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& EXCLUSIVE WEB SPECIAL

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

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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Positionals with Purpose

One major reason I am drawn to BJJ over a multitude of other martial arts is realism. I am able to train on a regular basis with just about 100% intensity. I get real responses and real feedback to my inputs. It teaches us what works, what needs refinement, and what is downright not worth doing. Training live is a big piece of what makes BJJ the powerhouse that it is. I have seen techniques from other styles that you just can’t train with, because they would cause too much damage applied full force. If I can’t train the technique fully and with realistic resistance, I can’t count on it for a real situation. Rolling is crucial to developing your game. I think many tend to lose focus in their rolls and miss out on some of the technical development they could be gaining. Even worse, many let positional sparring lose focus and become just a roll that starts from a certain position. 

An idea popularized by Malcolm Gladwell is that 10,000 hours of practice are required for mastery. It’s often missed that the rule is 10,000 hours of deliberate practice. It’s not just enough to be there, doing a task, you need to be there, doing a task in a way that is structured and focused on improvement. That’s the beauty of positionals, more parameters make for a more focused approach. Rolling and positionals should be done in a manner that raises questions and seeks answers. “Why did I get swept from half? How do I avoid this armlock? Oh! If I grip lower on the pants he can’t lift his leg so well.” Granted, some questions and answers we won’t completely build out verbally. We will simply ask and answer through grooving patterns and responses subconsciously. Both the conscious and subconscious formation of problems and solutions are what push our game forward. Letting our positionals be a battle and letting what happens happen ignores all the conscious learning we could be doing. We lose at least half of the progress we could be making. Next time you train positionals think about what exactly you are doing, try to create more structure. 

Slow your positionals down, and lighten up. Chances are your partner is going to meet you where you’re at intensity wise. This means strength and speed might become more heavily emphasized. It’s easy to fall into this habit. Try instead to focus on technique, fluidity and timing. If a technique falls short due to less muscle being applied, it probably isn’t the best technique for that particular situation. Your partner’s positions and actions are the locks and your techniques are the keys. A technique may fit in a few situations, but we should not try to force it in any situation. It just won’t work. When it fails, we don’t push harder, we need to move on to trying the next technique before our partner presents a new situation. Cycle through your encyclopedia of techniques until you hit the one that fits, build that association between the situation presented and your answer to it. If you’re developing those cause and effect relationships, you’re doing positionals right.

You might get a lot out of positionals, even without winning. Don’t make winning a huge priority. I’m guessing you’ve heard that line before. Learning that something is a mistake is still learning. Pay attention to your mistakes, so that you don’t have to repeat them. Not to mention we are in a room full of teammates. They need to learn just as much as you do. It’s a give and take. We need to feel successes and failures. Discussing the outcomes of a round of positionals, what went well, what didn’t, and why can help us to a higher level of understanding the position. 

The value of positionals stems from getting numerous repetitions with realistic resistance. They are a huge asset to anyone’s BJJ game. Approach them with focus and a critical mind. Going to hard will not be the most beneficial approach. Playing to win will not be your best bet either. Give your partners a shot at some success, and if your own attempts fall short, don’t scramble to save them. Approach positionals with the right mindset, and they will pay dividends.