Ground Strike Grappling teaches valuable lessons through jiu-jitsu

By Nathan Howell / Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA — When someone thinks of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, the first image that comes to their mind is likely two people fighting on a mat. However, Abreu Campos, owner of Ground Strike Grappling, says that “teaching how to fight is pretty much the last step.”

Campos opened Ground Strike Grappling back in September with a goal to show how jiu-jitsu can impact the daily lives of children and adults within areas such as self-confidence, self-defense and even public speaking.

“Jiu-jitsu is more than fighting, its being strong in your mind and in your heart,” he said.

He began his training in the field at 12 years old, and through his tenure has become a world champion fighter. He said his parents introduced him to the sport to help overcome self-esteem issues and “to get far away from the bad things in the neighborhood.”

Campos hopes to use jiu-jitsu to help his students overcome the same and other issues they face in life. This type of learning is facilitated by the family connection that his classes take on.

“We have a lot of families that come in here,” said Rachel Jacob, who works at the gym and is also Campos’ girlfriend. “This is a family sport. Parents don’t go on the field and play baseball with their kids, but they do participate in the classes here.”

Campos uses his classes to teach a variety of skills including leadership and public speaking in his children’s classes, by making his students lead the classes in exercise. “You have to speak for yourself,” Campos said. “You have to demonstrate how strong you are by the way you speak.”

Though jiu-jitsu is mainly used in the classes or for competition Campos recently had to exercise his skills for self-defense. Back in January he took the opportunity to stop a person from carjacking.

“I analyzed the situation,” Campos said. “I used his jacket to choke him, and I started using what I learned from jiu-jitsu against him.”

Ground Strike Grappling offers a variety of classes for children, men and women. Those wanting to sign up for classes can reach out to Ground Strike Grappling through their Facebook page, or by calling 332-9855 to set up a consultation.