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Buckhead Jiu-Jitsu Builds Confidence Through An Ancient Martial Art

By Pamela Sosnowski

Jiu-Jitsu may be a lesser-known form of martial arts compared to karate, but it still packs a serious physical punch. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is considered the most effective martial art for self-defense, and particularly for women, as it enables its students to defeat an opponent that is larger and stronger than themselves. In Atlanta, Sam Joseph and his staff are introducing the martial art to all ages at his school, Buckhead Jiu-Jitsu.

"We have a great mix of people at our academy in many ways," he explains. "About half of the students started their BJJ journey here, so we are very 'newbie' friendly. Our environment builds people up until they are ready to fully participate in live-sparring and/or progress to competitions, if that is something they want to do."

Joseph earned his black belt in 2007 and has trained and competed all over the world in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for 15 years. He also writes article for Jiu-Jitsu Style magazine, and is a certified personal trainer. As the head instructor, he brings his years of expertise to his students in a supportive, encouraging environment and teaches classes along with three highly qualified assistant instructors.

Jiu-Jitsu has its origins in Japan and incorporates moves that resemble judo and wrestling. In the early 20th century, a Japanese immigrant brought Jiu-Jitsu to Brazil where it gained popularity and was introduced to the U.S. in the early 1990s.

As it focuses on real life situations that may put a person in danger, it's become known as one of the most effective martial arts for fighting off an attacker. In fact, it's often used in "bully proofing" programs for school age children. But in addition to teaching someone self defense, it delivers several other benefits as well, particularly for children, according to Joseph.

"Learning Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is one of the best gifts you can provide your child," he says. "It provides character development and personal growth that will impact every area of their life, for the rest of their life. It is a fun way for kids to get into fantastic shape, build confidence, learn respect, improve discipline, and prevent bullying."

Classes at Buckhead Jiu-Jitsu are held on every day except for Sunday. In addition to the martial art, Joseph's academy also teaches FITin45 fitness classes, which are fun and high energy interval training sessions that combine strength training with aerobic exercise to help students lose weight, sculpt their body, and gain more stamina. Students rotate through different training sessions during the 45-minute class and use weights, battle ropes, kettle balls, stationary bikes and more to work all major muscle groups.

Most importantly, Joseph enjoys the camaraderie that he sees develop at his training academy. "The 'help my training partner/teammate' attitude is a huge part of our culture and one of the things I love most about our gym," he says. "It makes it easy for people to develop Jiu-Jitsu skills and competence at their own pace while having fun."

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