“Take pride in everything you do! It doesn’t matter if you are just starting your career in fast food or have been in the work force for decades, doing work with pride and a big smile will take you far. If you were a manager and someone came in looking for a job, would you hire the person with a big smile or the one that looks like he doesn’t want to be there?”

I typically hear these words at sales meetings, seminars, and trade shows while surrounded by other business professionals. But never from a Jiu-Jitsu instructor speaking to a group of about 20 boys and girls between the ages of 5-8. Professor Bill is not your average Jiu-Jitsu instructor. Aparecido Faria, “Professor Bill,” is a 2x Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Champion and 5x Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu National Champion. He began training in Brazil at the age of 7. He is currently a 3rd degree Black Belt under Carlos Gracie Jr. and the headinstructor at Gracie Barra Rohnert Park.

Gracie Barra Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art, combat sport, and a self-defense system that focuses on grappling and especially ground fighting. It teaches that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend against a bigger, stronger assailant. But, more than that, it teaches children discipline, respect, integrity, teamwork, responsibility, and self-confidence. Most importantly, you have not lived until you have seen some young children put each other in an educational chokehold.

Professor Bill shared with me some shocking statistics that revealed the connection between martial arts, self-confidence, and success.

In a survey of 200 parents whose children (ages 5-11) have been in Martial Arts training for at least six months: 98% said their children’s’ behavior improved!

Out of 127 teachers who had hyperactive students in Martial Arts for at least six months:

(Ages 5-8) 79% improved

(Ages 9-11) 87% improved

(Ages 12-16) 97% improved

Out of 172 adults enrolled in Martial Arts training, when questioned about their attitude towards life:

(Ages 18-30) 97% said it had improved

(Ages 31-50) 100% said it had improved

(Ages 51-74) 100% said it had improved

Academic teachers with students in Martial Arts training who had practiced for at least one year:

(Ages 5-8) 95% improved dramatically

(Ages 9-12) 81% improved academically

(Ages 13-18) 91% improved academically

(Source: According to the United States Martial Arts Foundation Chairman, Robert Ferguson.)

This applies to adults as well. Adults benefit with exercise, camaraderie, and learning chokeholds / sweeps (sweeping your opponent off their feet). All of these benefits can help pump up your self-confidence while learning self-defense. In these turbulent economic times we can all use some exercise to release built up stress. But more than that, Professor Bill teaches his students to be champions.

“Be the champion in your life,” says Professor Bill. As a 2x world champion he is more than capable of teaching you how to be a champion. Professor Bill has charm, style, and world champion experience. But more than any of that, he has a big heart. Best of luck Professor Bill! If you have any questions about Gracie Barra Jiu-Jitsu you can check out Professor Bill at http://billbjj.com/. Give him a shot and learn self-confidence that will sweep you off your feet!