Jeff Morris and his wife Jen opened The Greenwich Jiu Jitsu Academy three years ago in Cos Cob. Both are Greenwich natives, and are raising their three girls, ages 10, 11 and 13, here! Greenwich Jiu Jitsu is the only family friendly, formal Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy in Greenwich offering Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes as well as submission grappling and self-defense instruction, for ages 7 through adult. Here is a bit more from Jeff and Jen about their programs, including the benefits of Jiu Jitsu, what parents should know, and more!
Can you please share a bit about yourselves and business?
Jeff is a US Marine Corp Veteran and an active law enforcement officer. Jen previously owned restaurants here in town for a decade and is currently a private chef for local families. Opening the Academy together has been so much fun, and having our girls involved is really important to us. The girls help with private sessions and some classes!
Why is Jiu Jitsu such a fabulous form of martial arts for the whole family?
Family training is strongly encouraged! Jiu Jitsu is a grappling art; in other words, no equipment is required other than a training partner. Families that train in an academy setting generally create a “home dojo” space and are able to practice the art together, during off days or if scheduling obstacles get in the way of making it to the academy. Lastly, the curriculum from children to adults barely varies; Jiu Jitsu focuses only on usable, efficient techniques. Allowing for lots of overlap and mutual understanding between family members regardless of age or experience.
Sounds great. What kind of child is Jiu Jitsu perfect for and what qualities can it nurture?
Jiu Jitsu is perfect for children of all ages, sizes, shapes and genders. Due to the constant practical application and ability for children to learn so quickly, most students become proficient rapidly. The art happens to be very cerebral as well; children who are generally adverse to traditional sports, and prefer arts or technology based activities, thrive in Jiu Jitsu class. Confidence, discipline and enhanced focus, are easily three of the most nurtured and gained qualities during training.
Wonderful! What’s something else parents might not realize about your program or about this activity in general?
Aspects of the art that are commonly unknown by parents are the emphasis placed on actual combative sparring in every class and the conservative process of belt promotions. Both aspects are in stark contrast to traditional martial arts. Two core components of Jiu Jitsu are developing resilience and earning achievements. Staying true to this philosophy, our students see their continued development as their achievement, not what color the belt is around their waist.
What makes Greenwich Jiu Jitsu stand out?
The Greenwich Jiu Jitsu Academy is the only, formal Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy in Greenwich and it is Black Belt Professor and Marine Corps Veteran owned/operated. All classes are led by highly qualified, highly certified professional instructors, most of which also teach at the highest levels of the US Military, Law Enforcement and CT State Educational System as well.
What do you love about owning a business in Greenwich?
There is a healthy culture of supporting small businesses in our town. There is also a positive sense of community that allows small businesses to feel like they are not only providing services but supporting their surrounding neighborhoods as well. We also love being able to support local organizations that we feel fit with our mission here at Greenwich Jiu-Jitsu, especially involving children!
We also love supporting local businesses. Could you please share your favorite places to:
Eat out as a family: Miku, Lugano‘s, and of course Pizza Post!
Go on date night : Lately, we have been loving the Townhouse!
Have fun as a family: We love Tod’s Point any time of the year and hiking at Babcock!
This story contains sponsored content.