Back row (left to right): Sarah Macrae, Blake Bale (2 silver medal), Lachlan Ferry, Myself Henry de Campos, Jono Chevalley (Gold Medal), Michael Austin (Bronze Medal). Front row: (left to right) Lenox Austin (gold Medal), Taj Chevalley (gold medal), Jed Chevalley and Caylee Austin.
Back row (left to right): Sarah Macrae, Blake Bale (2 silver medal), Lachlan Ferry, Myself Henry de Campos, Jono Chevalley (Gold Medal), Michael Austin (Bronze Medal). Front row: (left to right) Lenox Austin (gold Medal), Taj Chevalley (gold medal), Jed Chevalley and Caylee Austin.

Grafton Jiu Jitsu gym looking to expand as numbers swell

MARTIAL ARTS: Southside Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy has only been in Grafton for eight months but the owners are already on the hunt for a bigger gym.

For Henry de Marcos, the venture to a bigger venue comes in the wake of their success as the gym grows every week.

So much so that de Marco has had to start turning people away.

“It’s really grown fast. It’s something new to grasp and people really didn’t know what it was all about. But now it’s getting bigger, everyone’s talking about it,” de Marcos said.

“I guess I’m doing a good job. It’s coming to the point where I’m having to turn people away but I’m looking at getting a new place to expand the gym soon.”

The form of martial arts was only recently introduced to the Clarence Valley but de Marcos has been involved with the sport for a long time.

“Jiu-Jitsu was something that did not exist in Grafton. As I have been training for the last 14 years, when I came here to work as a Community Mental Health Officer, I saw that this area was not on board with one of the fastest growing sports in the world,” he said.

“I decided to introduce it to the local community in July last year, starting my gym at the back of a local supplement store known as Fuel Fitness. The gym initially started with four students but eight months later we are more than 40 students ranging between five to 60-year-olds, both males and females.”

And de Marcos said the form of martial art is about more than just fighting and has introduced a range of classes for different demographics.

“We offer a variety of programs including an anti-bullying program for kids and self-defence for women and adults. Then we have our competitive team who has recently gone to their first competition in Byron Bay,” he said.

“We went as a team of seven athletes and we won a total of six medals including gold, silver and bronze.”

The gym’s team have held a strong record in Queensland competitions and are looking to extend their record at the top.

“The Southside Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu team has been ranked Queensland’s number one for seven consecutive years,” de Campos said.

“Our next goal now is to go to the Queensland State Titles in June with over 20 athletes from different ages, to become eight-times champions of the state.”

To find out more about Southside Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, head to their Facebook page or call Henry de Campos on 0401 904 208.



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