Testimonials from our students
I've been a part of Hastings Gracie Barra BJJ family for the last year or so training on an off around building a busy business. Since December 2017 I've been able to fully commit to training twice a week.
Paul and the coaching team are excellent. Being a coach myself I understand the importance of breaking down new skills for people that are beginners to advanced and still making sure everyone gets the most from the class. For me personally BJJ is my escape from the real world and demands of business and other pressures and responsibilities. Since leaving the Royal Marines I've struggled to find that comraderie anywhere else other than the mats.
I've recently also been able to introduce my 10 year son to the club. He has previously not wanted to come because of high anxieties. Since joining, Bailey has massively improved his skills and confidence in life. We are both committed to hopefully taking part in our first tournament in July, which is out of both of our comfort zones.
I'd fully recommend Paul and the club to anyone wanting be a part of a supportive, friendly family that focuses on the development of children and adults in BJJ
Joining Gracie Barra Hastings has changed my life. Not only has it been excellent for my fitness, confidence and self-defence, it has also taught me crucial life lessons such as how to mentally tackle and overcome obstacles.
Although I had experience in other martial arts, the quality of teaching and the close-knit family feel of this academy attracted me immediately. Once I walked through the doors I was hooked and it’s now pretty much my second home.
I’m also lucky enough to have two teenage sons training with me, while my 76-year-old father has recently started the over-50s class and is loving it. Being able to learn potentially life-saving skills alongside my family has been amazing.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu really is for everyone. You don’t need to be super fit, flexible or young to feel the benefits. I started in my 40s and love every day I’m on the mats. It’s a fantastic atmosphere with no egos. Everyone is focused on helping each other improve.
Professors Paul Bridges and Ali Bayley have created a great place to learn the most effective martial art on the planet. Anyone thinking about giving it a go just needs to walk through the doors – it will be the best decision they ever make.
My husband and I have three boys and Jiu Jitsu for the whole family is a massive part of our lives. My husband, after 8 years of training has recently got his brown belt; this is a huge achievement not only for our family but for our Jiu Jitsu family. Each step taken in this martial art is with support and love. It is fun and inspires others; this is why two of our boys love to train and the youngest is desperate to start!
Our eldest son has been training for three and a half years. I can’t explain how much confidence this has given him, the friendships that he has made and the love he has for this martial art.
Jake started as soon as he could. Watching his Daddy and older brother gave him the confidence to get on the mat and train, he has never looked back and continually learns so much. Their love for Jiu Jitsu does not stay on the mat; on many occasions they do a warm up in our front room, shouting out in Spanish the numbers that Professor Ali has taught them! I love this and so does our two year old who joins his brothers at home in a bit of sparring and warm ups. Our youngest has learnt just by watching his brothers and others on the mat how to do a warm up and does this almost everyday at home by himself!
I can't recommend Gracie Barra Hastings enough. The atmosphere is relaxed, friendly and fun; it helps with self-confidence, social skills and fitness. I love that my boys are being taught how to defend themselves from bullies and not to become that bully! I love the Gracie Barra ethos over any other martial art and this is why I choose to take my whole family there.
I thought starting my first Jiu Jitsu lesson would be massively intimidating being a girl surrounded by a load of tough guys, but I couldn’t have been more wrong! I have been Training at GB Hastings for just under a year, from the first day I nervously walked into the gym the professors have been friendly and welcoming to me. Having not much confidence in physical activity and even less confidence and knowledge of Jiu Jitsu all the professors have been particularly patient with me. Having professor Ali teaching the sessions has built my confidence not only in basic Jiu Jitsu but self defence from a young women’s point of view and just having other ladies in the classes to train with me. Gracie Barra Hastings has created a family within the community where not only men but women and young children can train safely. Having Professor Ali as a teacher at GB Hastings has given us ladies in particular the perfect role model to aspire to and learn from, I have made great connections and bonds with everyone in our GB family but between us girls we have created a sisterhood, when we role on the mats everyone is equal and everyone is so supportive of each other. Never did I think I would have come this far in my GB journey where I have the confidence to join in all the group warm up games and roll with different belt ranks, men or women and I have Gracie Barra Hastings team to thank for that, in particular Professor Ali and Professor Paul.
Training at Gracie Barra Hastings is an integral part of my life. Under the expert guidance of Paul and his instructors I have learnt so much. Not just about the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu but I have also gained skills that transcend martial arts. Skills that have had a huge positive impact on my life in general.
After tragically losing my son in 2016 this place has been my sanctuary. A place to learn, a place to relax but more importantly a place to be around great people.
Thank you Paul.
I cannot express enough how much I love going to Gracie Barra jiu jitsu. For something that I never ever imagined myself doing, I'm now obsessed! Not only is it excellent for fitness (the reason I originally started) but I've also learnt so much about self defence which is incredibly important, particularly being a woman. Everyone at the club is really friendly and welcoming and always happy to help and having both a male and female black belt instructor is something I'm really grateful to have - being able to learn great techniques from two different perspectives and feel really comfortable at the same time. I highly encourage anyone - especially more girls - to give it a go. It's increased my confidence, fitness and it's something I always look forward to doing!
My son Taylor had been doing Karate after school for 2 years and enjoyed going but I was getting frustrated by the fact that I was unable to watch him train or even see him at his grading sessions. He was collecting belts for fun but I had no idea whether he would be able to defend himself if he ever needed to.
I was recommended to Gracie Barra Hastings by a friend in September 2017 and Taylor came down on a Tuesday to watch and then went on the Saturday for his free trial. He was made to feel so welcome and it was obvious that Professors Paul and Ali were there to promote and build the children’s confidence and also self defence.
I wanted Taylor to choose Jiu-Jitsu instead of Karate and after his Saturday session he said to me that he didn’t want to go to Karate anymore and could he carry on with Jiu-Jitsu…..my plan had worked perfectly!
Taylor started when he was 6 and it was clear that his sister Sophie wanted to join her big brother. So Sophie at 3 ½ started a month later and being shy I was keen to see how she got on. Sophie’s self-confidence has come on leaps and bounds and it’s lovely to see them doing Jiu Jitsu together.
Like lots of other members our house has become a second training centre with two exercise drills; ‘Duck Duck Goose’ and ‘Red Light Green Light’ regularly being practised downstairs!
The club and all its members are so friendly and everyone is so positive. There is a really genuine family feel to the whole club. This is the one activity that both Taylor and Sophie ask to go to every week and it’s great to see them both progressing and developing those important skills to enable them to look after themselves.