The cornerstones of our academy are the beliefs that, first, anyone can participate. Size, gender, fitness level, and types of experience makes no difference to us. We believe that anyone can learn and thrive in our sport. But, our programs are designed for adults and we require that students are at least 18 years old.
Secondly, we believe you can only instruct from experience. All instructors are either Black or Brown belt rank and have had competitive experience with and without the Gi.
Progression in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is really the point. We all want to achieve something in our practice. None of us trains in this sport to stay at the same level, to not improve.
Progression is infinite so long as your effort is diligent and consistent. But, I argue it is incremental if your practice remains within the confines of your own academy. You are exposed to only 80% of the potential opportunities for growth and development if you do not venture outside your comfort zone.
Competition is that remaining 20%.
I am a staunch advocate of competing. It does so many things. It does not matter if it is just one match or one hundred: the value in the entire process, from preparation to performance to after party, cannot be duplicated by doing anything else.
Competing answers our questions and creates new ones. It gives us brutal, honest feedback. It can break our heart and make us feel invincible. It forges something within us and bonds us all together, forever.
But eventually our bodies will revolt against our minds and say no more. The weight of life interferes and we will have to slow down and eventually (maybe) stop. The real value in competing is to avoid regret. It is far more painful to say ‘I missed the thrill’ that to say ‘I miss the thrill.’ The following is a quote I have held onto for many years. I apologize but I cannot remember the author to give them proper credit:
There is no greater tragedy in life than dying without doing everything possible to find out who and what you really are
Compete just once. That is all you need. You will see what I mean.
The first lesson for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is the most valuable. But it isn’t easy. Doing anything under pressure causes stress. Stress elicits our natural fight or flight response. You cannot avoid this response, but you can train to maximize either (or both). Training how you breath will lead to enhanced practice and performance….
I personally have trained under Chris’s tutelage since 2008 and have not strayed nor couldn’t be happier. Chris pushes you when you need it and helps overcome the hurdles when they inevitably arrive. He guides you, creating a foundation of knowledge for you to grow upon. Chris is great at breaking down theories and techniques so that you can learn and apply them but more importantly adapt them into your own personal grappling game. As a coach I do not know anyone with a resume better than Chris’s. He’s trained and cornered several amateur and professional MMA fighters while still coaching/attending world renowned Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournaments. Everyone responds to different types of coaching, Chris has the amazing ability recognize what works best for the student to create mutual success. I consider myself fortunate to have found such a great coach and look forward to continuing my knowledge and advancement with him well into the future.
I’ve trained with tae kwon do instructors that are in the hall of fame for both competing and coaching and Chris surpasses them easily. Traditional instructors are notorious for teaching everyone the same way, in a cookie cutter fashion. Chris fully understands that everyone has their own style and spends extensive time to help each student find their way. What works for me, might not work for you. Either way, Chris will help you figure it out.
Chris’s instruction has led me to meet all of my goals in the sport of BJJ. Through his expert instruction I have medaled in almost every tournament I have competed in, including international competition. Chris has the unique ability to attract the best of the best from all over northeast Ohio. Several students travel as far as an hour each way to get the most technical and applicable training. One of the decisions I have made in the last five years was to walk into Ohio BJJC!
-Eric P .
Chris Chard is an amazing coach and instructor. He takes his time to show you whatever it is you are working on for that class, and will work with you until you have it mastered. From day one Chris has been nothing but helpful. He takes pride in the academy and it shows. I am glad he has helped me from the ground up. He is compassionate about Jiu Jitsu, passionate about helping others learn and both of those are great characteristics to have in an instructor and coach if you are serious about training Jiu Jitsu.
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