Brazilian master shares lessons with Crossroads Jiu-Jitsu

Michelle Revels By Michelle Revels

Jan. 20, 2018 at 9 p.m.
Updated Jan. 21, 2018 at 6 a.m.

Clark Gracie, the son of famed Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu master Carley Gracie leads, a class Wednesday at Crossroads Jiu-Jitsu. Gracie was in Victoria during a seven-stop tour of the South.

Clark Gracie, the son of famed Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu master Carley Gracie leads, a class Wednesday at Crossroads Jiu-Jitsu. Gracie was in Victoria during a seven-stop tour of the South.   Evan Lewis for The Victoria Advocate

For Trey Reyes and Clark Gracie, Jiu-Jitsu is not just a sport but a way of life.

"The lifestyle of Jiu-Jitsu is being able to teach and being able to work," Gracie said. "I teach what I love doing, so I feel like I never really work."

Reyes, 36, opened Crossroads Jiu-Jitsu, located inside Pure Fitness, about a year ago.

He has had a passion for this sport and coaching, and he was ready to start a journey of his own in Victoria.

"This gym means a lot to me, and we are still working on growing," Reyes said. "It's not just a hobby; it's a lifestyle. I just want to get this town hyped on Jiu-Jitsu. I truly believe I was ready for this challenge."

Reyes is an experienced fighter himself and currently has around 12 to 15 students who learn the art of Jiu-Jitsu from him.

As his gym continues to grow, he believed bringing in his longtime friend Gracie would be a unique experience for his program.

"It's great to have Clark here. It's going to boost up the town to Jiu-Jitsu," Reyes said. "It shows people that I'm hungry and that I want to bring the best knowledge here to Victoria for myself and my students."

Gracie, 33, is a world-renowned Jiu-Jitsu fighter.

He was a World Championship Bronze Medalist in 2011, is a three-time American National Champion (2010, 2006, 2005) and won the Pan American Championship in 2013. These are just a few accomplishments on a long list of accolades Gracie has accumulated.

"Some of the biggest tournaments in the world are the World Championships, and the Pan-American tournament is probably one of the biggest by number of competitors in the world," Gracie said. "I won that one as a black belt in 2013, and that was a really big accomplishment for me."

This past Wednesday, he conducted a two-hour seminar at Reyes' training facility, Crossroads Jiu-Jitsu. Throughout the seminar, he shared some of his expertise with the students with moves and counter-moves that have been effective for him throughout his career.

Gracie is a member of the legendary Gracie family, which has had a great influence on the style of Jiu-Jitsu that is practiced in America.

"Our style of Jiu-Jitsu is from Japan and is more known throughout the world," Gracie said.

"It was recreated in Brazil from Japan, so we started calling it Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, which is now known as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu."

Jiu-Jitsu is what Gracie's family has been doing for decades, and he is happy to follow in his grandfather's and father's footsteps.

"I've been doing Jiu-Jitsu since I was about 10 years old," he said. "My dad had and still has an academy in San Francisco, California. "I grew up with it, and it's our family business. It was very natural for me to also be involved and be a part of it."

As Jiu-Jitsu continues to grow, there are many events that fighters can compete in across the country and around the world.

"I really started challenging myself in tournaments and as a professional athlete in Jiu-Jitsu in about 2005," Gracie said. "So for about 13 years, I've been competing pretty actively."

By conducting this seminar, Gracie was able to show these students many techniques that have led him towards success. These techniques can help the students become more knowledgeable and successful in the art of Jiu-Jitsu.

"I'm just sharing my sport and my art that my family has been doing for many years," Gracie said. "It's beautiful to see Jiu-Jitsu to continue to grow, and the interest in Jiu-Jitsu just continues to develop around the world."

Reyes looks to continue to build his gym and to take Jiu-Jitsu to the next level. He is looking to start his own school and become affiliated with Gracie.

"We will be representing Clark Gracie here in the near future when we go and compete here in the nation and world-wide," said Reyes.

As for Gracie, he is happy to share his knowledge with the Jiu-Jitsu students in Victoria.

"It's special because I'm able to support Trey Reyes and his academy and teach a class here," Gracie said. "I want these students to have fun with Jiu-Jitsu and be creative."

Reyes hopes bringing in Gracie will have a positive effect on his gym and will bring more people in who want to learn about the art of Jiu-Jitsu.

"I want to get everyone involved that's interested in this sport so we can continue to grow here at Crossroads Jiu-Jitsu," Reyes said.


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