Welcome to Gracie Barra Champaign
One team. One family.
Gracie Barra Champaign offers Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes with top quality instruction to meet the needs of its students – whether it is to get in better shape, learn Jiu-Jitsu for sport or for self-defense.
Gracie Barra Champaign offers classes for all ages and skill levels. In addition to learning the art of BJJ, emphasis is placed on fostering a team and family dynamic among students and instructors. All members become part of the Gracie Barra family and are treated with respect, regardless of belt rank or experience level.
At GB Champaign, students are the number one priority. Our instructors have dedicated their lives to the martial arts, and strive to make each training experience one to remember by inspiring their students to live the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu lifestyle.
The Gracie Barra family is a global organization formed by more than 500 schools worldwide. School owners work together to ensure that classes are aligned with the Gracie Barra Program Structure developed by Master Carlos Gracie Jr. to meet the needs of students of different ages, gender and levels.
In addition to BJJ, Gracie Barra Champaign offers Commando Krav Maga classes. Commando Krav Maga is the ultimate Israeli reality based street self-defense system. CKM was designed to teach students to protect themselves against brutal and vicious street confrontations by using no-nonsense, efficient, straight forward moves.
Whether you want to learn self-defense, ground fighting, or just get in amazing shape, there is a place for you at Gracie Barra Champaign!
PROFESSOR JOSH CADENBACH
Professor Josh Cadenbach began wrestling at the age of 8 in his home state of Nebraska. He wrestled competitively throughout his childhood and high school years, winning numerous state and local tournaments. His success earned him collegiate scholarship offers, which Professor Josh turned down to serve his country in the 2nd Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment. In 2010, Professor Josh left the service and enrolled at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science. It was during his time at the U of I that Professor Josh discovered Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and in 2013 opened his first Gracie Barra school in Champaign, IL.
After nearly a decade running a school in Champaign, Professor Josh had the opportunity to start another school in Collinsville, IL and bring Gracie Barra to the St. Louis east metro area.
Professor Josh comes from the lineage of Professor Marcos Barros, a fourth degree black belt under Master Carlos Gracie Jr. and the owner and head instructor of Gracie Barra Springfield. Professor Josh is continually training to ensure his students receive the highest quality Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instruction. In addition to being a Black Belt in BJJ, Professor Josh is a certified Level 8 Commando Krav Maga instructor, and certified firearms instructor. He brings nearly 20 years of grappling experience to Gracie Barra Collinsville, and with it the passion and drive to share the gentle art.
Coach RENE WISSEL
Coach Rene has been training with Gracie Barra under professor Josh since 2018. He has been an ICP certified instructor since 2021. Coach Rene is currently an active duty police officer, swat team member and law enforcement control tactics instructor. His experiences include being a collegiate athlete, a youth coach and fitness gym manager. He believes in Master Carlos‘s philosophy of “there is no losing in jiu jitsu. You either win or you learn.”