Our Philosophy

"No fantasy however rich, no technique however masterly, no penetration into the psychology of the opponent however deep, can make a chess game a work of art if these qualities do not lead to the main goal -- the search for truth."
Vasily Smyslov - a chess grandmaster

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) follows a code which demands that a practitioner possesses and cultivates certain qualities in order to evolve:  courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, indomitable spirit, and the will to succeed.  As your experience and skill level increases, so must your discipline and commitment, because the road to mastery becomes more difficult as your draw nearer.

Lies and hypocrisy do not last long on the mat.  If you have ignored a certain aspect of the game while training, if you have not challenged yourself fully during the learning process, then it will come out when you are truly challenged and defeat you.  So as a result of this we are forced to always look inside to find out weaknesses, take them on, and refine our individual games.

Every master was once a beginner and every black belt was once a white belt (and I use the term master lightly, as I consider all martial artists beginners -- some of us have just been beginning longer!).

The black belt is not a mark or indication of the end of the journey to your mastery of the arts; instead it is a symbol that you have finished preparing for your true journey, a journey which can never be completed, just traveled.  Anyone who claims mastery is mistaken.  It is best then not to follow in the footsteps of the black belts but seek what it is that they sought, learn from their mistakes, and begin preparing for your own journey.

By all means, analyze the strategies of the great practitioners, but don't swallow them whole.  Their methods are valuable not just for their separate moves, but for their vision and their ways of thinking.

Learning BJJ is like learning to play music, to communicate through language, or how to do mathematics.  You first begin to learn the individual notes, the alphabet, how to count; these are the rules of the mat, proper hip movements, how to fall, control positions, the essential movements that make up the individual positions.

Later you learn to play simple songs, speak words or do basic arithmetic.  Here we begin to assemble the primary pieces and execute attacks, escapes, counters, and you now learn to implement the individual positions one by one.

Later we string them together and it is here you begin to play chords, speak in sentences, perform algorithms, or in BJJ learn to combine positions.  This is where BJJ really begins for most of us.  Being able to connect a few simple positions together is far more valuable that having a long list of individual techniques or one or two superfluous moves to pull from. 

You will begin to use the same strings of individual techniques over and over and this begins to define your own individual game.  Over time you will be able to connect more and more techniques from various positions smoothly using different technique combinations efficiently.  At this point your BJJ will become an expression of who you are and this definition will be a result of your personality, body type, range of flexibility, and so on.  At this point you will be finally playing music, speaking fluently or calculating complex problems with ease.  You will no longer be thinking in fragments but in complex patterns and with unconscious flow.  You will have done these so many times that thought will no longer be a part of the process, it will be natural instinct.

Here at Carlson Gracie Jiu Jitsu Indianapolis I will be teaching classic Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  The Fundamentals Classes will start with the beginning pieces to learn BJJ and just a few techniques from each major position.  These will be the moves that I have learned from my experiences and travels and that have proven timless and effective.  Later in the Advanced Classes we will continue forward learning more complex positions and begin learning to string them together.  We look forward to having you joing us in class and in this journey of self-discovery!


Carlson Gracie Indianapolis Jiu Jitsu Intro

A video showing different aspects of the Carlson Gracie Indianapolis Jiu Jitsu School.

Carlson Gracie Indianapolis BJJ

Welcome to Carlson Gracie Indianapolis Jiu Jitsu!  We are here to help you reach your goals.  We offer Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes for everyone, including men, women, and children – fitness through martial arts and self-defense for the whole family. Whether you want to learn self-defense, dream of competition, need a way to relieve life’s stresses, or just want to get an amazing workout without having to mess around with machines, we have what you are looking for.

Our school is sought out by those in the know for specific and hands on training.  You always get Black Belt instruction and great student/instructor interaction.  This is what makes Carlson Gracie Indianapolis Jiu Jitsu second to none!

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu helps the casual student to develop flexibility, increase motor coordination and cardiovascular endurance, and a obtain a greater understanding of one’s fitness.  With the fun and engaging training at Carlson Gracie Indianapolis Jiu Jitsu you will get all that and more!

School owner and instructor, Alan Stockman, began training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in 1997 while living in Fortaleza, Brazil.  He traveled extensively throughout Brazil, training and competing in the cities of Fortaleza, Teresina, Natal, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and Porto Alegre.  It was during this time that he met his future wife!  After almost 4 years in Brazil, he returned home with his wife, a 9-month old daughter, and a wealth of BJJ experience.

