NBC4 News and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

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Martial Art Helps Stress, Safety
Non-Aggressive Martial Art Earns Respect

POSTED: 6:18 pm EST March 22, 2004
UPDATED: 9:05 pm EST March 22, 2004

WASHINGTON -- If you're looking for a way to add some activity to your life, how about one of the martial arts?
Police officers say it helps them subdue suspects. Women say it gives them confidence; they know they can protect themselves. Others claim it helps with stress reduction, self-discipline, weight control, better concentration, inner peace and temper control.


Roberto "Maguilla" Marques is a 4th-degree black belt who describes Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as "a peaceful way to stop aggression."

Marques has worked with many Washington area police departments, the Marines, and other branches of the armed services. He also teaches children, noting that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu offers discipline and inner peace to all ages.

The warm-up is pretty standard: a little jogging, jumping jacks, and push-ups. Soon, it's very clear this isn't your typical gym mat class.

In a matter of minutes, the intensity of the workout and the temperature in the room take off. In most martial arts, says Marques, if someone hits you, you strike them back. However, despite appearances, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a more peaceful way to stop an aggressor.

Joanna Marques Da Silva began taking the class after her car and apartment were broken into. "It makes me feel a lot safer. I feel like I have a really good chance to defend myself -- that I would be able to defend myself long enough to control the situation to get away and get help."

She says it's the most alive she feels all day.

For more information on Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, go to Marques' homepage at bjjonline.com. There is also good information about exercise, health, nutrition, and activities going on in the community.
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