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& EXCLUSIVE WEB SPECIAL

Secure your spot and get started today with our EXCLUSIVE offer!

By opting into the web form above you are providing consent for Lake Effect Martial Arts to send you periodic text messages. Standard rates may apply. You can reply HELP at anytime or learn more. You may opt-out anytime by replying STOP.
Hugo Hur

Dropped in for a No-Gi class while in Buffalo where I’ll be traveling now for work. Facility, staff, and instructors were great. They made me feel welcomed and got some good rounds in. Look forward to coming back next time I’m in town.
-Traveling Brown Belt from Philly

Daniel Ayd

I was in town for work and Michael welcomed me to join any session that worked for my 42 year old white belt self which happened to be a 6:30am intro session on a cold November morning. Gym was very clean, spacious and well appointed with timers, cubbies, seating and changing space. I love their appreciation for foot hygiene! Great location with lots of windows and a big parking lot--super easy to find and convenient to Buffalo. Greg was the instructor for this session and he spent a lot of time with a thorough warm-up and individualized attention during reps. He even got involved in the gauntlet-style positional grappling which I seldom see black belts risk their noses and lips with us white belts! I hope to come back in the future... thanks again for the hospitality!
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David Skorka reviewed Lake Effect Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Great Professor (Mike) and Coach Joao... Very welcoming and glad I was able to make class. My 67th school to train at and it was like I had trained here all the time. Tough rolls and all around good peeps... Not to mention a really nicely laid out facility. Being Born and raised in Buffalo and being home visiting it had that warm Buffalo welcome. Look forward to training here again.

Chris Kwilas

I participated and competed in various martial arts in my life. Everything from Tae Kwon Do, Kempo, and Karate in my younger years and even trained in Muay Thai for two years in my late 20s. I was always a heavier set build and I thought I have experienced what I could out of martial arts regarding weight loss while pushing my body and confidence to the limits. That is, until, I took my first class of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at Lake Effect Martial Arts (LEMA).
When I joined the LEMA family, I was the heaviest I been in my life and pushing an obese weight of 290lbs at the height of 6’0. I was extremely intimidated and embarrassed to start training in a martial art once again knowing how heavy I was, let alone a martial art I have absolutely no familiarity! However, due to the amazing culture and leadership of the academy, I felt right as if I was training on the mats there for months. Everyone is extremely helpful, friendly and always willing to assist (Professors and students); does not matter if your tall, short, heavy, skinny, everyone is training together on their jiu-jitsu journey. You’re not alone at LEMA or just “another number” at a gym, and the inviting family-like culture demonstrates the second-to-none leadership from the professors.
In only 5 ½ months I have shed 50lbs and counting! Along with the weight loss, I am the most flexible and mobile I have been in my life and this is including my earlier martial arts years. Jiu-Jitsu is very challenging and will push your mind and body to the limits, but, you’re not on this journey alone.
Regardless of what someone’s goals are: lose weight, get in better shape, compete or learn self-defense with arguably the most efficient martial arts in the world, there is no other place to train other than Lake Effect. I am grateful for taking the leap into the world of Jiu-Jitsu and looking forward to conquering more goals with the Lake Effect team!

Chris Wopperer reviewed Lake Effect Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Joining this gym was like joining a family. Very welcoming! Professors and coaches are true professional. Can't wait to continue my journey with this team.

Mike Wags reviewed Lake Effect Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Absolutely the best martial arts school i have ever had a privelage to visit. Excellent family atmosphere, top of the line instructors and an amazing student base. Everyone was extremely helpful and took time to explain how the techniques worked. I highly recommend this school no mat bullies no spazes just a nurturing environment to bring out the absolute best in oneself. I cannot stress enough the amount of time and care the professors take with their students. For anyone thinking about training there really is no better academy in western New York.

Brittni Szprygada reviewed Lake Effect Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Lake Effect Martial Arts is the best place in WNY if you are interested in: learning or training jiu jitsu, learning self-defense techniques, trying to get your kid into a positive hobby/sport (or "bully-proofing"), or if you're looking to improve your MMA game strategies. This state of the art gym is a bright, clean facility unlike others in the area. The coaches have trained and competed jiu jitsu all over the world. They take the gentle art seriously, they are each very dedicated to learning and improving their skills, and teaching the most cutting edge techniques to their students. These guys are patient, articulate, professional and encouraging as coaches - they want to help people to be their best on and off the mats. Check them out!

