Local Martial Arts: Victor Estima at Gracie Barra Gloucester

Smiles as Victor Estima sits at the front after teaching
young and old to choke each other.

Victor Estima, a gold medallist in European and World Championship Brazillian Jiu Jitsu visited Gloucester Gracie Barra on the 1st Nov to give a master class in grappling. With a dojo that itself has many medal winners, Victor had a huge amount to teach. The centrally yet discreetly located Seishin Dojo had over 40 keen Jiu Jitsu practitioners of all levels learning techniques that would allow them to sweep opponents of all sizes and control them for sporting or self defence purposes.

Cirencester Scene’s Evan Burgess took part in the seminar and got some top tips from Victor.

At the back, six new blue belts stand proud.
Having taught a seminar in Bergen, Norway the night before, Victor had found himself trapped in an airport for 15 hours. This didn’t reduce his enthusiasm or energy once he began instructing in the sport he loves. He gave individual advice and notes to all participants, including allowing them to perform the techniques on him.

The best part about the seminar was the team work and humour that flooded through the dojo. At no point was anyone left out, and this goes a long way to explain why men clock off work and volunteer to grapple for an hour and a half up to six days a week.

As Victor is a black belt, he is entitled to hand out new belts to BJJ practitioners. Visiting once every six months, Victor came bearing gifts. Unlike some martial arts, Brazillian Jiu Jitsu takes a long time to progress in, with less belts than Karate and Judo, but Nov 1st saw six Gracie Barra students upgraded to Blue Belt. The journey to these belts took each individual between one and two years to achieve. But they aren’t done!

Victor demonstrates an attack from guard position.
From blue belt there are just two more belts to get to black belt, but the journey from that point can last anywhere from four to seven years with constant training. Victor offered his wisdom when giving out belts, “I don’t see this as me giving you a belt, but as you earning it and me being lucky enough to hand what’s yours over. But bear one thing in mind, it is far better to be a white belt who can defeat a black belt, than be a black belt who can’t do anything. It’s not about what belt you have.”

This is an important point, and one that means many Brazillian Jiu Jitsu practitioners have the edge over students of other martial arts, where the techniques may rely on a great amount of physical prowess and flexibility most people don’t possess. Brazillian Jiu Jitsu is the equaliser for someone who wants to defend them self but can’t rely on strength and power. Incapacitating techniques taught include manipulating the clothes someone wears against them in order to leverage a bigger opponent to the ground.

Intense sparring sessions ensure that the techniques are constantly pressure tested, without the danger of head injury that comes with striking sports. However, for the first six months of training, most of these sparring sessions are conditional and won’t leave anyone in a situation they can’t cope with. To find out more about Brazillian Jiu Jitsu, visit Gracie Barra Gloucester for your first session and feel first hand why kids and adults alike are taking to Jiu Jitsu like wild fire.
Contact details can be found below!
07973 740295

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