From Humble Beginnings, to a Locally Known School, We Bring You Gracie Barra Clearwater
Gracie Barra Clearwater recently held it’s grand opening on Thanksgiving day. Heading the league for the school is Jiu-Jitsu head coach Eduardo de Lima. He learned Jiu-Jitsu in Gracie Barra Rio Martiz. Currently a 4th degree black belt under the tutelge of Master Carlos Gracie.
In a short, but rather candid conversion with Professor De Lima, he brings us some of the events that transpired in Gracie Barra Clearwater’s Grand Opening.
GB.com: So this grand opening is geared towards promoting the school. If I understand it correctly. What can the students expect from your school?
Professor Eduardo: The Grand Opening intends not only to promote our new school, but also to celebrate all the efforts we have been putting into making this new endeavor work. I am not alone in this. I have been having the help of some faithful students and friends. I can tell you that all my students, old and new, and the ones that will become, can expect all my dedication. I will be there to provide them with the best Jiu-Jitsu in town. My intention is to build a strong community around our school, a safe environment where parents can bring their children to learn and make new friends. I see Gracie Barra Clearwater as a place that offers its members a path towards a healthier lifestyle already, but now we will be in a much better location; in a spacious and clean building with lots of room for us to grow.”
GB.com: Tell us something unique about GB Clearwater
Professor Eduardo: A unique thing about our school is that no matter how hidden it’s been all these years, and how no money I invested in marketing whatsoever, people that were seeking for the real Jiu-Jitsu were always able to find us. From the times when I had the school in my one car garage, to now, hiding in a warehouse, next to a railroad track. Word of mouth, I guess. More than that, though, I think that what sets us apart from many other martial arts schools is that we have always been able to attract people from all walks of life, from the guy that washes dishes at a restaurant to the PhD that teaches at universities. And then you see a brotherhood that happens, and friendships that are formed. I think that’s the most rewarding thing in my profession; that me and my school can be a tool to help improve somebody’s life, that I can spend time with my students and through sharing our stories we can help each other become better persons.
GB.com: I think the timing is just great which is in time for thanksgiving. Tell us your thoughts about it…
Professor Eduardo: Timing is really everything. I had not planned for it to happen this way, but I am happy it did.
This morning me and a group of students got up a little before 6 and met at the new school. At 7:30 we were all in our Gracie Barra Gi’s, getting ready to run the Turkey Trot, a traditional Thanksgiving race here in Florida. We joined another 20,000 people and ran a 5k. Some of the younger guys ran fast, some of us jogged, but we did it as a team, and I am Thankful for that.
I consider myself a very wealthy man; I am healthy, I have a beautiful family, food on my table everyday, and supportive friends and students that believe in me. I have been given the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives through the teachings on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and for that I am thankful everyday.
GB.com: Your school runs different programs all at once. How do you it?
Professor Eduardo: We follow the programs recommended by Gracie Barra headquarters. The way I see, all those programs are connected; one feeds the other. Children are the base of any school. They need to be heard and nurtured. Building a strong Children’s program is the key to success in any school. The same thought can be applied to the Fundamentals program. Students enrolled in that program need to feel safe and motivated to learn everyday.The Advanced and Black Belt programs will be there to allow students to develop their game and deepen their knowledge of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I will be teaching most of the classes, and will have the help of certified instructors.