New Student Info
Welcome to our school!
If you are new to our school, please read this article because it will help you get started right with our class reservation system and our school rules and answer other important questions.
Our School Rules
Our school rules make sure you or your child(ren) are kept safe at all times, and we have a pleasant training environment. Please click on the picture to enlarge it so you can study our school rules before coming to your first class.
Our Class Reservation System
Our HelloClub online school management system allows you to check our live class schedule, reserve a class, sign in online, and check your payments and promotions anytime. Please click on the link here: https://barbadosbjj.helloclub.com/to become familiar with it. If you have any questions you can always contact Felix at 822-2778.
Other Important Information
If you have never trained Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu before one of the first questions will be how to tie your belt. I made a video a while ago and you can follow it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FWA93Md2GU.
You may feel overwhelmed by how technical BJJ is and find it hard to remember all the details. I recommend that you just enjoy the class and simply practice the techniques until asked to stop by your instructor.
However, if you need help to remember what you learned, you can use our video library which has more than 1,600 videos and includes each technique shown in class. You can join for just BBD$6 per month and check it out here: https://www.westcoastbjj.ca/ . Please contact us at email@example.com and I am happy to give you a free trial month to start you off right.
Please feel free to contact us anytime for any other questions.
I see you on the mats,
The Beginning Of Barbados BJJ
My wife and I visited Barbados in November 2000 in the middle of the Covid pandemic because we felt safer here than on the Canadian West Coast. We immediately felt at home among the friendly Bajans and the amazing beauty of Barbados.
Initially, I was just looking for a single mat partner to keep up my training when I came across Felix’s Instagram page introducing me to the original group of friends who had been training together for several years at this point under Leo Rodriguez, a MMA fighter and BJJ purple belt which did his best to keep BJJ in Barbados alive during this time.
We started our training together on December 4th, 2020 on Karate mats in our original location at Arjay Furniture factory the best we could under the required social distancing rules and kept it up ever since except for the mandated lockdowns and backyard training where we were fighting rain and sunstroke until eventually the vulcanic ash rain from the St Vincent vulcano eruption forced us back inside.
At this time I bought the first set of proper BJJ mats and everyone pitched in to get our school ready for the official opening. None of this would have been possible without Mark’s generous support, Felix’s tireless effort, Doc’s helpful guidance, and of course all the founding members and second-generation new students who joined us at that time.
I feel very lucky to have found them and I appreciate their acceptance of me as a newcomer to Barbados having a completely different cultural background.
The Beginning of Premier Martial Arts
By 2022 our Silver Hill school had grown so much with students driving long distances from all over the Island that we decided to open a second school. First, we trained in a Fitness gym in Wildey which confirmed the strong interest we had from parents and students on the West Coast and we started looking for a new school location in the Warrens area.
We ended up being very lucky by getting the space on top of Natz Furniture and after a Summer of heavy renovation, we opened our doors officially on September 1st, 2022. From the very first day, we have been overwhelmed by the support of the adult students, parents, and juniors down to age 3 who have made our school their home since.
Today this school is also our headquarters of the Caribbean BJJ Association https://caribbeanbjj.com/ hosting many visitors and teams from all over the world.
I am incredibly grateful for everyone’s support and friendship and having made Barbados my permanent home, we are all committed to building the Bajan BJJ community together for many years to come.
Our Monthly Community Events
Every month we organize community events for both schools and so far we had many Beach Days involving beach clean-up, Barbecues, surf lessons, and friendly beach game competitions on Batts Rock, Pebbles, and Browne’s beach.
We also organized Bathsheba coastline walks, spent an afternoon playing on Rascal’s floating obstacle course, had a great sunset Catamaran sailing, spent an afternoon at the archery range, and enjoyed banana boat rides for students of all ages.
We just completed our New Year’s Eve Fireworks viewing right on Brown’s Beach very close to the Boatyard fireworks which everyone loved. So, please come join us with your family and friends and become part of our community!
