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The ancient art of Jiu-Jitsu

Charles Gracie and his son Ruiry provide community members of all ages Brazilian Jit-Jitsu classes at the Charles Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Tracy. Jiu-Jitsu is a system of one-on-one ground fighting, where the objective is to achieve a superior position for joint locks, chokes and strikes.

“Our environment here at the academy is one we’ve been long recognized for. A couple things our students say stand out to them is the warm, welcoming environment and the cleanness of the facility,” said Ruiry Gracie.

Some historians say that Jiu-Jitsu is the oldest form of martial art, having originated in India more than 2,000 years before Christ. It was originally thought to have been developed by Buddhist monks. Concerned with self-defense, these monks created techniques based upon principles of balance and leverage, and a system of manipulating the body in a manner where one could avoid relying upon strength or weapons.

Gracie Jit-Jitsu offers classes for kids and adults of all ages. For kids it is broken down into three age groups: 4-6, 7-9 and 10-15. 16 and up classes are reserved for adults. The classes focus on classic Jit-Jitsu. That includes self-defense for kids, self-defense for adults and learning Jit-Jitsu as a sport.

Students can not only learn self-defense techniques, but they also have an opportunity to participate in tournaments throughout the year including the World Championship Tournament. Gracie Jit Jitsu also hosts a tournament every year in October.

“One of the biggest differences of Jit-Jitsu is that it’s technique based and leverage based versus strength based. The technique and leverage you learn to apply make it so effective for, not only for self-defense, but it’s a phenomenal workout,” said Ruiry Gracie.

Brazilian gives people the self-defense techniques they need when put in situations where they have to act, and the classes offer hands training to prepare for those moments.

“It causes people to be comfortable in positions they would normally be uncomfortable,” said Ruiry Gracie. “If you’re a woman and you’re mounted by a man that’s much larger, that’s a very threatening and dangerous position, here they learn how to control themselves and how to apply the techniques correctly. They practice daily and with partners, compared to other martials where they’re practicing their form by themselves a lot of the time.”

Interested community members can attend a free introductory class. They can schedule an appointment by stopping by at the facility at 1005 E. Pescadero Ave. Ste. 149, calling (209) 832-9996 or emailing at The intro class is a one-time 30 minute class outlining the basic Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu techniques. This class serves as a preparatory class to those interested in seriously enrolling at the Academy and training at least twice a week.