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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
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!
David Skorka recommends Lake Effect Martial Arts
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.
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 recommends Lake Effect Martial Arts
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 recommends Lake Effect Martial Arts
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 recommends Lake Effect Martial Arts
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 recommends Lake Effect Martial Arts
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 S. recommends Lake Effect Martial Arts
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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Black Belt Lineage: Carlos Gracie > Helio Gracie > Carlos Gracie Jr > Jean Jacques Machado > Fabio Clemente > Doug Lanphere
What year did you start training and what was your attraction to BJJ?
I started training in January 2009. Unlike most people who start training, I had no idea what I was walking into. A friend in college talked me into trying out a class. I had no idea what BJJ was and don’t think I had ever watched an MMA fight. I was immediately hooked by how technical jiu jitsu was and the “puzzle” aspect of the art.
What do you most enjoy about BJJ and training at LEMA?
I think what keeps me coming back is that no matter how much I learn, no matter how much I practice, I’ll never learn a fraction of what there is to know. The constant, evolving puzzle and opportunity for constant growth and improvement keep me on the mats. Training at LEMA is great because there is an incredible diversity of people and of BJJ styles. Unlike many academies where everyone sort of emulates the head instructor’s game, every black belt at LEMA has a distinct individual style that keeps things fresh and creates an environment where everyone can get what they want out of training.
Who is your inspiration and why?
On the mat, some of my biggest influences have been Paul Schreiner, Rafael Lovato, Roger Gracie, Dean Lister and Marcelo Garcia. Aside from being drawn to their “basic” styles and incredible technical proficiency, they have always come across as humble and respectful on and off the mats.
What are some of your achievements?
I have no real competition accolades to speak of–I’ve never really enjoyed competing and it’s not why I train. But if you ask around you’ll hear stories of a particular win by footlock at purple belt. In all seriousness, receiving my black belt was one of my biggest achievements. It reinforced for me that if I keep my head down, keep grinding and don’t give up just because something is hard, you can reach goals you never thought possible. I also put a lot of pressure on myself to be the best instructor I can and it means a lot whenever a student tells me that what I taught was helpful, changed the way they think about something, etc.
What is your favorite submission?
Everyone expects me to say leg locks, but in the past year or two I’ve really started to love armlocks and developed a fairly strong armbar game. Also, foot locks.