The Gracie Barra Fighter Program in Garden Grove
GG in the gaming world stands for good game; an honorable way of saying ‘it was a fight well fought. “It’s also the moniker for Gracie Barra Garden Grove being lead by Coach Eric Nostrand. We think that the name is very apt for the school. While news of the Gracie Barra Fighter program is slowly reaching the BJJ world, Coach Eric Nostrand shares his thoughts about helping the Garden Grove Academy. Also, in the heart of Southern California’s BJJ scene is a school that promotes the competitive spirit of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu through its fighter program.
Coach Nostrand shares, “Garden Grove is an amazing school with a very important history within Gracie Barra in America. “GG” from my understanding was the first GB school that emerged in Southern California outside of the Lake Forest/Irvine location, the location that Professor Marcio Feitosa and the other Gracie Barra pioneers had founded.
“In my opinion, this was a very important step for the organization. It showed that students within the Gracie Barra system had opportunities to partake in the mission of a Gracie Barra in every city and also proved that the GB system was producing a student base that was capable of representing the Martial Art and the team in a way that the headquarters would approve of.
“This time last year due to personal struggles the original owner of the Garden Grove Academy could no longer run and manage the studio and had to step away. Without the ability to continue to manage and run the school, I was approached and asked if I was able to get involved at the academy. I was instantly impressed by the camaraderie of the student base & jumped on the opportunity to work in the Garden Grove community.”
“Since then we’ve staffed the school with an amazing black belt professor in Joseph Guttierez and brought in Alex D’Hue as the academies program director. Alex has proven himself to be a world class coach of kids Jiu Jitsu programs and has played a very important role in building the school to what it is today. It makes me so proud to see our hard work paying off in Garden Grove. Our Future Champions classes are always packed now too and the parents are very happy with their children’s progress as young martial artists.”
When asked about what makes Garden Grove unique, Eric mentions the newest program that they are offering. The Gracie Barra Fighter program focuses on the competitive aspect of the art of the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
“Another very exciting program that has sprouted from Garden Groves success is the ability of Gracie Barra Garden Grove to participate in a project they launched known as at Barra Fighter program,” he mentions.
“Gracie Barra Fighter is essentially a competitor, program director & instructor development program where Gracie Barra competitors are able to live an uninterrupted Jiu-Jitsu lifestyle with little to no distractions & worries.
He further explains, “the athletes who are currently in the program are traveling to Gracie Barra Irvine, Northridge, Whittier and Garden Grove every morning to train with some of the teams top professors, students and competitors. Then at night time they have responsibilities at the academies. Our goals are to develop those in the Barra Fighter program into elite competitors and at the same time build them into assets to academies with irreplaceable skill sets in program directing & instructing.
What makes this a very exciting project is that these guys have an all expenses paid opportunity. They’re living under one roof. They have access to world class Jiu-Jitsu training. Our sponsor Mbody Strength is providing the team with daily strength and conditioning at the facility in Brea, California. They’re being treated as the true athletes that they are. After about 1 pm when their daily team training is done, they’re assigned to an academy to perform afternoon duties. They’re currently playing a very fun and exciting role in the academies and the students are really enjoying their contributions. You can often see the Barra Fighter athletes at Gracie Barra Garden Grove assisting in classes and being the friendly face that greets you at the front door.”
2013 promises more programs and changes for Garden Grove as they look to expand their program. Also this year, a 9-week program for the young ones is sure to keep everyone’s kid busy this summer. Two new fighters will be joining the Gracie Barra fighter house as they look to expand the program further.
For more information about the program, you may contact Coach Eric Nostrand through GB Garden Grove’s website.