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Jeremy Jackson
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Team Citadel BJJ Iowa City Brazilian Jiu Jitsu IC
Dear Reader,

Here’s a proven FACT about fighting: 
Most—almost ALL—fights end up on the ground (or in grappling range) at some point during the fight.
So that means...
If you can’t defend yourself on the ground, YOU CAN’T FIGHT!
Bottom line is, if you don’t know what to do in a fight on the ground, you’re putting yourself at risk, and even your loved ones! That sounds unpleasant, but it’s the truth.

The fact you’re on this page right now means you’re at least somewhat serious about learning more about how to defend yourself, and learning the tried-and-tested, proven successful techniques of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. 
Maybe you want to compete in the sport, or maybe you just want to get the benefits of training and learning this powerful martial art… either way, we’ve got you covered!
Let’s face it. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a “must-know” style for any professional mixed martial artists like the ones fighting in the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). 
And these days, BJJ should most definitely be a “must-know” for pretty much ANYONE.
Here’s why:

The fight-controlling positions of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, along with the fight-ending submissions, have been battle-tested in combat, in sport, in the cage (MMA), and on the street.

And probably the main reason that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is something EVERYONE should learn, is because it can be effective regardless of a person’s size or strength!
BJJ was developed so that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend himself or herself against a larger, stronger, heavier opponent. 
That’s why ANYONE can do Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and that’s why EVERYONE should learn this incredible martial art!
With Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, the smaller person really CAN beat the bigger person!
Here’s how a person who knows Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can defeat a bigger, stronger attacker:

It’s done by taking the fight to the ground and using proper technique and leverage, and then applying joint locks or chokeholds to defeat the resisting opponent, making them quit, and getting yourself out of harm’s way.
Women Self Defense Iowa City - Citadel BJJ
Matt Leighton teaching jiu jitsu in Iowa City - Citadel BJJ
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Iowa City - Tony Curry - Citadel BJJ
What Is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?
“Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a sport or activity where you learn to use your body as a tool to control and ultimately submit your opponent using techniques and leverage on the ground and sometimes standing as well.” — Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt Matt Leighton, Citadel BJJ Head Coach

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, or BJJ for short, is a grappling-based martial art and complete self defense system.
This system has been PROVEN time and time again, in REAL FIGHTS, for years now. 
Although Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was designed for fighting and self defense, it has since evolved into a sport, with specific rules. Now, athletes of all types and all skill levels have the opportunity to compete against each other in structured events like local and national tournaments, and even the world championships. There are competitions with and without the uniform, which is called a gi, or kimono. Almost all BJJ tournaments do not allow striking, so the matches are often a combination of wrestling, Judo, and of course, Jiu Jitsu.
Here at Citadel BJJ in Iowa City, we have a team with a lot of competitors. However, lots of our students don’t compete—they are training “for life”!
So, if you don’t want to compete, we won’t force you to compete!

BJJ also includes striking techniques, takedowns, throws, and stand-up techniques and strategies that enable people to handle themselves in a real fight. 

That being said, the daily classes at Citadel BJJ do not feature kicking or punching. The focus is on safe grappling technique that can be done on a daily basis with no more fear of injury than any other contact sport. 
Why Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Was Created
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was created to allow a smaller, weaker person to defend himself or herself against a bigger, stronger, more athletic opponent by using proper technique and leverage. This is achieved primarily by taking the fight to the ground.
A small person who knows the proper techniques and positioning from BJJ can beat a bigger person who doesn’t know technique. Jiu Jitsu is one of the only martial arts where that’s REAL!
Matt Leighton Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training - Citadel BJJ Iowa City
Women Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Iowa City - Citadel BJJ
Matt Leighton triangle choke - Citadel BJJ Iowa City
Here’s what makes Brazilian Jiu Jitsu such an effective martial art:
By closing the distance and taking the fight to the ground, your opponent’s abilities to strike and inflict damage are greatly reduced. 

The strategy is primarily to take away your opponents’ strengths and ability to win, while applying your own. 

Here’s why it’s usually better to take the fight to the ground (especially if you know BJJ):

The longer you stand and trade punches with someone who’s bigger and stronger, the higher their chances are of hitting you with a damaging strike. The stronger your opponent, the harder they will hit. The bigger the opponent, the more damage they can take, and the longer their reach is, so they can hit you without getting hit. So bigger reach and powerful strikes are taken away when grappling on the ground. 