The Barbados International BJJ Championship
After teaching our students in both schools for over a year we felt that the time had come to organize the very first Brazilian Jiu-Jitu tournament in Barbados and so on Sunday, March 26th, 2023 we held the first Barbados International BJJ Championships in the Golden Square Freedom Park in downtown Bridgetown in front of countless spectators and the Barbados press.
Competitors as young as four years old stepped up and competed showing great BJJ skills and true Martial Arts character with courage, tenacity and good sportsmanship.
We invited all Bajan Martial Arts schools to test their grappling skills and determined the very first Barbados BJJ champions in the kids, female and male Juveniles as well as in Gi and No-Gi Adult and Masters divisions.
The effect of the competition on our students was that many returned to training highly motivated with much-improved self-confidence having tested themselves and stood up in front of everyone to demonstrate their BJJ skills. They proved to everyone and above all themselves that they could look after themselves without anger or fear.
The Barbados International BJJ Championship is open to all visitors and is now an annual Spring event with the next tournament taking place on April 21st, 2024: https://caribbeanbjj.com/barbados-championship/
Public Schools Anti-Bullying Training
With the increase in bullying in our schools Felix and I decided to bring Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to the public schools in Barbados with a free Anti-Bullying program to make sure that each Bajan student can go to school free of fear.
We found open doors with principals, teachers and students many of whom would have not have access to Martial Arts otherwise. So, we laid down our mats in many public and some private schools and trained one class after the others starting with each four and up.
The children learned to recognize bullying and call it out. They learned to look at bullies with empathy but also to stand up to them. They learned how to protect themselves standing, to fall safely, to defend themselves on the ground and to gain control over the bully using BJJ.
After countless hours and days we ended up training far more than 1,000 students and although it was a lot of hard work the smiles and appreciation of the students showed will make sure that we will continue with this program in 2024 again. If you are a teacher, principal or parent of a student and you want us to visit your school please just contact Felix at 822-2778.p
The Caribbean International BJJ Championship
I was able over the last three years traveling across the Caribbean and trained in BJJ schools in several schools in Trinidad, Grand Cayman, St. Lucia, Curacao, Aruba, and more making many new friends. I realized that there are no tournaments celebrating BJJ in the Caribbean and that the Caribbean never had its own Champions.
After talking to many head coaches and hearing their needs our Island was nominated to organize the very first Caribbean Internation BJJ Championships on November 11th, 2023.
We also found that many schools are just starting out and that several Island states still don’t have their own BJJ school. So, we also created the Caribbean BJJ Association to connect all schools and make it easy for visitors to find the schools on each Island.
As of today, we have 22 schools listed with new schools joining all the time: https://caribbeanbjj.com/.
The first International Caribbean Championship was a huge success with 110 entries determining the very first Caribbean BJJ Champions from many Caribbean countries and Islands as well as North America. That is why we will hold this event every year and the next Championship is already booked for November 10th, 2024.
Women Self-Defence Seminar
We held our first free 90-minute Women-Only Self-Defence seminar in cooperation with Bajans Helping Bajans one of the many non-profit groups that help vulnerable citizens of all ages.
We started with some easy and fun awareness games for a warm-up and then talked about verbal Jiu-Jitsu focusing on avoiding a physical confrontation by delaying any conflict with the motto that “You are still right tomorrow” which helps to cool tempers, and allows them to make better decisions but mainly avoids situations that could spiral out of control.
Next, we taught them how to defend themselves against grabs from the front and behind, block punches, and how to fall safely when pushed on the ground. All these techniques have the goal of keeping them safe while not retaliating and lowering the level of aggression. Lastly, we dealt with the Jiu-Jitsu portion of the seminar to help them survive on the ground because police statistics tell us that 9 out of 10 fights end up on the ground.
All the ladies were very game, laughed, and learned a lot, even though several confided to us later that they were very concerned about coming in. We have to thank Bajans Helping Bajans and ask you to support them whenever you can: https://www.facebook.com/bajanshelpingbajans/. If you are interested in booking a free Women Self-Defence seminar with your organization please just contact Felix at 822-2778.