Learning from world-renowned professionals isn’t anything new at UC Davis – unless the coursework includes hand-to-hand combat.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu, taught by Mauro Ayres, a Bronze Medalist in the 2009 American National Championship, is just one of Fitness and Wellness’ offerings to students, faculty, staff, alumni, retirees and student affiliates free of charge during Try Before You Buy week. A free preview event for Brazilian jiu-jitsu will be held on Jan. 12 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
All instructional classes, including dance, martial arts, group exercise or personal training are available to sample for free during Try Before You Buy week.
“We provide a lot of variety in hopes that people come in, try some classes, get a little focused in their workouts and maybe set some goals,” said Paul Dorn, marketing director for Campus Recreation.
Try Before You Buy is especially popular during winter quarter while students try to maintain New Year’s resolutions.
“It’s a time of year when a lot of people think about fitness, and try something they’ve never thought about before,” Dorn said.
Many students have appreciated the week not only because they have access to free exercise classes, but also because the week occurs during a relatively relaxed time.
“I’m a regular during the first week of school,” said Ryan Doyle, a senior civil engineering major. “Classes aren’t too fast-paced yet and there’s a lot going on at the ARC.”
Ayres, who came to the United States in 1998 and has been competing here ever since, believes that Brazilian jiu-jitsu can be that new form of experimental exercise.
“Some people don’t like the routine of working out listening to their iPod alone,” Ayres said. “In this class, you’ll get a great work out, learn submission techniques that everyone can execute and gain self-confidence and control.”
The main difference between Brazilian jiu-jitsu and other martial arts is the emphasis on using leverage and balance to counter strength and weight advantages. It begins where most martial arts end – on the ground, Ayres said.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu can improve cardiovascular fitness and serves as a total-body workout, because opponents are constantly moving. Ayres said beginners should expect to learn a few techniques, including discipline and respect for partners in a fun atmosphere.
“It is more than only a martial art, it is a lifestyle. It is a mix of sport, with self defense movements, with a new behavior,” Ayres said. “The sport helps you to have fun, self-defense to protect yourself and behavior to understand your limits and respect others.”
Dorn said Brazilian jiu-jitsu falls in line with Fitness and Wellness’ goals for Try Before You Buy.
“The hope is that people try some things during try before you buy and find something that’s rewarding and fun enough that they’ll stick with it throughout the quarter,” he said. “This is a great opportunity to get introduced to a martial art by one of the premier practitioners in the world at a very affordable cost.”
An all-inclusive group exercise pass, necessary for class continuation after the first week, costs $45 dollars for the quarter. More information about Fitness and Wellness programs can be found at http://campusrecreation.ucdavis.edu
MIKE DORSEY can be reached at email@example.com.