Auburn Jiu Jitsu located on Glenn Avenue held its grand opening Saturday, July 18, from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Adults and children of all ages came to explore jiu jitsu by taking free introduction courses that were offered.
Randall Phillips, one of the owners of Auburn Jiu Jitsu and Auburn Mixed Martial Arts, said they opened because jiu jitsu was their biggest program at AMMA, and they were running out of room.
The first 50 students to enroll will receive a free Samurai sword and a membership for $69 per month. The only requirement is to purchase a gi, or kimono, which is the uniform used.
There will be six instructors offering classes for kids 3 to 4 years old, 4 to 5 years old, 6 years old and up, teens and adult classes. Auburn Jiu Jitsu also offers ladies-only classes, but women are welcome to enroll in any of the classes.
Phillips said the opening has been great so far.
"We're in a great location," Phillips said. "Pho Lee is really popular, Chappy's is really popular, obviously Hastings is really popular, so we've had a lot of foot traffic, and I think we've enrolled 12 people already."
Phiilips said Auburn Jiu Jitsu will have a family friendly atmosphere where they will teach focus, discipline and respect.
Sign up for our newsletter
Get The Plainsman straight to your inbox.
According to Phillips, 90 percent of fights end up on the ground, which makes jiu jitsu important because it involves ground work, or grappling, to teach self-defense.
He also stressed women can be involved in jiu jitsu as well. Jiu jitsu uses leverage and weight positioning to teach a smaller opponent how to defeat a larger one. For women, this can be crucial if in a situation with a larger opponent.
"Everybody needs to have an awareness of self defense," Phillips said. "Even if it's just an older lady that's going to Kroger, and she needs to be aware of her surroundings and make sure that if somebody grabs her from behind, she knows at least the very basics of self defense."
Andy Roberts, another owner of Auburn Jiu Jitsu, has been practicing the art for 10 years and is a black belt with Phillips.
Roberts said jiu jitsu teaches more than self defense.
"It's everything," Roberts said. "Being comfortable in uncomfortable situations is the single most important thing for finding success in life. Overcoming adversity and dealing with struggles, that alone is huge. There's a degree of discipline. Self discipline is hard."
Joyce Hung is a student at Auburn Jiu Jitsu and has been taking classes for two years.
Hung said watching her daughter during kickboxing classes sparked her interest.
"I've always liked martial arts," Hung said.
After she noticed there offered a ladies-only class, she "took the plunge."
"It just made it seem less threatening, so I tried that out," Hung said. "Either you love it or you hate it."
Hung said she feels it's a useful skill for women.
"Everyone can do it," Hung said. "It's very empowering."
Do you like this story? The Plainsman doesn't accept money from tuition or student fees, and we don't charge a subscription fee. But you can donate to support The Plainsman.Support The Plainsman