarizona.link/ambassadors
GB AZ will close the registration as soon as the target is met.
Thank you
???? (630) 964-1414
????????Book your classes online!

June 4, 2021
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Attention members of GB Chicagoland Area!

Do you want to be part of the Official 2021 GB Chicagoland Competition Team?

You can apply here: https://www.cognitoforms.com/GracieBarra/_2021GBChicagolandCompetitionTeamApplicationAdult

Open to all active members of any GB location with the approval of their home school.

The first meeting will be on June 8 at Gracie Barra Downers Grove.

For more information call/text or email us at:
???? (630) 964-1414
???? info@gbdownersgrove.com


June 3, 2021
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Dive into the unique world of Jiu-Jitsu at Gracie Barra and enjoy your best summer ever.

My son has been training here for about 3 years and absolutely loves it! Prof.Wang is very professional, he reaches a personal level with the students and takes the time getting to know each of them. Definitely recommend.

Join the team now, and Gracie Barra pays your tuition until August 31st. Just purchase your Gracie Barra uniform and jump right into an incredible summer.

Let’s get started! Contact us at
???? +1 (630)-964-1414

Visit gbeastnaperville.com to learn more about Gracie Barra’s unique philosophy and our world-class training structure taught in over 800 Jiu-Jitsu schools worldwide.

*Offer good from June 15 – July 31, 2021. New students must buy uniforms to qualify for this promotion. This promotion cannot be added with any other Gracie Barrie discounts or promotions.*
* Limited to 20 spots only
* Start-up costs apply


November 18, 2020
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Congratulations to the #gbchicagoland team on another Gracie Barra premium school in Illinois!
It is with great pride and excitement that we announce that Gracie Barra East Naperville has officially achieved GB Premium status!
Being a GB Premium School means that the school consistently meets all the requirements set by the Gracie Barra leadership to ensure that schools are aligned with Master Carlos Gracie Jr.’s philosophy and instruction standards. These include having a safe training environment for everyone, a clean, quality facility, and highly qualified GB certified instructors.

