Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has a relatively short history which affords a few rare opportunities to train with the founding members of the art. Over Labour Weekend four of our BJJ team headed to Allegiance BJJ Academy in Hastings to attend the 2017 Clark Gracie camp. This year Professor Clark Gracie brought his father, Grandmaster Carley Gracie, over from California to teach at the camp. Carley is a Red Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, which is the 9th Degree of Black Belt; the highest grade achievable. Carley’s arrival in New Zealand for the camp marked the first visit of a Red Belt to New Zealand. Carley is the son of Carlos Gracie Senior, who was one of the originators of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. This gave our team a rare opportunity to train under one of the originals.
During the 3-day camp Carley gave us an insight in to the early days of the art, and outlined some of the events which changed the martial arts landscape. He also demonstrated many of the self-defence techniques which made the art famous, and his son, Clark Gracie, demonstrated some of the modern techniques which have made him a world champion in recent years.
Our team walked away from the camp with an overwhelming amount of knowledge, and much deeper appreciation for the art and its history, which we look forward they look forward to passing on to the rest of the team.