Archive for February, 2018

Archive for February, 2018

7 Reasons to Start Training Jiu Jitsu Today

Lucas Lepri teaching a technique to adult class

For those of you know don’t know what Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is, here it is in a nutshell. It is a grappling martial art, meaning the focus is on controlling your opponent on the ground. BJJ is similar to wrestling, but the crucial difference is that instead of the endgame being to pin your opponent’s shoulders to the ground, Jiu Jitsu practitioners master submissions that would incapacitate an opponent, including chokes, arm bars, and leg locks.

If you’re like the majority of the world that has never tried Jiu Jitsu, you need to. Today. It will change your life (cheesy, but true) and here are seven reasons why.


1) A valuable skill that requires strenuous exercise.

Let’s start with the obvious. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a sport, and it requires a level of physical strength, stamina, and dexterity you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. Unique in the martial arts world, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu sparring practice is trained without holding back, except there is no striking in Jiu Jitsu. You use your full range of motion and strength, making for the toughest workout you’ve probably ever had in your life.

Instead of going to the gym with the sole purpose of building strength and stamina, build strength and stamina naturally through learning a martial art that you’ll most likely want to do for the rest of your life.

2) Find community anywhere in the world.

There is an odd-yet-awesome sense of community amongst BJJ practitioners. When you travel anywhere in the world there is a strong sense of camaraderie. As a member of Alliance, the most successful Brazilian Jiu Jitsu team in the world, joining the Lucas Lepri Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy in Charlotte, NC will instantly give you access to a worldwide network of teammates. These people are literally thrilled to have you visit their gyms, and will treat you like an honored guest whether you train there during an overnight business trip or an extended vacation.


3) Effective self defense (especially against bigger opponents).

Almost all real-life fights, like muggings and sexual assaults, end on the ground. The shocking reality is that if you take away a person’s ability to kick and punch by pinning them to the ground, most people panic and flail totally ineffectively. Because of this, when martial art practitioners who specialize in striking face an expert Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner, they usually lose the fight the moment it goes to the floor.

Skill – not size – is the major deciding factor in BJJ fights. Take a few minutes to watch a couple of classes tonight at the Lepri BJJ Academy (we are right nearby, in Matthews!). There, you can witness first-hand the reason why Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is considered one of the most effective forms of self defense for both men and women.

4) Learn how to keep a level head under extreme stress.

In the BJJ world we have an adage about beginning practitioners: “The white belt is about learning to survive.” Learning to work through the panic of what your body perceives as very real danger is essential if you want to progress from a flailing newbie to a skilled fighter. In order to execute the appropriate sequence of responses you need to develop incredible stress-management skills.

These skills transfer to every aspect of your life. Students report that learning to problem-solve under stressful conditions enables them to make similarly smart and effective decisions in their everyday life, at home and at work.


5) Develop patience and surround yourself with patient people.

If you’re looking for the quick satisfaction our world has come to expect from martial arts – go to class, learn 5 forms, take a test, get your belt… you’re in the wrong place. In our modern era where it seems that instant gratification is the ultimate measure of excellence, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu provides something you can’t easily find anymore: arduous, challenging, and extremely meaningful measures of success.

It takes the average Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner ten years to get their black belt. Ten years of consistent training.

So get ready to work hard for your belts. There is no shortcut to your blue belt or beyond. Develop the skills. Put in the work. Improve your technique. That’s how you advance.

6) Gain a level of self-confidence most people never achieve.

There is a moment roughly 6-12 months into your Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training when you walk through a crowd and suddenly realize: “Wow. Not a single person in this crowd can harm me.”

Of course that doesn’t mean that practicing BJJ means you should pick fights. But knowing that you are not in physical danger really does change the game. All of a sudden your macho, bullying boss at work seems a lot less threatening. As a woman, walking alone at night doesn’t make you feel helpless or vulnerable.


7) Get comfortable with losing. The fastest way to lose a harmful ego.

There is no place for an ego on the mats. There is no time from the day you step onto the mats to the next 50 years of your life where you will be certain of victory. In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, there will always be opponents who seem like they are pinning your flailing body down with apparently no effort. When you tap out for the third time in that five-minute sparring round, you’ll both share a smile, a good-natured slap of the hands, and go at it again.

It is a humbling experience without a doubt. In a gym led by famous athletes, like Lucas Lepri’s gym in Charlotte, you’ll get more than your typical share of people who will consistently have stronger techniques than you. Be thankful. Learning to lose may be one of the most important lessons you learn – not just on the mats, but in your life. It is okay to realize that you still have more to learn.