Michael Jones reviewed Lake Effect Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

I’ve dropped in a few places and the first half an hour of class is always awkward. You don’t know anyone, you don’t know where the lockers are etc. This is the most welcoming place you can find. There are just good guys there. They shake your hand, they like and want to help to white belts- great place to spend your time, can't wait to come back.

Minhaz Siddiqui reviewed Lake Effect Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Awesome place to train, great environment with supportive teammates that makes the academy feel like an extension of your family.

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Our latest news & thoughts

Losing is My Favorite Sport

Everyone at some point is a “competitive” person. Who thoroughly enjoys not connecting successes and highlighting repeated failures?
The stages of grief (and loss) are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. What in the world does that have to do with Jiu Jitsu?!
The stages of loss are applied often in difficult sports.  Oddly enough, you see practitioners, from beginners all the way through to experienced, upper belt competitors cycle through the stages throughout their martial arts journey. The stages (of loss) surface and become quite hard to hide. So what can we do?

COACHING
It’s always interesting to see how coaching plays into the Jiu Jitsu artist’s psyche. Some coaches will just butter the artist up, time and time again. Some practitioners feel the need to be buttered up, and will gravitate immensely towards positive words not entirely aware of what stage of loss they are stuck in, or not entirely aware that constant praise is harmful and builds complacency. Other coaches can creatively have the student work towards targeted praise that is more coded and nuanced. Nowadays lots of practitioners whether they want to accept it or not, cycle through a variety of coaches and often end of landing in a phase of a “most opportunistic fit” as opposed to practicality and longevity. The less your coach knows truly about you, the less they’ll be able to help you. Often, the more focused the coach is on themselves, the less they’ll be able to help you. Usually speaking, the more a coach is focused on themselves, the more you’ll focus in on their style and well, styles are nice and all but factor in ability, age and body type while factoring in the practicality of said style. This is why the whole “the best competitors don’t always make good teachers” motto actually has some merit. A great way of indicating a good fit for you is identifying your goals and seeing if they align with your coaches daily practices…For example: your goal may be to become more disciplined. Is your coach a bjj robot with little discipline anywhere else in the world?  Another example: your goal may be to be a well-rounded purple belt one day…… Is your coach well rounded? Can they only do stand up? Can they only pull guard? Are their credentials diverse? Coaches have an obligation to provide a diverse resume of the art, not just hone in on what they like or feel is the coolest trick of the year.

One of my goals during the earlier part of my jiu jitsu journey was to control my anger. I knew quickly that a hot headed coach was a terrible fit for me, and although I didn’t have the chance to know the coach on a deeply personal level, their internet presence gave me more than enough information that I needed to know on why that goal and that person couldn’t work together. (Food for thought….Have I accomplished this goal or is it still a work in progress?)

PRACTITIONERS

Your job as a student is to be a trial and error warrior. To show little emotion and control pride as often as possible when facing adversity (when winning, obviously, but, when losing, to be specific). To act as if you have a perfect handle on your psychology is even more prideful than to act as if you are unaffected by winning and losing, so it’s perfectly alright to lose sight every now and again. At the top of martial arts principles is self-improvement. (New students…If you prioritize self-improvement you can surpass many practitioners who don’t). If you aren’t improving yourself you could be focused too heavily on the abstract. Jiu Jitsu should be more than “something to do”. It could be more than something you currently enjoy. It should definitely give you confidence to not have to fight if a situation arises and there is a choice in the matter. It could help you transcend your younger, immature self.  A lot of this ability on transcending your younger self will be based on who you associate with. Group dynamics are one of the most influential pieces of the puzzle. You can learn a lot by where you’re going by what you’re surrounded by (people wise). Are they normalizing unacceptable behavior? Are you beginning to normalize unacceptable behaviors? Are you becoming you? Are you becoming them? Where do you want to go and what do you want to do with this journey when it’s all said and done? Has the thought crossed your mind before? Are you rushing this decision? Is this decision yours and yours alone? Are you just, “waiting your turn”? Be aware that even people you usually disagree with can somehow influence you if you are watching them ever closely (social media).

Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but plenty of higher belts in jiu jitsu have not appropriately addressed the “self” component well enough to have them be appropriate role models, especially for anything outside of “the mats”.

For coaches and students…..Handle adversity. Don’t shy away from a good challenge. Don’t diminish the ability of others. Your weaknesses are always ever present. It’s your job to conquer them, not the teams job to rise to your ever changing expectations.