brazilian jiu jitsu gym

After sampling a variety of martial arts and martial arts mats, Rafael Ellwanger became a fan of Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Greatmats. Find out how he went from BJJ student to gym owner to federation founder, all while providing for the safety and comfort of his students.

[Sponsored Post] A lifelong martial artist, Rafael Ellwanger began experimenting with different disciplines at age 4 when his mother enrolled him in judo. After training in taekwondo, kung fu, boxing, muay Thai and krav maga, Ellwanger found his calling when he started Brazilian jiu-jitsu — more than 21 years ago. In 1997 Ellwanger, then a 21-year-old college student, fought in his first competition as a blue belt at the Pan-American Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Tournament in Hawaii. He earned a bronze medal. “That day, I realized I would like to be a martial artist for life,” said Ellwanger, who attributes his longevity in the grappling arts to the comfort and safety he gets from Greatmats flooring.

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