Time to train.

No one puts it better than author and podcaster Tim Ferriss: “You are the average of the five people you most associate with.” At the Lucas Lepri Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Fitness gym, you will find the highest caliber of athletes as well as the most welcoming community. Surround yourself with excellence, with worthy opponents, with champions…and you will inevitably become those things too.

So, if you in the Matthews or Ballantyne area, get in your car and come visit us at the Lucas Lepri Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy! Today is the perfect day to start your Jiu Jitsu journey.

7 Reasons to Register Your Child for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Today

We believe every child should experience the benefits of training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu! Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a grappling martial art, meaning the focus is on controlling your opponent on the ground. BJJ is similar to wrestling. However, instead of working to pin your opponent’s shoulders to the ground, Jiu Jitsu practitioners master submissions including chokes, arm bars, and leg locks.

Here are seven reasons we think your child will benefit from training with us in our Lucas Lepri Academy in Charlotte!

1) Prevent bullying.

brazilian jiu jitsu anti bullying kids together lucas lepri

Fear of bullying has troubled many parents. The thought of our child being bullied, or possibly even bullying others, scares us. How can we best prepare our children for a world where bullying is a reality?

Jiu Jitsu teaches children how to harness their energy into an art that gives them the power to protect themselves and the self restraint to protect their opponents.

It is a completely natural human behavior to physically and mentally challenge others. All children will at some time in their lives be on the receiving end of that reality, as well as the perpetrator.

Our society’s method for dealing with our sometimes-aggressive human nature is to attempt to quash it completely. We focus on the bullies themselves and on punishing them in the hopes they will stop.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu provides a way to address the cause of the problem, for both bullies and the bullied. We give children the opportunity to express a very natural desire to test their bodies and minds against peers in a respectful, non-harmful way.

2) The most non-violent method self defense.

brazilian jiu jitsu child with instructor lucas lepriMost martial arts focus on striking (kicks and punches). Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, however, focuses on incapacitating an opponent without actually harming him/her. During classes, children learn how to get out of danger by maneuvering their opponent without causing injury.

We had one particular student, we’ll call him Daniel, who was being repeatedly bullied by a larger, older boy. One day, Daniel felt he had to defend himself. He used Jiu Jitsu techniques to maneuver the boy onto the floor. There, Daniel could use leverage to hold the larger boy still until an adult could help. The boy was unharmed, and never bullied Daniel again.

brazilian jiu jitsu kid promotion lucas lepri

3) Help your child develop self-confidence.

Children often feel out of control of their lives. At home, important decisions are made for them by necessity. They can often feel that way in school too.

At your local Jiu Jitsu gym, the Lucas Lepri Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy, your child will learn to think and act independently in a safe environment. Through practicing techniques and learning to apply them in supervised sparring, your child will feel empowered.

Through seeing results in his/her ability to apply techniques, your child will gain immense self-confidence.

One of our students – we’ll call her Julie – was so painfully shy when she joined the Academy that she was unable to say hello to instructors for several months. Her mother has approached us repeatedly over the years, expressing her certainty that Jiu Jitsu was the reason her daughter gained the self-confidence she has today.

With time, patience, and practice, all of our students grow and develop both physically and mentally.


4) Friendships with children and families who share your values.

brazilian jiu jitsu family lucas lepri

The sense of community in our Charlotte Lepri BJJ Academy is unparalleled. In our second anniversary celebration, we asked our adult students and kids to write one word to describe their favorite thing about our academy. The word that was written far more than any other was “Family.”

We love our Charlotte family! If you are anywhere near Matthews or the Ballantyne area, we truly would love to welcome you into our community.

5) Don’t “do exercise” – develop a healthy lifestyle with an active sport!

brazilian jiu jitsu kids sparring

In our era of technology and fast food, we all know the very real dangers to our children’s health and mental wellbeing. Having an active lifestyle and having active hobbies has never been more important.

Adults often develop the self-discipline to go to the gym and force their bodies to exercise for the sake of health. We cannot – and should not – expect children to exercise strictly for health reasons. Not when there is a fun way to exercise while developing an important skill!

Allow your child to fall in love Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, an activity that provides all the physical activity he/she needs.

6) Develop respect and feel respected.

brazilian jiu jitsu kids respect lucas lepri

At the Lucas Lepri Academy, your child will learn to be aware of their partner in all interactions. Because of this, you child will develop genuine respect and care for their partners.