After arriving back in the States he continued training BJJ all over the US, earning his Black Belt after 13 ½ years of hard but rewarding work.  In this time he also successfully competed in BJJ Gi and No Gi tournaments and MMA.  He was one of the founders of the Michiana Fight League (MFL) in South Bend, Indiana, where he co-promoted over 2 dozen mixed martial arts shows.  He was the primary matchmaker for these and assisted matchmaking with many other Midwest promotions as well.  Alan worked closely with fighters from the Bulldog Fight Team, based out of Osceola, Indiana, helping to manage fighters and to promote their careers, seeing 2 of them eventually reach the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Alan says that while he is a fan of MMA, his love is with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and he will always focus his energy on ground fighting and teaching Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as self-defense.

Carlson Gracie Indianapolis Jiu Jitsu is new to the area but has exploded onto the scene.  It is one of Greenwood’s best kept secrets for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training.  Carlson Gracie Indianapolis Jiu Jitsu offers BJJ classes Monday through Saturday.  The school is located just ¼ mile from I65, so it is easily accessible from anywhere in Indy.

The school offers a fundamentals and advanced class for adults.  The fundamentals class  introduces Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to the novice and helps the more advanced player sharpen up on the most important techniques in their games:  the basics.  The fundamentals class is taught from a curriculum that consists of 38 classes.  These classes are the foundation to anyone’s game.  They introduce technique, strategy, and teach players how to think.  “One of the things that sets us apart from most other gyms is that the fundamentals here are taught as self-defense in a fight," says Stockman.  "There are two types of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu:  there is 'sport' where you learn how to fight for points in tournaments, and 'self-defense' where you learn how to defend yourself from someone who is attacking you.  Jiu Jitsu was created as a self-defense thousands of years ago.  The sport side of it has really only been around for the last 20-25 years.  Sport Jiu Jitsu is fun but should not be the foundation of your game."

Kids classes are offered 3 days a week.  The Kids Classes are divided up into ages 4-8 and 9-14 and classes are catered to these age specific groups.  The younger kids learn BJJ through different games, drills, and technique.  The games are designed to teach them fundamental techniques but in a way that keeps their attention and allows them to have fund doing it.  "At this age it is important for kids to enjoy the class first.  When they enjoy participating in the classes, the sky is the limit on what they are able to learn," says Stockman.  The older kids move through the adult Fundamental Curriculum but at a different pace than the adults. 

Before training BJJ, Alan was an avid cyclist.  He competed all over the United States.  One of the things that he valued about cycling was the amount of time and dedication it took to properly prepare oneself to compete at a high level and be successful.­­­  “You could not go out there and fake it.  Either you were ready or you were not- there was no lying on the bike,” he said.  “We measured heart rates, calories, wattage output, speed, distances ridden, pedaling cadences, bike weight down to the ounce and we rode around with little computers to keep track of all of this.  We had coaches and mentors that would teach you how to eat, how to ride more efficiently, how to handle your bike, strategy, mechanics that would keep everything working and that would have you fitted on these high tech machines down to the millimeter… cycling was a complete science and was a great way to challenge yourself!  When I found Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, I found a lot of the same things in it that had drawn me into cycling before.  Instead of grinding out 2-3 hour daily rides we were hammering out techniques on the mat, trying to maximize our efficiency and movement, training our muscle memory and our minds as well.  The strategy and tactics in BJJ however, are at a level that I have never seen in any other sport.  It never ceases to amaze me how BJJ can stimulate your mind day in day out.  So BJJ to me is the complete mind and body experience.  Like cycling, I aim to keep myself in peak condition yet I am always able to challenge myself mentally.  Every day, no matter who I train with, whether it be a seasoned Black Belt or a first-day White Belt, I am able to challenge myself and grow."

“Another thing I love about the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is the way people transform after training and it doesn’t take that long.  Physically, they lose weight, tone up, become more flexible, and as a result they have more energy, are much happier, and become more confident.  And they are learning how to defend themselves!  Martial Arts is very clichéd in that it promotes discipline, confidence, and so on but it does all of this time and time again.  So every day I get to  present and teach this great art of BJJ and I get to see how each person benefits from it.  I see this in adults, I see it in children, in guys and in girls.  Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is for everyone, it doesn’t care about age or gender.  It can benefit absolutely everyone!”  says Alan.

We offer a 7-day pass for anyone wanting to come in and check things out.  Try it out for a week if you are not sure BJJ is for you.  Make sure that Carlson Gracie Indianapolis Jiu Jitsu is a good fit for you.  We want everyone to be happy and to be learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  Give us a call or send us and email to see how you can get started and join the world renowned Carlson Gracie Team!  See you on the mats!