October 30, 2020
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Meet Prof. Carlos Lemos Jr., a 5th-degree black belt under Master Carlos Gracie Jr.
Carlos is the head instructor and owner of Gracie Barra Downers Grove, Illinois.
“Once I started training Jiu-Jitsu I couldn’t stop. It became part of who I am. An essential part of my identity”
This week, Gracie Barra asks Prof. Carlos how he got started in Jiu-Jitsu and he shares his interesting and sometimes humorous story about how he first became interested in Jiu-Jitsu, his early motivation, and why he has lived the Jiu-Jitsu life for all of these years.
GB: Let’s start by introducing you to the GB Online readers. How did you start training Jiu-Jitsu and where is your home Gracie Barra school?
Prof. Carlos Lemos:
Hello guys! Thank you so much for the opportunity for this interview and to connect with all of you from GB Online.
My original school is the original Gracie Barra in Barra de Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro, also known as Gracie Barra Matriz. The first Gracie Barra school of Master Carlos Gracie Jr.
I started training Jiu-Jitsu around 1992 – 93. I’ve always been training under Gracie Barra. Before Jiu-Jitsu I did Muay Thai, I did tae kwon do, also I did a bunch of judo when I was a kid. But once I started training Jiu-Jitsu I couldn’t stop. It became part of who I am. An essential part of my identity.
My beginning was a very interesting story. I grew up learning martial arts since I was a kid. My father first enrolled me in Tae Kwon Do when I was 3 or 4 years old. At the age of 10, I started doing judo. I did about 3 years of judo. A year of kickboxing Muay Thai. I thought that I knew how to fight. I thought that I didn’t need to learn any self-defense. I thought that I would never need that.
But a lot of the members of the Gracie family moved to my neighborhood. I started to see these guys all of a sudden running the show in our town. I started to see the students were doing everything together. They were running on the beach together, they were surfing together, running with their dogs on the beach.
I never really had that level of friendship before. I was looking at these guys saying… no no no. I don’t want to be part of this. This probably is cultish. They are all obsessed with this thing. I don’t want to have anything to do with that. They are too obsessed with this thing. I had friends that started training with them, affiliate schools of Gracie Barra. They said, let’s go there, but I never wanted to go.
One day I saw this guy who grew up training with us. Brazil, back in the day was not violent in the sense that there were guns everywhere. But there was a lot of freedom. I saw this 16 or 17-year-old kid..but a blue belt in Jiu-Jitsu. Not too big, maybe 65 kg. I saw him and a grown man squaring up for some reason. And all of the kids ran to this grass field to watch. I saw the much larger grown man swinging at his head. The kid ducked under, body locked the man, took the guys back, and the next thing I knew, the kid looked like a koala on a giant’s back. Like a little backpack on this man’s back. Next thing I know the man is collapsing on his knees and falling face down on the grass. The kid allowed him to turn over and breathe and the fight was over. That was really impressive!
I had not been converted to Jiu-Jitsu yet. I was about 14. My first girlfriend broke up with me. Then she started dating the Jiu-Jitsu kid. Man, I was devastated! And I said that I’m going to start training Jiu-Jitsu and become better than this guy! I was always a very active and competitive kid. Every sport that I engaged in I eventually became really good. I had a lot of persistence.
So I said, “I want to become better than this guy!”
Because one day I am going to be the one squaring up with him. I started training really hard. Six months passed and I wasn’t even close to this guy’s level. He was a local and state champion. But when I looked around the mats of the school, every single one of the people in that school…I realized that I was surrounded by a group of very positive, uplifting group of role models. They are people who are from all walks of life. None of them was involved with drugs, with alcohol, with bad habits. They were all virtuous individuals. I saw many demonstrations of humility, courage, kindness, sincerity.
Courage and loyalty are what I saw the most. I said “I won’t find better friends anywhere else in my life. I can’t live without these guys and I can’t live without this.”
Surfing has always been an important element in my life. Back at the same time, I was training Jiu-Jitsu, I was achieving a pro surfing level. I was actively competing. I started to surf when I was 4 years old. I became a great surfer…but never an extraordinary surfer. Not a world-class level. When I started to train Jiu-Jitsu hard, within a year, my surfing level went up to incredible heights.
It’s amazing how Jiu-Jitsu helped me improve as a surfer. I could definitely have had a career as a pro surfer. But although I love surfing to this day, the lifestyle of surfing wasn’t there. You know a lot of my surfing friends were messing around with drugs, alcohol. They were not the best type of people to be hanging around with.
And I had the complete opposite in Jiu-Jitsu. I had friends that would stand by my side no matter what, and I could count on them. That really moved me. I realized that I couldn’t live without that, without that community.
That’s how I started and that’s what kept me in Jiu-Jitsu.
GB Values: Jiu-Jitsu Culture
Credits: Mark Mullen
Gracie Barra Black belt based in Asia

October 19, 2020
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“It’s exactly like a Jiu-Jitsu match. Your whole life is a Jiu-Jitsu match…”
Meet Prof. Carlos Lemos Jr., a 5th-degree black belt under Master Carlos Gracie Jr. and the head instructor and owner of Gracie Barra Downers Grove, Illinois.
This week, Gracie Barra talks with Prof. Carlos about how he was able to apply the lessons of jiu-jitsu on and off the mats during the time of the global pandemic.
GB: How have you been able to apply what you have learned in Jiu-Jitsu to your life outside of the mats (especially during the pandemic)?
Prof. Carlos: This is a great question. Especially how I am using what I learned in Jiu-Jitsu during the pandemic.
I definitely applied a lot of Jiu-Jitsu concepts.
A lot of my students say ‘Man, the way you talk, the way you interact with people, the way that you do things’… I hear that all of the time from my students.
It’s exactly like a Jiu-Jitsu match. Your whole life is a Jiu-Jitsu match! I heard that multiple times from my coaches, from my students. One can’t help but to transcend the mats with the Jiu-Jitsu knowledge.
Definitely, I saw a lot of people getting depressed. That reflected in the world economy. That reflects in the countries. That even reflected in the microcosm of the family. I saw friends becoming enemies. I saw students canceling memberships. I saw family members fighting each other. All because of the stress and the uncertainty of the pandemic.
But I didn’t see much of that in the active Jiu-Jitsu community. The pandemic was nothing but a tough fight for all of us. We got caught by surprise. That threw us, passed our guard, and got a knee on our belly.
What do you do now? Do you panic? Do you turn onto your belly and give up? Or…do you breathe, assess the situation, and start to patiently work for an escape?
This is exactly what we did and how we approach the whole situation. That approach enabled us to help so many of our students that are studying with us. To help so many people in our community, family members, people around us. Because we know that patience is the way of Jiu-Jitsu. You can’t panic. You can’t rush.
Of course, we are not in a comfortable spot. We worked more than ever. We offered virtual classes, every day. We did an “SOS” phone call to all of our students, a Gracie Barra hotline we could call that ????
To keep everybody positive and understanding that it was not the end for us. We would make it out of this.
To keep serving our students. Making sure that everyone was covered in any needs of theirs. Whether it be their financial, or mental support or any help of any sort.
We kept a positive approach. A Jiu-Jitsu fighter that doesn’t have a positive and enthusiastic approach to life doesn’t go anywhere. So that is what we kept. We helped many people during the months of the shutdown. We had a stay in the shelter order in our state where we could only leave the house for the essentials or emergencies. But that didn’t slow us down.
Now we are open again with several restrictions, but we can teach in-person classes. We are really happy with the lives that we reached out to and all of the people that we helped.
Credits: Mark Mullen
Gracie Barra Black belt based in Asia

