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Readers' Choice Winner: Claudio Franca Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

The newest martial arts studio in town is an instant favorite.

In our , 173 people voted for the dojo with the know-how in Watsonville.

And the winner is:

The school received 97 votes in the contest, a heated race with and the . The latter two martial arts studios received three comments from clients and parents of students; Claudio Franca got two.

"Claudio Franca is a great place to learn something new and be welcomed and embraced by big hearted people who are also passionate about the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu," Heather Lynn Foh-Getabowtit wrote in comments on the Readers' Choice poll.

Jiu Jitsu seems to be growing in popularity. is one of three Jiu Jitsu programs to open in Watsonville in recent months and also has a studio in Santa Cruz.

"Claudio Franca Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is the best place to train wether you are in Watsonville or Santa Cruz," Arturo commented on the poll. "Great instructors, great training partners, great atmosphere overall.

Claudio Franca also runs a studio in Santa Cruz, and . Quite the sweep!

Check out the poll below to see all of the votes in Watsonville.

Martial arts students—or fans of any other local business—should review it on Patch. How many stars does your favorite spot in town deserve and why? Rate it here.

Cathy P. March 23, 2012 at 08:28 PM
OK, stupid question: what's the difference between Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and regular (?) Jiu Jitsu, which I assume (the language) originated in Japan? I have no knowledge of any of this and am interested in knowing. Thanks. Oh, and congrats Claudio Franca!
Matthew Slatter March 24, 2012 at 01:55 AM
That's a great question and a very common one at that. There is a lot of information available especially if you read about Helio Gracie ut the short answer is that four generations ago a well known Japanese Jiu Jitsu master settled in Rio where he taught the sons of his friend Gracie Japanese Jiu Jitsu. Hellio the smallest of the brothers began to adapt the techniqes to use more leverage and position instead of power to defeat bigger stronger opponents. He also recognized that 90% of all fights end up on the ground so most of BJJ is ground fighting combined with Judo throws or wrestling takedowns to bring your opponent down initially. Claudio Franca is a student of Master Mansor now the hightest ranking BJJ redbelt in the world and his teacher was Helio Gracie himself. We are lucky to have Claudio here in our community there are few with such a direct link in the world.

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