Columbia Self Defense has been providing quality instruction in the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu since March 2005, operating out of its downtown Vista location. Due to size limitations and the instructor’s desire to add kid’s classes to the curriculum, the training space has been moved to a new location in Irmo, South Carolina.
Our new studio is conveniently located on Broad River Road and I-26, and boasts a state of the art seamless mat covering over 850 square feet. Small class size, relaxed atmosphere and plenty of individualized attention help build self confidence, discipline, endurance, flexibility and core strength.
Instructor Jack Walker was introduced to the martial arts in the late 80’s with the study of Shotokan Karate and later, Tae-Kwon-Do. After witnessing the spectacular display of technique by Royce Gracie in the UFC, however, he immediately became interested in the ground based martial art. His training in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu began in 1997 under Professor Pedro Valente, who had recently emigrated from Brazil to Miami, Florida.
For three generations, the Valente family has learned Jiu-Jitsu directly from the legendary Grandmaster Helio Gracie with Pedro being one of only a handful of people to receive his black belt directly from him. Jack was one of Pedro’s first students training out of a small location behind a warehouse. Today, Valente Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Miami is one of the largest schools in the country. Jack is proud to be a certified two stripe Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Brown Belt holder.