Cenla Hidden Gem: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

“…no, just this. I love Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.”

Introducing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. A growing martial art in the Cenla area.

“We’re still quiet. A little secret, nobody knows about us because Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is just catching on in Cenla after these years but it’s awesome to see the growth.”

Owner and teacher, Clint Duplechain opened his doors about 12 years ago and since then the classes have expanded to five different locations and about 200 members.

“It’s just amazing and the best part is all the instructors, the gym owners in the five gyms around here started on mats under me. So, that’s just a feeling of great pride that these guys are accomplishing their goals and dreams having schools here.”

A main purpose of Jiu Jitsu is the take down of an opponent bigger and stronger than you. One may see it as just fighting but other purposes can be served whether its working out or even self-defense.

“That’s why I say I feel like it fits females good because that’s more than likely what you’d encounter in the real world. You’re going to be smaller than the person coming after you. So, it’s good to learn a self-defense to where you can know how to either subdue that opponent or to get away.”

Being the first female of the program and having to hold her own for a whole thankfully, Sarah has never had to use it as defense outside of the classroom.

“My father is actually a retired policeman so I grew up in a home where it was important that you be aware and he taught us a lot already about preparing yourself for what might happen in the world and this has even furthered that for me and helping me feel like I’m comfortable out there. But, thank the Lord I’ve never had to use it outside these doors.”

Being on the mat, may bring on some of the toughest challenges you may encounter. But what goes on on the mat can prepare you for any tougher daily challenges.

“Brazilian Jiu Jitsu will change your life in a way that you never expect. In your professional life, in your personal life. When things get tough, you remember that last night you were underneath a 300-pound guy that was crushing the life out of you. So, nothing that’s in front of you, is as tough as that moment.”

Before a fight, opponents will slap hands as a sign of trust and respect. The members of the Jiu Jitsu community respectfully keep their doors open for anyone who’s interested to learn more. Everyone agrees that the toughest part is actually showing up. But once you do, you’re hooked.

“Looked up Coach Clint, I actually googled this for two years before I walked through that front door. So, it took a lot for me to finally decide that I was going to do this and when I did, full steam ahead. No regrets.”

“I fell in love with it. Couldn’t stay off the mats. It started with three of us and we just kept training and more people kept coming and now its like a family and we just love being here every night to train.”