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Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone

GB Rohnert Park Testimonials

Kyle Shaw

“When I first walked into Gracie Barra Rohnert Park I wasn’t sure what to expect. I have had bad experiences with martial arts gyms in the past, but when I met Professor Bill I knew this was different than any school I had ever visited before. His love and passion for the art was so real that I knew that this was where I wanted to be.

I had been a heavy smoker for over 13 years. I tried numerous methods to quit, including classes, gum’s, patches and even being hypnotized, with no success. My first day at GBRP was an eye opening experience. I could barely make it through the warm up, and had to stop half way through the class because of exhaustion. That night I threw away my last pack of cigarettes and I am proud to say that I have been smoke free since. I truly believe that Professor Bill and the Gracie Barra family in Rohnert Park saved my life. I have now been training a little over six months, I have lost over 25 pounds and have made it through the fundamentals program and now train in the advanced classes also. I hope to compete soon and represent the Gracie Barra Family and Professor Bill with pride and honor.

I would highly recommend Gracie Barra Rohnert Park to anyone who is looking for a change in their lives. It will challenge you, not only physically but mentally as well. Professor Bill is the real deal.”

Miguel Inong

“When my cousin called me to tell me that he had joined GBRP, I was excited. I had been very curious about the school but wasn’t sure what to expect. Meeting with Professor Bill eased my concerns and got me really excited about enrolling in the class. Prior to joining GBRP, I exercised regularly (running, swimming, and weight training), but had lost that spark and fever for training. The school is great. The class has large variety of people to train with and the best instructors I have ever experienced. All of the coaches are very professional, technical, and personable in their instruction of classes. It’s a very comfortable learning environment and having so many different people to learn and train with makes the classes fun.

At this point in my career, I had started losing flexibility and agility. Even after running, swimming, and weight training every day, I was still feeling uncomfortable bending over to tie my shoes or just getting up of the floor. Since training with GBRP, I have gotten back all of my agility, flexibility, and spark for training again. I look forward to classes every day. Training with GBRP has helped me become more focused in my daily life.”

Richard HendersonRichard Henderson

“Gracie Barra Rohnert Park has really become a home away from home for me. Not only is it a place where I can go to train my body and mind, I also have the opportunity to enjoy the company of a fantastic group of people. Between the instructors and the students, there is a tremendous feeling of camaraderie.

At the Academy there are no doctors, policemen, college students, or mechanics – we’re all jiu-jitsu players. Everyone is clearly on the same team, working towards a common goal. Once you step on the mat, what happens outside is left behind and you have your time to focus.

For me, training at GBRP offers a great escape from my day – and a healthy alternative to other options. I also really appreciate the physical conditioning and self defense elements that stay with me once I walk out the door and back into the real world. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

Brandon Petro

“I love  Gracie Barra Rohnert Park because if the dedication and commitment from the Professor, Coaches, Program Director, and the Students. It is a combination of all these things that make GBRP so Special. Professor Bill is a two time World Champion from Brazil. He chose Rohnert Park to share his top level Jiu Jitsu. We are so lucky to have him here. I dare you to look around and find a better Professor North of San Francisco. His mentality and passion has created an environment where anyone can feel safe and comfortable to train at the highest level of Jiu Jitsu. He has groomed his Coaches from the ground up to teach his techniques and philosophies. When you join GBRP you are becoming a member of a family that is dedicated to moving forward making each individuals life better. You will become physically fit, disciplined and happy. You will grow a positive mental attitude that will carry you through every situation in life. Leave all your problems at the door. When you train in this environment it is not only physical but mental therapy. I cant say enough good things about GBRP. Just join and start training. Give yourself the opportunity to become the best version of yourself that is possible.”

Sophorn Ouk

“I have been training since I was 22 Years old and I am currently 29 years young. I first started with a combination of Muay Thai, Boxing, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I loved and dedicated myself to all three sports but fell most in-love with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I fell in love with the “Gentle Art” because it was a very technical sport and loved that fact that it was a thinking game, similar to that of the board game called Chess. I loved the benefits it offered:  being more physically fit, mentally stronger, and the discipline I gained, the more calm I became. I can definitely admit, it’s a lifestyle that I carry and am very proud to say that I am a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner under Aparecido Bill Farias.

Aparecido BIll Farias is my Black Belt instructor and I’ve been under him ever since I stepped foot on the mat. He taught me everything I’ve learned, taught me to be a better man, and most of importantly, taught me that loyalty goes a long way. Professor Bill is a 2x Brazilian Jiu Jitsu World Champion and I am very proud of what he has accomplished and his accomplishments obviously show. He achieved his school, his recognition, and the respect he receives from his Coaches and Students.

