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Brazilian Jiu-jitsu studio to re-open in Denver

ELIZABETH HEFFNER
Staff Writer

The BJJ Inc.-Fight to Win Brazilian Jiu Jitsu of Denver is opening its doors in 2014 under new management.
On Jan. 18 the martial arts academy will host a grand re-opening event for its students and the county’s community members.
New owner and Head Instructor Jon Plyler bought the business from his former partners at the end of August, but decided to postpone celebrating the new ownership until the start of 2014.
“The reopening is really to highlight the change in ownership,” Plyler said.
An affiliate of Charlotte’s Fight to Win Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, the Denver martial arts facility opened for business three years ago.
“When we first started out, this was just a part-time operation, primarily a Tae Kwon Do school before,” Plyler said. “Then the guy that used to own the school started getting interested in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.”
Today, the academy has fully phased out their Tae Kwon Do classes, exclusively running as a full-time Brazilian Jiu-jitsu facility. BJJ Inc. is open Monday through Thursday for class instruction, and on Friday, students can hone their skills in a supervised open-mat setting.
For Plyler, his passion for martial arts started at a young age. He began his martial arts training at the age of 12. After 15 years of training and teaching traditional martial arts, he began to get involved in grappling and ground fighting. In 2000, Plyler began cross-training in no-gi submission wrestling, and by 2004, he had begun formally training in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. Plyler is well versed in this style of martial arts, receiving his black belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu this past December.
“Unlike other martial arts styles, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is unique in that promotion doesn’t happen that often,” Plyler said. “It’s different in that earning belts is not based simply on learning a set of certain techniques. It’s more how you are applying the techniques in a live situation.”
While some physical activities are designed to rely on strength and size, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu gives its more petite opponents the upper hand.
“It’s designed to be used for the smaller, weaker person,” Plyler said. “It relies on leverage, proper positioning and body mechanics. I’ve seen kids and women who can beat a stronger but untalented man on the mat. It really does empower people.”
According to Plyler, the average Brazilian Jiu-jitsu student will take 10 years to go from an entry-level white belt to the coveted black belt.
“It tends to take two to four years to earn a new belt,” Plyler said, with the transition from white to blue, purple to brown and brown to black taking 2 years, and the transition from blue to purple taking four years.
“There’s always something else to learn,” Plyler said. “The art of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is continually evolving, especially from the sports side; people are constantly developing new positions. I myself am still picking up new details on the most basic techniques.”
Students of all ages and experience levels are welcome to sign up for class instruction. According to Plyler, the academy added classes for children in January 2013, and has done pretty well thus far.
“For the kids, we have three age groups,” Plyler said. “There’s a 4-6 year old group, a 7-9 year old group and a 10-13 year old group. Students that are over the age of 13 are placed into the adult courses.”
Unlike some martial arts academies, BJJ Inc. allows its students to pay up front or on a month-to-month basis. Rather than paying for the number of classes taken, the academy instead bases the price on a per person basis, allowing the student to take an unlimited amount of classes.
Currently, the martial arts academy has 60-70 adults and children enrolled.
“We definitely have plenty of room to grow,” Plyler said.
He hopes to recruit more students through his new discount incentives.
“To kick off the New Year, new students who register will get 50 percent off their first month of instruction,” Plyler said. “And new students that sign up at the official Grand Re-opening for classes will receive their first month free.”
The official Grand Re-opening of BJJ Inc. will start at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 18. According the Plyler, the celebration will start with a kids’ supervised open mat sparring period, followed by a formal ribbon cutting ceremony and grilled luncheon. That afternoon, adult members and affiliates will have the opportunity for an open mat period.
“We wanted to give our members the chance to hang out and allow community members to check out what we’re about,” Plyler said.
In addition to the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu courses, Plyler also plans to start Women’s P.O.W.E.R Self Defense Program at their academy. The first meeting will be held Saturday, Jan. 18, from 2-4 p.m. Students will meet on a monthly basis, and the cost to participate is $30 per session. According to Plyler, the class is designed to help women learn prevention strategies and techniques to effectively defend themselves against a sudden, violent assault. The program is open to women that are at least 14 years of age.
Those interested in learning more about the classes offered at BJJ Inc. should visit their website at www.bjjinc.com.

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