Jiu Jitsu is a methodical self defense and fighting system that consists of these four key strategies:
  • 1.  Closing the distance
  • 2.  Taking the fight to the ground
  • 3.  Achieving a dominant position
  • 4.  Finishing the fight
At Citadel Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, you’ll become proficient in all four of these crucial stages of a fight.
Meet Your Team Citadel Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Coaches:
Coach Matt Leighton
Rank: Black Belt
Citadel BJJ Coach Matt Leighton in Iowa City
Matt Leighton is one of the most accomplished American grapplers to compete in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He is currently a professional BJJ Black Belt competitor and has been teaching here in Iowa City for the past couple years sharing his knowledge with his students. Coach Matt Leighton is the head Brazilian Jiu Jitsu instructor at Citadel BJJ.
Coach James Kelly
Rank: Black Belt
Citadel BJJ Coach James Kelly in Iowa City
James Kelly is one of the founders of Eastern Iowa Wrestling Club in Iowa City, works closely with the Hawkeye Wrestling Club, and is an experienced BJJ practitioner and coach who has worked with some of the world's best coaches and competitors. Coach James Kelly is the head coach of the kids program, and the wrestling coach at Citadel BJJ.
BJJ Black Belt Matt Leighton

From Coach Matt Leighton:


"I'm all about training, getting better every day, perfecting the technique, continuing to develop myself and my Jiu-Jitsu, and also those around me, my training partners, my students. My goal is for all of us to get better day in and day out. And that's one of my number one priorities. I hold that very, very high. Just constant improvement; constant improvement for me and all my training partners and students."
Fill Out The Form Below, And A Coach Will Contact You To Help Get You Started
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes in Iowa City - Citadel BJJ
BJJ classes in Iowa City - Citadel Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
BJJ classes in Iowa City - Citadel Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Want PROOF Of What This Program Can Do For You?
Here's What Others Have To Say About Us...
University Of Iowa Medical Student Improved His Grades While Shedding 30 Pounds Of Fat Training At Citadel BJJ In Iowa City!
University of Iowa medical student Michael Lung reviews Citadel BJJ Iowa City
"I want to take a moment to tell you how Jiu Jitsu has changed my life for the better..."
"My name's Michael Lung, I'm a member here at Citadel Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Iowa City, and I want to take a moment to tell you how Jiu Jitsu has changed my life for the better. 

"So, first off I'm a medical student and I thought that meant that I had to dedicate everything to my studies, putting it before my health, my diet, my well-being, and that's what did. 

"Pretty soon it started taking a toll on my body, you know, I just didn't have energy, I was always irritable and I started putting on weight like crazy. I actually put on, like 25 pounds over a four month period! So, you guys know how poorly I was taking care of myself. 

"Then, I realized I needed to do something to change my life, and so I decided to come down here to Citadel BJJ, found my way onto the mats, started training. Next thing you know I have more focus, things are just getting easier and the weight just starts melting off, and in fact, I end up losing 30 pounds! 

"So, I lost more weight than I actually had put on. But, most importantly to me as a medical student is that, since I've been training here at Citadel BJJ, I've done better academically than I've done in my entire life! And, I truly believe it's because I have more focus, discipline and just have more energy to really attack my goals. 

"That's just kind of a testimony in to what Jiu Jitsu can do for your life, and it's not unique to my life. You ask anyone that trains down here, I guarantee you, they'll tell you a similar story of how Jiu Jitsu has made their life better. 

"So, if you either lost a step, or, are just looking to take your life to the next level, I highly recommend coming down here, doing some training, not only are you gonna get in shape, but you're just gonna be on the path to becoming the best you. Hope to see you on the mats!"

- Michael Lung, BJJ blue belt, Citadel Brazilian Jitsu in Iowa City
Anna Kroeger Review Citadel BJJ Iowa City
Tony Curry Review Citadel BJJ Iowa City
Prajwal Gurung Review Citadel BJJ Iowa City
John Rearden - Citadel BJJ Iowa City
Eldon Giannakouros Review - Citadel Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Iowa City
Bryan Peterson Review - Citadel BJJ Iowa City
Nick Broz Review Citadel BJJ Iowa City
Eldon Giannakouros Review Citadel BJJ Iowa City
Claire Johnson Review - Citadel BJJ Women Iowa City
Justin Cosner Review - Citadel Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Iowa City
Fill Out The Form Below, And A Coach Will Contact You To Help Get You Started
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training Iowa City - Citadel BJJ
Matt Leighton BJJ - Citadel Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Iowa City
Justin Cosner BJJ class Iowa City - Citadel BJJ
Your Coaches & Teammates
You'll have world class coaches with stellar reputations and proven track records to help you achieve your goals! 

Plus, you'll get to train with some of the best grapplers in the midwest and the world! 
Stay Informed
Join our email notification list so you can get all the latest news about our BJJ classes in Iowa City, along with videos, articles, and tips to help you choose the right BJJ program. This way, you'll be able to make a well-informed decision.
Class Schedule
  • ​Daytime & Evening Classes
  • ​BJJ Fundamentals Classes
  • BJJ "All Levels" Classes
  • ​Wrestling Classes
  • ​No-Gi Grappling Classes
  • ​Competition Training
  • ​KIDS Jiu-Jitsu Classes
Call Us Now
Let's see if we can help you. 

What might you be looking to get out of our program? 

Give us a call right now, and a coach will help you get started...
Extremely Limited Time Offer Available Now
Would You Like To Speak Directly To A Citadel BJJ Coach Right Now? 
Call 319-855-8110 (ask for James)!
Citadel Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Iowa City
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