New Martial art School in Gozo – BJJ Gozo – Team Fransua
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Last Sunday the first BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) seminar was held in the Gozo Sports Complex, under the direction of François Deniau (Fransua), European Champion and black belt instructor (Megaton/Royler Gracie competition team)
Jiu-jitsu comes originally from Japan. It appeared in Brazil in 1914 where it was brought by Japanese migrants, headed by a Great jiu-jitsu Master, Mitsuyo Maeda. A Brazilian diplomat, Gastao Gracie, then helped them to set up in Belem, in the North of Brazil.
Mitsuyo Maeda, was so grateful that he taught Jiu-Jitsu to Gastao’s sons, Carlos and Helio Gracie. They became so dedicated to the Art that they created schools and perpetuated a tradition of invincibility through three generations until now.
Outside Brazil, Jiu-Jitsu has been known as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. It has spread all over the world, with millions practising the Art. The development of the competition also transformed jiu-jitsu into a game, making it more popular and accessible to everybody.
The benefits of jiu-jitsu are numerous :
– In self-defence : to protect yourself or your love ones from any aggression.
– It is possible to defend yourself even without hurting your aggressor.
– You can train at full power without sustaining bruises or injuries.
– It has 5000 years of history and contains a lot of wisdom and depth.
– It is not only a self-defence system but also a fun sport, a creative game.
– BJJ develops your body and increases your strength, agility and flexibility.
– It also develops your mind and spirit through concentration, focus and will.
– It shapes your body and makes you lose weight.
– It helps quitting smoking, building a healthy lifestyle and maintaining a good diet.
– It can be practised up to a venerable age, like Helio Gracie who practised until he passed away at 96.
Fransua started with judo at the age of 11 in Cergy, near Paris. He studied at the university of Lyon (France) where he obtained a Master in Sports and Management in 1998. He also was University judo champion at the CS DOUA club, where he was trained by Daniel Ray and Jean-Paul Pagnoud (who has lived in Gozo for the past 20 years).
In 1997, Fransua started BJJ, competing in many major tournaments and winning the gold at the European Championship, the Scandinavian Open and the Rio State Championship. He received his BJJ black belt from the World Champion Wellington Megaton Dias in 2009.
In 2011 Fransua came to Gozo, and fell in love with the island where he lives now most of the year, dedicating his time to the development of sports activities around jiu-jitsu and free diving, his second favourite sport.
Not knowing he was living there, it was by sheer accident that he met again with his judo teacher Jean Paul in Gozo. One would think that “it was meant to be” Fransua said. adding, “It is such a great pleasure to share this unique art on this beautiful Island and to be with friends who feel like family.”
The classes are regularly held in the Gozo Sports Complex on Wednesdays at 8.00pm and on Sundays at 1.00pm.