Sunday calls for church, some brunch and for a selective few, some martial arts practice.
“They’re learning very well,” said instructor Ryron Gracie. “They’re attentive to detail, they want the information, they’re hungry, they’re investing in themselves, so I’m happy to be here in helping them out.”
Gracie travels across the country and around the world, teaching Jiu Jitsu. For students of Beckley’s Family Martial Arts on Sunday, he was their special guest instructor, who has roots to the art’s migration into the U.S.
“My family is responsible, my father in particular, for bringing Jiu Jitsu to America from Brazil,” Gracie said.
Gracie says the martial art his own grandfather created is a perfect platform for teaching self-defense.
“Knowing how to handle yourself, how to…speak to somebody and set boundaries, and, if necessary, use physical Jiu Jitsu techniques,” Gracie said. “I’ve had many success stories with Jiu Jitsu saving their lives and protecting themselves.”
Unlike other martial arts, he believes Jiu Jitsu allows people to keep the threat contained without having to go on the offense.
“You have what you need to defend yourself,” Gracie said. “Not to beat them up, but to avoid serious harm.”