A new Brazilian jiu jitsu and fitness studio has locked up a long desired location in Mineola.
“I saw it five years ago and said ‘I have to have it’,” owner of Marcel Oliveira Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Marcel Oliveira said.
Currently located at 74 Hillside Ave. in Williston Park, Oliveira recently received approval from the Village of Mineola Board of Trustees to relocate five minutes down the road to 44A Jericho Turnpike.
The studio, described as a hybrid-style kickboxing and fitness gym by Oliveira, is relocating as a result of growth and opportunity.
Classes for children ages five to 13 as well as those for adults of all walks of life, like doctors, lawyers, nurses and police officers, have grown in size since opening in Williston Park in 2016, Oliveira said. Oliveira gauged the interest of fitness classes with a group who participated in a self-defense seminar he ran and it was a hit, he said.
The new location, unlike the former, has a parking lot and more directly available street parking, an important factor Oliveira recognized because of the volume of children dropped off by parents that attend the studio.
Within the new space, Oliveira plans to dedicate room to mat space for martial arts training as well as a separate area strictly for fitness equipment like a squat rack, rowing machine, treadmills and free weights.
Oliveira stressed the point that the studio is not strictly for those looking to learn martial arts.
Anyone can walk into the studio and sign up for fitness and self-defense classes without an obligation to be “punched in the face,” Oliveira said.
“Most people think it’s just punch, kick and scream, but we don’t do that,” Oliveira said.
Though not mandatory for membership, plenty of adults, 20 or 30 sometimes, regularly are in the studio as early as 6 a.m. for training and open mat sessions. The training builds confidence for many and a sense of camaraderie tends to follow, Oliveira said.
Confidence also comes to many of the children in classes. Oliveira utilizes an unconventional testing, which stems from a lack of interest in traditional testing.
Oliveira and his fellow instructors will demonstrate techniques for younger students and eventually have them casually recite the same steps and repeat the moves, implementing repetition and muscle memory to teach the arts.
“Parents love it,” Oliveira said.
Efforts to move from the old storefront to the new are now underway, Oliveira said. The planned studio hours will be weekdays from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and a one hour window on Sundays.
Current prices for children are $135 per month and for adults $135 for two sessions/week per month or $155 for unlimited sessions/week per month, though the prices are subject to increase as a result of the move.
“We always like to see the stores filled around Mineola,” Trustee Dennis Walsh said. “This is a great use of that area.”