Royce Gracie Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Gives Class on Stress and Fear

West Hartford, CT, March 21, 2007 --( Royce Gracie Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with locations in West Hartford, Glastonbury, Southington, East Windsor/Enfield, Danbury, Stratford, Stamford, New Haven, Norwich, Storrs, Agawam MA, Boston MA, and Puerto Rico is offering a new complimentary class on stress and fear management at their Danbury Sportsplex Health Club location. The recent Aqua Teen Hunger Force marketing prank really stirred things up in Boston and around the country. When a simple cartoon becomes a potential bomb delivering terrorist, people feel really scared. They hope their class will help the public feel safer.

The marketing ploy caused some class delays at a Boston based Brazilian Jiu Jitsu School located at Beacon Hill Athletic Clubs. Paul Bratslavsky, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu coach and Super-Kids Karate teacher ( and said "we are good at rolling with the punches here at Boston Gracie Brazilian Jiu Jitsu so it did not impact us too much, but I understand some people around Boston were pretty scared."

Danbury Brazilian Jiu Jitsu coach Tony Butler is no stranger to fear: "as an infantry officer and Army Ranger in Iraq I taught my soldiers to keep breathing and to stay positive." He apparently knows what he is talking about. He received a Bronze Star for his actions in the war.

Jim Hughes from Royce Gracie Jiu Jitsu is also a clinician at the Oasis for Wellness (Hartford exercise program for people with medical issues) and faculty member of the UCONN Medical School for his work in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. He explains "in my work now, and in my previous work at the UMASS Stress Reduction Clinic, we taught our clients to improve their health and wellbeing by staying connected with their breath and not believing everything the mind was chattering away about. The funny thing here is that that is exactly what we teach people in jiujitsu." Jay Bell, Also a Brazilian jiujitsu coach in Boston and a NAGA tournament champion noted: "jiu-jitsu is a means of working with the body and mind to achieve a greater level of awareness; it is the key to my success in competition and life in general."

Mr. Hughes also reports: “I have been at Royce Gracie's side at many events, people often ask him how to stay relaxed and deal with fear, he explains 'just keep breathing out' when it comes to dealing with difficult situations both on and off the mat. Its simple, but focusing on the out-breath really works.”

Jim Harpe, BJJ and Sabaki coach in Agawam MASS, says "the best way to overcome fear is to remain positive and remember that every situation, no matter how problematic, can and will, make you stronger." Mr. Harpe is also a social worker in the court and in private practice where he helps families in distress. He has seen a lot of people make it through difficult situations by following this advice.

Josh Hesser, karate and Brazilian jujutsu self defense teacher by day and grappling competitor (NAGA and Grapplers Quest) as well as motorcycle racer by night says: “The hardest part in any competition is the anxiety leading up to the event, so I just stay focused moment to moment on what I am doing and I don't get too caught up in thinking about future outcomes.”

Tim Mullany, Royce Gracie Jiu Jitsu enthusiast and CEO of The Blue Turtle, a new family oriented sports and gaming restaurant in Manchester CT's Buckland Hills Mall ( says: “Fear and anxiety exist in all parts of life. It is important that we surround ourselves with good supportive people and focus on our goal, that is what the Blue Turtle is all about, family, friends and fun. Plus, the proceeds benefit a great cause (the Mystic Aquarium).”

Lou Rodriguez, BJJ coach in a new Royce Gracie Jiu Jitsu seminar business in Puerto Rico said “staying alert and paying attention is always the best policy.” He should know, he taught US Marines how to cope with some pretty difficult situations in his role as an anti-terrorism squad leader in the military.

Josh Finkelstein, Chief Technology Officer for is a Gracie Jiu Jitsu and Aikido practitioner. He was actually in the World Trade Center on 9/11. He reports that intuition and trusting his instinct, both benefits of good martial art training, is what helped him stay relaxed and immediately react and make for the exit. Unfortunately, that is something others around him did not do. Finkelstein's instincts helped him escape just one minute before the second plane hit the building.

In the end it appears that attitude, attentiveness, and the desire to remain positive is the foundation of what helps these Brazilian Jiu Jitsu coaches and practitioners stay calm and focused even under difficult and fearful circumstances. They will teach their secrets in the new class.

Jim Hughes, Tony Butler and guest Brazilian Jiu Jitsu coaches will offer two complimentary introductory classes for the community at Danbury Royce Gracie Brazilian Jiu Jitsu center located at health and fitness club, Sportsplex. The class, Reducing Stress and Fear, and Basic Self Defense, is based on their extensive backgrounds. Mr. Hughes with his experience as faculty member of UCONN Medical School and prior faculty at the UMASS Stress Reduction Clinic (featured on the Bill Moyer's special Healing and the Mind), and Mr. Butler with his extensive Military training and battle experience, will help participants develop proven strategies for managing stress and fear and improving their health and wellbeing. In addition, they will offer an introduction to self defense to help the participant safely learn proven skills for protecting themselves in an attack or altercation.

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Judy Mulkern
860 233 3000