Local Wrestling Coach receives recognition at seminar with Legendary Brazilian Fighter.
A member of the world-famous fighting family, the Gracies of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, conducted a seminar in the fighting style that launched the MMA/UFC phenomena. Master Royler Gracie, world champion Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts Champion, taught the ground fighting tactics and techniques of Gracie Jiu Jitsu to a rapt group of over thirty local grapplers Oct. 27. The seminar was hosted by Basulto Academy of Defense, located in downtown Waynesville.
At the conclusion of the seminar, Royler Gracie and Armando Basulto promoted several of the participants to new belts, including long-time Tuscola High School wrestling coach, Steve Atwood, who was awarded his Blue Belt. Atwood has been training along with his son, Daniel Atwood for two years.
“My father (who is 54) and I both train Jiu Jitsu and it has become a big part of our lives,” said the younger Atwood, who is also a teacher at Waynesville Middle School. “To us, Jiu Jitsu is a form of stress therapy. Not only is it a great way to get an entire body workout, but it is very mentally challenging. When I am on the mat, the stresses of the outside world seem to go away for a couple hours. When I step off the mat, I am rejuvenated, much more relaxed, and ready to take on life's challenges outside of the gym.”
Steve Atwood – Blue Belt
Landon French – Blue Belt
Ryan Conn – Purple Belt
Melissa Soares – Purple Belt
Grace Jiu Jitsu is easily distinguished from other martial arts by its unique emphasis on grappling or wrestling opponents to the ground and using painful joint-locks or chokes to submit them. Basulto Academy of Defense (Gracie North Carolina) is the official North Carolina representative for the Gracie Humaitá Competition Team of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and has won numerous Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Grappling championships across the state and the Southeast.
Seminar host Basulto is a professor of Gracie Jiu Jitsu and holds a Black Belt directly from Royler Gracie and has been a martial arts instructor for over twenty-five years.
Gracie Jiu Jitsu and MMA classes are offered at the Basulto Academy of Defense, at 218 Branner Ave., in downtown Waynesville. For information, visit www.gracienorthcarolina.com or call 230-5056.