Integrity is one of the core values here at Gracie Barra and directly contributes to keeping our legacy alive. It means that we have a commitment to our traditions and an appreciation for the contributions of past generations when developing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. In Martial Arts, to act with integrity is to act with respect, honour, and honesty. We have always worked to preserve the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and the respect we have had for our traditions continuously in Gracie Barra has brought us all together as a team throughout the years.
Our first core value of “Brotherhood” is an English translation of the genderless Portuguese word “Irmandade” which includes and welcomes everyone. It first started being used in Gracie Barra in the 1990s, where GB athletes developed a sense of comradery and mutual support which went way beyond just doing the sport. They were proud to say that Gracie Barra is not just a team, it is a family. This led to the motto of “Organised like a team, fighting like a family” from the Portuguese translation “Organizados Como Um Time, Lutando Como Uma Família”.
When someone is part of a Gracie Barra school, they feel a sense of belonging and cooperation. They are part of our globally connected Jiu-Jitsu family who are all working together to better each other. Our team works together at every level, from our beginners who are working with their training partners to get better every session, to our competitors who work towards their collective training goals to prepare for competition. Our staff look to each other for advice and are always working hard as a team to provide the best experience for our students and training partners!
Gracie Barra’s mission is to teach Jiu-Jitsu for everyone. This means that we want to positively impact as many people’s lives as possible through Jiu-Jitsu. We are always looking for ways to improve and develop ourselves to ensure that we are making Jiu-Jitsu as accessible as possible.
For our students, embracing the core value of development means they have a commitment to continuously improving their lives through Jiu-Jitsu! No matter how good at BJJ you are, there is always something that can be improved on, physically, technically, and mentally. Your continuous improvement in all of these areas helps you to become the best version of yourself, and we are with you every step of the way!
We also believe in having a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset. When you have a fixed mindset, you think that results just come from being talented and having natural abilities. This results in a struggle when there are obstacles to overcome. When you have a growth mindset, you believe that even the most basic of your abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. You may make mistakes, but rather than complaining about them and regretting what you did wrong, we encourage our students to learn from them. This is an example of having a growth mindset and it is important when considering Gracie Barra’s core value of development.
There will always be days where you don’t feel like training and days where you just can’t get the techniques right. These are the days it’s the most important to keep showing up, no matter what. Having discipline in Jiu-Jitsu is important and it helps us to build healthy routines and develop a non-quitting attitude. When you show up even on the days you don’t want to, you become resilient to the frustrations of adversities and distractions that might make you skip a session.
This kind of discipline doesn’t come naturally, you have to work hard to get into your routine. From this, you’ll develop discipline in other aspects of your life.
You’ll want to maintain healthy practices outside of Jiu-Jitsu so that you feel better during training, things like a good diet and exercises. When developing self-discipline, it is important to start off identifying your main goals and priorities. Maybe there is a technique you’ve been wanting to get right or you want to get into the GB2 programme. You can then plan a routine for yourself that will help you move forward, in Jiu-Jitsu it can be as simple as picking 2 classes a week you can get to and making sure you go to those classes even on the days you don’t really feel like training. You’ll never regret going to a class afterwards.
Finally, it is important to follow up with yourself and make sure that you are following the plan you set out for yourself. If you feel yourself starting to drift, remind yourself of the goals that you set and the routine you told yourself you were going to stick to to achieve them to help you get back on track. By doing this, you can develop great self-discipline and eventually won’t have to think about it.
Legacy and Tradition
Our values of Legacy and Tradition come back to our core value of Integrity. We want to honour our traditions while encouraging growth and innovation in our sport. Our instructors will always make an effort to pass on the most important lessons they have learnt from their Professors. We also respect Jiu-Jitsu traditions by following our training etiquette which includes actions such as bowing, wearing a clean and neat uniform, and referring to Black Belt instructors as “Professor”.
We want to make sure that we are not only teaching techniques, but also the history of Jiu-Jitsu and Gracie Barra to help our students understand their lineage and the vital role they play in keeping the legacy alive.
When talking about loyalty, it is not just to a person. You can be loyal to the principles that you believe in. Gracie Barra’s goal is to bring Jiu-Jitsu to everyone and to make people’s lives better through Jiu-Jitsu. To believe in our same goals and principles is to be loyal to our team, and when you are loyal you stop thinking about only yourself. You can’t be selfish when we are all working together to achieve the same goal, helping everyone who walks into a Gracie Barra academy to feel welcome and get started on becoming the best version of themselves.
We can show our loyalty to Gracie Barra through many ways, but one is with our uniforms. Everyone who trains in a Gracie Barra school is required to wear a full, clean GB uniform. Everyone from the Black Belt Professors to the Tiny Champions on their first day, we are all united by the Red Shield on our uniforms. The Red Shield is one of the most recognised symbols in BJJ today and the recognition has come from decades of hard work and excellence of our students, athletes, instructors, teaching programs, and community work.
In our academies we are also loyal to each other. This has most recently been seen during the pandemic where we all went straight to online training right away when lockdowns were announced. We were committed to keep providing Jiu-Jitsu throughout this time and experienced a great sense of loyalty and community from everyone who stuck with us and joined in along the way! We are not just a Jiu-Jitsu team, but also a family, and our loyalty to helping each other to be better every day keeps us strong.