September 9, 2020
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GB East Naperville Outdoor Belt Grading, Seminar & Food Drive featuring GB Regional Director for the state of Illinois & 4th degree black belt, Professor Marcos Barros ????

Come join us for a day of learning, camaraderie & giving back to the community.

????️WHEN:
September 19, 11am-1:30pm

????️WHERE:
Whitlock Park
4000 Fairview Ave, Downers Grove, IL

????️PRICE:
Special rate of $45 cash plus a minimum of two non-perishable food items to be donated to food pantries in the DuPage County area.

(Please put your payment in an envelope with your full name written on it & put it the drop box at GB Downers Grove).

⛑SAFETY PROTOCOL:
• Bring your own mat
• Practice social distancing
• Training Buddy System
• Bring your masks and sanitizers

LIMITED SPOTS AVAILABLE

????SIGN UP ONLINE!????

https://linktr.ee/gbchicagolandandillinois

Call or text us at 309-533-8339 for any questions or suggestions

WE CANNOT WAIT TO SEE YOU THERE!

️STRONGER TOGETHER 

????


August 10, 2020
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Dear members of Gracie Barra East Naperville,

We all have been through tremendous changes these past few months due to the current pandemic, and we are grateful to be sailing through this storm with every one of you!

As you know, the admin and instructor team work hard on paying attention to the latest guidance from the GB headquarters as well as recommendations from the leading health and safety organizations. Our goal is to help all of us continue enjoying what we love in the safest and most hygienic approach possible. We recognize that it’s important to ensure your confidence in knowing that we not only safeguard you but also with your family’s health in mind.

While most of you started settling down to your own training schedule with familiar partners, we plan to start implementing the buddy system on Monday, August 10th. This safety measure aims to keep you with regular training partners in a small group of up to 4 people, to minimize your exposure to other circles. You have the freedom to train with any and all of the members within your small group during class time and helps you to always have a training partner on the mats.

Here is what we need from you:

Check-in with those who you have been training with the past few weeks agree to form a group of 2 to 4, then submit the name(s) to the admin team at 309-533-8339 (text only) before your next training day.

A few reminders: Please be sure to communicate with ALL of your group members to ensure everyone is on board forming the group before submitting the names. Once a group is locked in and finalized, we will not swap members with other groups unless if it’s deemed necessary by your head instructors. If you cannot find a group, the instructors can make suggestions based on who you have been training with, or who else has a similar training schedule that’s also seeking to add members to his/her group. Please note that groups are not finalized until reviewed by the instructors, and they may reach out to recommend changes based on safety and other considerations.

Please text us at 309-533-8339 if you have questions. We look forward to starting this new initiative with your support.

GB East Naperville Team


June 18, 2020
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? Plan of the #gbchicagoland & #gbillnois starts TODAY June 18th.?
 
These are the main exciting changes are :
 
– Choose your training partner
– Light contact ( training drills)
– Masks are optional during training required only to enter and to leave the facility
– Even more fun on the mats approaching the new normal
 
#strongertogether
#strongteam
#graciebarra
#jiujitsuforeveryone
#gbchicagoland
#strongertogether
#supportyourlocalgbschool
#martialartschicagoland
#downersgrove
#oakbrook
#naperville
#hinsdale
#wheaton
#glenellyn
#lisle