Academy Hunting Homework #6: Gracie Barra North Austin

Last but not least in my journey, I want to share my experience at Gracie Barra North Austin. The only formal class I took there was the women's class with Professor Fabiana Borges.  But I also attended Fabiana's Women’s only rape prevention seminars, their one year anniversary and other special events like Austin Women’s Open Mat and most recently Girls in Gis, both of which Fabiana instructed. 

Fabiana is one of those warm and friendly people that when you first meet, it is as though you’ve known her forever.  Fabiana possesses both a childlike innocence and wisdom beyond her years.  I could tell by the way she connects with people and her loving nature that she is a true Carioca.  

At the free women's only rape prevention seminar at Gracie Barra N. Austin, I didn't know what to expect, as I had never trained at a Gracie Barra affiliation or with Fabiana before. The seminar was full of useful self-defense information. It began with a warm-up, technique and concluded with structured rolling.  I remember leaving this experience thinking,  "Holy crap, this woman knows her stuff!”  I couldn't wait to train with her again.  

  The next time I trained at Gracie Barra N. Austin with Fabiana was at their women's class on Friday from 7-8p.  The majority of the women in the class are privileged to train with her on a regular basis.  The class began with a warm up, technique, drilling and then structured rolling.  Once again my training experience exceeded all of my expectations.  I strongly encourage everyone to attend and take advantage of this opportunity to train with central Texas' only female black belt.  She is a gifted instructor and talented athlete.  These classes are ongoing and open to everyone, even non-Gracie Barra students.  

Again, since I only went to one class, I couldn't say that I have a grasp of how a regular class is run at Gracie Barra North Austin, but I did gain an understanding of how Fabiana teaches. Gracie Barra N. Austin has a great team of professors, students and staff.  They live up to their slogan "Jiu-Jitsu for everyone", since they have been extremely generous with their time and resources to the community as a whole.   

Fabiana and Gracie Barra N. Austin also generously volunteered to host two women's groups that I organized, Girls in Gis and Austin Women’s Open Mat.  Fabiana did a fantastic job of leading the groups.  Girls raved about her events and they were smash hits.  Her association also played a large role in collecting donations for the Girls in Gis Wish List Donation Drive benefiting SafePlace Austin-a local Women’s shelter.  Fabiana volunteers her time and self-defense knowledge to their clients.  Her kindness is a representation of the spirit of giving and love that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu embodies.  

Carioca’s don't typically leave Rio and if they do they always return. When I was in Rio, Carioca’s thought it was weird that I left my home of Hawai`i to live in Texas.  Having such strong family values and love for their city and country is one of the reasons that Rio is always home for Carioca’s. Fabiana is one of the brave that ventured to America in search of fulfilling her dreams.  I applaud her courage.   She is an asset to the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu community and we are honored to have her in Texas. Thank you for everything Fabiana Borges and Gracie Barra N. Austin.  Congrats to Fabiana on winning silver in her division @ the Pan Ams!!!


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