Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Balance Academy Founder

60 Seconds With Jorge Jimenez

by Clay Neely / clay@newnan.com

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Photo by Clay Neely

Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Balance Academy Founder, Jorge Jimenez.


What prompted you to turn Jiu-Jitsu into a full-time profession?

They say “do what you love and the money will come” and I love what I do. I would do this job for free if I could. The teaching aspect is such a delight. When you can answer someone’s question, that’s such a great feeling. It’s why teachers become teachers. Right now, I’m doing my dream job.

Do you believe your academy places a more significant role on self-defense and what lead you to this philosophy?

I suppose it comes from being a smaller person. Once you start doing jiu-jitsu, you see how effective it can be. You learn to respect everyone because you have learned that even the littlest person can kick your butt. You can do a lot of great things when you rely on leverage and technique. It looks like it’s magic but it’s not. It’s sound technique. This is the difference between jiu jitsu and karate. Karate deals in theory. In here, because we don’t rely on theory. We fight the same way we train. A choke or a headlock — you’re not going to get hurt. Jiu Jutsu means “Gentle Art” and that’s what we teach. What gentler way to beat someone than simply bruising their ego? When you come here and train, you discover that you don’t want to fight. Bullies and attackers lose all their perceived power.

Who has played the most significant role in your life?

Helio Gracie. He lived to be 92 years old and was still teaching until the day he passed. He was responsible for the creation of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He realized that although he knew basic judo techniques, the moves were harder to execute because of his smaller size so he began to adapt the moves so that they worked for his physical size. By trial and error, he figured out a way for a little guy to position themselves into a place where they can be strong. I can relate to that. I was always the small guy at the academy. This man changed the martial arts world. If you don’t know how to fight from the ground, you’re going to have some problems. Research his life and what he accomplished. I can say that I have a job today because of him.

What’s some of the best advice you’ve ever received?

Even as a black belt, you should have a white belt wrapped around your forehead. Always be curious and want to learn more. One should be able to relax when the heat is on so you can always think your way out. That translates to the mat in here and to the entire world outside.



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