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& EXCLUSIVE WEB SPECIAL

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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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Professor Michael Katilus

Owner, Head Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Coach

Biography

What year did you start training and what was your attraction to BJJ?

I started training in 2005 and what attracted me most was the idea of becoming proficient at escaping bad positions one would likely face if in a physical altercation. Competing in Jiu Jitsu was another big attraction as I wanted to find something to put my heart into.

What do you most enjoy about BJJ and training at LEMA?

My favorite part about Jiu Jitsu now is watching others grow in experience and skill. Teaching a child how to defend themselves without having to seriously hurt someone is always rewarding. Having students come to you and essentially transform themselves, both physically and mentally, that makes Jiu Jitsu something special.

Who is your inspiration and why?

I have lots of inspirational athletes in Jiu Jitsu. Marcelo Garcia, Fabio Clemente, Leo Vieira: Anyone who made their mark in Jiu Jitsu and used the lessons learned to approach life with confidence and continued success. Any Jiu Jitsu athlete who became a devoted father inspires me.

What are some of your achievements?

Hands down, starting and successfully running Lake Effect Martial Arts is my biggest achievement. Nobody but you expects you to win a tournament when you do. Operating a successful business makes winning a tournament pale in comparison. I had so much doubt surrounding me when I started Lake Effect I doubted myself. Now we’re easily the strongest academy in Western New York, without any hesitation. No medal can compare to the joy I feel when I see other’s enjoy the art of Jiu Jitsu as much as I did. Bringing in some of the world’s best instructors and athletes helps Brazilian Jiu Jitsu continue to grow and propel itself into the mainstream.
Being a part of the first Buffalo based Jiu Jitsu tournament company is another memorable achievement. I hope we can get back to running tournaments in Western New York in the very near future.

  • Competition Achievements
    2018 IBJJF Toronto Open Black Belt Middleweight Masters 2 1st Place
    2017 Buffalo Jiu Jitsu Classic Black Belt Masters Middle-Heavy 1st Place
    2017 Buffalo Jiu Jitsu Classic Black Belt Masters Open Weight 1st Place
    2016 Buffalo Jiu Jitsu Classic Black Belt Masters Middleweight 1st Place
    2015 Ontario Open Brown and Black Belt Middleweight Masters 1st Place
    2015 Ontario Open Black Belt Masters Open Weight 3rd Place
    2015 Buffalo Jiu Jitsu Classic Black Belt Masters Middleweight 1st Place
    2013 Buffalo Classic Black Belt Adult No Gi Open Weight 1st Place
    2013 Grappling Industries Toronto Adult Expert No Gi Middleweight 1st Place
    2013 IBJJF Pans No Gi Masters Brown Belt Open Weight 3rd Place
    2013 Niagara Open Purple Belt Adult Middleweight 1st Place- Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada
    2013 Niagara Open Purple Belt Adult Open Weight 1st Place- Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada
    2013 Grappling Industries Mens No Gi Advanced Middle and Middle Heavy 2nd Place
    2012 IBJJF Toronto Open Purple Belt Middleweight Masters 1st Place
    2012 IBJJF Toronto Open Purple Belt Masters Open Weight 1st Place
    2012 IBJJF Pans Purple Belt Middleweight Masters 2nd Place Irvine, California
    2012 IBJJF Pans Purple Belt Masters Open Weight 3rd Place
    2011 IBJJF Montreal Open Blue Belt Masters Open Weight 2nd Place Montreal, Quebec Canada
    2011 IBJJF Pans Blue Belt Middleweight Masters 3rd Place
    2010 Grapplers Quest Canadian National Grappling Championships Men’s Advanced No Gi Middleweight 1st Place London, Ontario Canada
    2010 Grapplers Quest Canadian National Grappling Championships Mens Blue Belt Middleweight 2nd Place
    2010 Toronto Jiu Jitsu Classic Blue Belt Middleweight Adult 1st Place
    2010 US Grappling Submission Only Intermediate No GI Under 170lb 1st Place Rochester, NY

 

What is your favorite submission?

Triangles, Omoplatas and any choke variation, both in gi and no gi.

Certifications

Black Belt Lineage: Carlos Gracie > Helio Gracie > Rolls Gracie > Romero Cavalcanti > Michael Katilus