Children are not born knowing how to demonstrate respect. We teach them specific instructions for showing others respect: look people in the eye, speak clearly, say please and thank you.

In Jiu Jitsu, children learn profound and subtle ways of showing respect. Techniques require students to be keenly aware of their partner, and executing such techniques during sparring demonstrates incredible awareness of the other student.


7) Real experiences that show that boys and girls are strong.

brazilian jiu jitsu kids working with woman lucas lepri

We can all agree one one thing: girls are strong!

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is one of the few combat sports where it is common for girls to tap out boys (and vice versa). Boys and girls train together, as do men and women in the sport. While boys certainly have weight advantages as they age, girls often have other advantages. For example, smaller students find it easier to escape from certain positions and to defend against many attacks more effectively.

In Jiu Jitsu, boys and girls have a unique opportunity to learn a strenuous sport where there is no clear advantage that boys have against girls.

As often as we say “girls are strong,” there are many opportunities in our culture to learn otherwise. There are many sports where boys have a clear advantage. Girls are separated from boys in competitions because of the perceived advantage of boys. We can all learn so much from immersing ourselves in a new reality. In Jiu Jitsu, boys learn first-hand that girls are strong, and girls learn first-hand that they are not helpless.

Start today!

As you can tell, we strongly believe in what we do. We are truly excited to have your family join our community. We look forward to seeing you soon!

brazilian jiu jitsu kids class lucas lepri

Valentine’s Day – BJJ Couples

Happy Valentine’s Day!

This year for Valentine’s Day, we thought we’d let you meet a few of the couples training at the Lepri Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy!

We asked couples what it was like to train BJJ together. Here are responses from just three of the many couples and families training at our gym.

Meet our BJJ couples!

Anna & Joel

In this family, mom, dad, and kids train at the Lepri BJJ Academy!

Joel started training first, and trained for almost three years before Anna joined.

Now, they both love training together, and enjoy a sport they can share with their kids!




Taísa & Frederico

Our very own instructor Freddy loves sharing the mats with Taísa and their kids!

Freddy started training first, still in his teens. In fact, after years of training BJJ at different gyms, this is the first time they are training at the same gym here at the Lucas Lepri BJJ Academy!



Adriana & Rodrigo

This couple actually met on the mats, and have never looked back!

Rod started training first, about three years before meeting Adriana when she joined the academy where they trained in Nicaragua.





What is it like to train BJJ as a couple?

We asked our students a few questions about their experience training Jiu Jitsu as a couple, and here’s what they said.

How did you start training together?

Joel : It took some time for [Anna] to warm up to the idea [of training]. But what pushed her into it was watching our two oldest boys compete in some local tournaments. She is very competitive and fiesty, so naturally she fell in love.

What do you love about training together?

Taísa : We love many things about training together, not just the benefits of training, but everything that Jiu-Jitsu covers. We learn from each other, we share expectations and a passion for Arte Suave (the direct translation of Jiu Jitsu), we have excellent quality time together and we are happy to share the mats. It’s great to have someone who understands and shares your profession or hobby, understanding the joys and difficulties.

Anna : We love training together because it is fun and we keep it playful and always laugh.

Rod : Just the fact that something I love so much, Jiu Jitsu, is something we can do together is so awesome. Not many women train Jiu Jitsu, especially not where we started [in Nicaragua].

What do you hate about training together?

Joel : She does not like the fact that she can never pass my guard or submit me.

Adriana : Rod does this really annoying thing I hate, and I tell him I hate it and he still does it. When we roll I go really hard because I need to tap him out! And I get a lot of good submission attempts on him, and make him work. When he’s been fighting for his life for a couple of minutes and he finally passes my guard and gets me in side control, he just stops there, squashing me, and gives me a kiss on the cheek. It infuriates me, and I’m spazzing out trying to get out, and I can’t. That little kiss just seems to say “aww, you’re so cute when you fight,” and I am trying to be everything but cute when we fight.

Funniest thing that has ever happened to you while training together on the mats?

Adriana : Part of my plot to get closer to Rod when we first met was to challenge him to this BJJ battle. We made these funny specs videos of both of us with our fight faces on, and I made this face-off poster and posted it all over Facebook. I’m actually a little embarrassed about it now. But it worked, because after that fight we went out to lunch and that was the day of our first kiss!

Anna : Every time I try to jump over his guard , it never works …but we always end up laughing. It does not however stops me from trying lol. One day it will work ? 

Taísa : The funniest thing is not exactly on the mats, but when we study positions at home on the carpet, it’s not very comfortable but it sure is funny.