Friday, February 23, 2024

Business Spotlight: Gracie Gym Maine

A year has passed since Gracie Gym Maine first opened to the public in Windham and it’s safe to say that the facility has been a tremendous success story in the Lakes Region.

Gracie Gym Maine is celebrating its first
anniversary and offers Brazilian
Jiu-Jitsu training for ages 4 and up at its
7,000-square-foot facility in Windham.
Gracie Gym Maine is located at 770 Roosevelt Trail #6 in the Shaw’s Plaza in North Windham and draws students from all over the state. It offers Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu lessons to everyone ages 4 and up and the program’s head coach, Vinicius Garcia, is widely considered one of the most elite Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructors in the world. Garcia has been training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu since the age of 16 and has competed in many of Brazil’s top events under renowned coach Rodrigo Castro who promoted him to black belt in 2015.

“We have kid’s classes, teen classes, beginner classes and advanced classes, both in Gi and No-Gi,” said Gracie Gym Maine owner Michael Smith. “Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a self-defense martial art system and combat sport, focused on grappling and ground fighting. It promotes the concept that smaller and weaker people can successfully defend themselves against bigger, stronger, and heavier attackers.”

Smith said that the one-year anniversary of Grace Gym Maine and its ongoing success is cause for celebration in the community.

“We are thrilled with the families and individuals we have been helping in their personal journey in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and seeing people transform is what it is all about for us,” he said.

According to Smith, transforming lives through Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is gratifying and is the reason that he decided to open Gracie Gym Maine in Windham.

“The transformation is really remarkable,” Smith said. “Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu will change your life. It is a profound mental, physical, and spiritual experience.”

He said that the size of its academy and facility at more than 7,000 square feet and featuring more than 3,000 square feet of mat space makes Gracie Gym Maine an exceptional experience for participants. Other amenities available at Gracie Gym Maine are a weight room and a recovery lounge with an infrared sauna and cold plunge. Additionally, there is plenty of seating and five changing rooms.

Smith said that Gracie Gym Maine provides an outstanding user experience that is second to none in Maine.

“The facility rivals Jiu-Jitsu academies in major metropolitan areas in size, amenities and instruction level but has been able to keep pricing below industry standard,” he said.

Originating in Brazil in the early 20th century, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu focuses on using leverage and submission holds to defeat opponents, making it an effective form of self-defense for people of all sizes and abilities. It is an effective form of self-defense because it teaches practitioners how to stay calm and composed in high-pressure situations.

Along with teaching physical techniques, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu also emphasizes the development of mental toughness and a strong, positive mindset. Its practitioners learn to be confident and mentally prepared for any situation, and its intense, full-body workout will help participants get in great shape and improve their overall physical fitness.

All Gracie Gym Maine professors are certified Black Belts through the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation.

Thanks to its popularity, Gracie Gym Maine is currently expanding its onsite clothing store connecting with Skilled Violence, a lifestyle apparel brand, and has also created a dedicated area for kids and their parents to watch television while their siblings or loved ones are training.

Since Grace Gym Maine opened, another significant event has taken place.

“Our head instructor, Vinicius Garcia, and academy administrator Nayara Morais Cunha, had a baby, Miguel,” Smith said. “Vinicius and Nayara have been absolutely incredible with their dedication, as well as the half-dozen coaches that have helped out. And I’d like to give a special thanks to Amy, who ran our front desk while Nayara was away for maternity leave.”

In October, Gracie Gym Maine took fourth place at the Jiu-Jitsu New England Championships in Worcester, Massachusetts among 120 other academies, displaying immense dedication, skill, and discipline resulting in 12 gold medals earned at the event, which was sponsored by the Jiu-Jitsu World League. In December, some Gracie Gym Maine participants were honored for their hard work during a special belt promotion ceremony.

“At Gracie Gym Maine, everybody is important,” Smith said. “We’re here to help everyone experience a transformation, but it’s not easy. It’s hard and the mat is a great equalizer. We offer a personal, professional, and spiritual challenge from the very finest instructors.”

For more information about Gracie Gym Maine, call 207-383-2228 or visit Find them on Instagram under graciegymmaine <

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