The facility in which we train, is an state of the art facility. Professor has implemented a facility that harbors strength, passion, respect, and the opportunity to learn. His coaches are a mirror of him: strong, respectful, and loyal. His students are like sponges, taking in and absorbing everything their Professor teaches. The facility is very clean and bright, which gives the students the opportunity to trained in a well-ventilated, clean, and respected academy.

In conclusion, Gracie Barra Rohnert Park is where I will be training for many years to come. I wear my heart on my left-wrist and the Gracie Barra emblem on my right-wrist, which therefore, only love and respect will come out of me!”

Mandi Sumner

Nearly a year ago, I signed my eldest son up to train in Jiu Jitsu  at Gracie Barra Rohnert Park. By doing so, I had to step out of  my comfort zone, but it meant I would be helping my son to build his confidence. As it was, the staff at GBRP were amazing! So friendly! Professor Bill made us feel so welcome! Ross, who answered all my questions and signed my son  up, really helped to ease my nerves and make me realize Jiu Jitsu is so much different to any other martial art. Since signing my son up, I have watched his confidence go from strength to strength, and I have watched his ability with Jiu Jitsu really become defined. Being a single parent, with 3 children, their are some things I can not teach my children. Professor Bill and his extremely professional coaching staff, have given my son some very healthy role models to look up to! Within recent months, I have joined the academy too! I unfortunately can only train on Saturdays, but I look forward to every Saturday! And even more recently, my younger 2 sons have joined! I have seen the change Jiu Jitsu, Professor Bill, and   all the coaches have brought into my eldest son, I want this for all our family. Being a girl out on the mat during training, means nothing! They don’t treat me like a “girl”… They treat me like a beginner! I have a lot of respect for all of the coaches, and for all who train at GBRP too! Being a beginner, you are paired up with a higher belt to train on the techniques, I’ve trained with a new person each time, and everyone is so patient and willing to help you learn to the best  of your ability without pushing you to breaking point! I am so thankful and grateful for the support shown by Professor Bill and all of the other coaches to us and the other families, they really do make you feel at home and part of a bigger family! I look forward to the day when I am sharing the mat with my children and we are training together!

Francisco

I have been at Gracie Barra Rohnert Park for 3-4 years now. I must say my experience there has been awesome. Everybody is very respectful and helpful from staff to coaches and professor Bill.  Who is a great person in general and has been doing this for 25 plus years. I truly recommend GBRP, not just to get you in shape but to deal with our everyday life.

Andrea Demakas

I walked in to Gracie Barra Rohnert Park with the intention of trying out an introductory session, and walked out the same evening signed up as a new member. The Staff, Coaches, and Members of the Academy were all very welcoming from the first session I attended, and remain to be so to this day. The decision to train here became clear to me immediately after my first class; once I had been on the mat with such great Coaches and Teammates, I had to come back for more. I could tell that this was the type of place I wanted and needed to be at, as the sense of Community, hard work, and compassion was overwhelming in the best way possible.

Being female, I find training at GBRP to be a highly empowering experience and the Academy has been very hospitable to me. When I come here, I feel safe and challenged at the same time. At the Academy I am able let go, to push the boundaries of my physical comfort in a healthy way, and to find parts of my personality that I never knew of before. I am inspired by the hard work that Everyone at GBRP puts in during training sessions, and I see it the positive impact this Community has on every aspect of my life. This Academy is more than just a gym or an activity; it has become a part of my life that I never want to leave behind.

Mario Robledo

Gracie Barra Rohnert Park under head instructor, 4th Degree Black Belt Aparecido Bill is the real deal and my Academy is a great place to learn and it truly has become a family to me. One of my biggest concerns was finding a place conducive to learning, a place where someone who just wanted to learn and grow from it was accepted, a place that wasn’t filled with the stereotypical meatheads that would beat you up to see what you were made of or made you prove yourself before being accepted. My Academy is the exact opposite. I learned this the first time I stepped foot inside. I paid close attention to the Coaches and the students, how they interacted with each other. I immediately saw there was a mutual respect among all of them. In the last two years, I have made some good friends. It’s a place where I can go and just feel good and happy. It’s a place where I can leave my troubles at the door for a while and just have fun. I have not only learned from my Professor and my Coaches, I have learned so much from my fellow Students. I have been one who doesn’t stick with certain things (going to the gym, etc…) but this is something that I truly enjoy and aside from learning a cool thing, what really keeps me coming back is all the people of GBRP. Starting from Professor Bill, to Coaches Elliott, Mike, Kyle, Paul, Sam and all the assistant Coaches and especially all my fellow Students, who have all, and keep being a huge help for me in my growth and journey.

Phil Baca

I was introduced to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu by two of my closest friends who had been suggesting that I try it for about 2 years before I became a member.  As I look back I see that my hesitation to try it was due to my lack of self confidence.  Finally I hit a point in my life where I felt I needed discipline, direction, and purpose.  After realizing what BJJ has done for my two friends in their lives as a whole, it was hard to ignore the fact that they were getting something more than what you would get from just ‘working out’.  I looked at Gracie Barra Rohnert Park’s website, read Professor Bill’s bio and that’s when I decided to scheduled my introductory class.

I’ve never studied any martial art, only played (what I consider) basic sports, baseball, football, and golf so my intimidation factor was very high. My first contact with Ross the Program Director actually put me at ease (and this was over the phone).  When I walked into the academy I was greeted by Ross, handed a Gi, and hit the mat. Again my intimidation factor is still very high, maybe a little higher now that I’m actually doing this.  I was paired up with someone who is MUCH more experienced than me yet was VERY humble, patient, and accommodating.  There was NO ego and I felt like this person whom I never met before, had a genuine interest in my learning. Before I even got off of the mat I discovered that BJJ is the sport for me!

I could see right away that the benefits of BJJ pour into all areas of life.  Professor Bill, the Coaches, and the Program Director all foster a positive way of life both on and off the mat.  This is the first time I’ve ever seen instructors or coaches take a genuine interest in ALL of their student’s positive physical and mental development through the sport of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  There is nothing else like it!

After about four months of training my son who’s 8, asked if he could try it.  Inside I was thrilled but held my excitement back.  If he didn’t like it (which I knew without a shadow of a doubt he would) I didn’t want him to feel that I would be disappointed.  I scheduled his first class and he loved it.  He is now a member and we are growing together in a very positive way.  We are gaining confidence without arrogance or ego and a level of respect for ourselves that we never had before. With confidence I recommend BJJ to anyone and everyone (both male and female of all ages). Especially to study at Gracie Barra Rohnert Park.  If you are looking for forward positive movement in your physical and mental being, this is the place for you!

Jenette Huse

Hi my name is Jenette Huse and I love Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  The first time that I tried Jiu -Jitsu, I couldn’t get enough of it, which is good because I love training.  It makes me feels good about myself in many ways ( mentally and physically especially).  I made many new friends who are very kind and willing to help me when I need it on a technique. I just cannot believe that I sat at the bench for 1 year, sitting by myself just watching my kids and my Husband train and have a blast.  When my husband first took me to watch for the first time, I said to him: “Oh, that’s to mush close-body contact, I can’t do that…”.  Now, if I don’t train, it seems as if there is something missing. Jiu-Jitsu is more than just a fun and amazing way to learn self defense, it is also great conditioning for the body, mind, and spirit.  Jiu-Jitsu really changed my life and I’m immensely grateful and proud for the many accomplishments that I have achieved in life.

Lissa Hanwright

My family has been attending Gracie Barra Jiu Jitsu Rohnert Park for a year now and I am extremely happy with the experience.  There is great emphasis on discipline and yet the instructors are all very kind, patient and helpful with the children.  I have a 10 year old daughter in the Juniors class and a 6 year old son in the Future Champs class.  My children have become much more helpful and responsible at home since attending these classes.  This school is providing real and valuable lessons for life – focus, discipline, respect and honor – in addition to martial arts.  I am grateful to be a part of it.

Mark & Kaileena

Let me start off by saying I could not be a prouder Father of my daughter Kaileena. She has been training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at Gracie Barra Rohnert Park for almost a year and a half. She loves to go to class and learn new techniques but, sparring is her favorite by far. Since she started training I’ve notice improvement in her agility, focus, and mental toughness. Her future goals for BJJ are to obtain a black belt and no doubt she will one day achieve that goal. Kaileena loves to compete in tournaments. She has competed in six so far and has placed in all, winning gold in her last two. She has never turned down a match and is willing to compete in heavier weight classes against older boys and girls ranging from white thru orange belts. It shows how confident she is in her training and the coaches at Gracie Barra. Kaileena’s success has been due to great coaches and excellent class mates she trains with. She likes the challenge of one on one combat using proper technique and controlling her emotions when on the mat. She has learned a lot from training at GBRP not only for the class but tools for life outside the class. BJJ is putting her on the right track for success in life. She is the bravest kid I’ve ever met and look forward to see what her journey in life brings to her.

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