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Harrisburg Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo Builds Skills, Confidence, and Camaraderie

By Pamela Sosnowski

When David Brogan, Shaun Raber, Luis Rosa, and Gregg Anderson founded his Jiu-Jitsu and Judo school in 2005, he never anticipated that he would have to move the business four times due to its growing popularity. Today, Harrisburg Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo has been at its current location in Lemoyne since 2012, serving hundreds of students weekly of all ages and fitness levels.

"We have students from all walks of life from four year-olds to 60 year-old men and women," Brogan said. We have students learning to defend themselves against bullies, looking to get in shape, looking to learn self-defense, (and) looking for female empowerment all the way up to professional fighters preparing for fights in the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship)."

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo are two forms of martial arts that are very similar, sharing some basic techniques. They differ, however, in their fighting strategies. Judo teaches a student how to master an effective grip on an opponent and unbalance them while Jiu-Jitsu fighters know that the confrontation is not over once their opponent is on the ground. Jiu-Jitsu teaches in-depth ground fighting maneuvers. Both deliver a multitude of health benefits, from flexible joints to weight loss, as well as providing the opportunity to make new friends and gain self-confidence.

"Jiu-Jitsu is amazing but even more important than the art is the friendships that we make through training in the art," Brogan said. "We pride ourselves on having something for everyone and ensuring that everyone walks out our door with a smile on their face and sweat on their brow."

The owners of Harrisburg BJJ & Judo were inspired to share Jiu-Jitsu and Judo with the Harrisburg area after watching Royce Gracie, a Brazilian professional MMA (mixed martial artist), take down larger and stronger opponents from the boxing and karate worlds without actually punching or kicking them. Brogan is a head instructor in addition to owning the studio, holding a second-degree black belt in Judo and a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Adult classes are held at Harrisburg Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo seven days a week, with children's and teen classes held on every day but Friday. Brogan and his team of highly experienced instructors ensure that the atmosphere of each class is friendly, encouraging, and fun. Unlike traditional workouts that can become monotonous, students are sure to absorb something new and different at each class. Brogan describes the environment you'll encounter at the studio as a big family.

One of the reasons many students, particularly women, are drawn to Jiu-Jitsu and Judo is the desire to gain self-defense skills. In a nation where it's estimated that a woman is assaulted every five seconds, Harrisburg Jiu Jitsu and Judo felt the need to offer something beyond a one-day workshop or weekend seminar that would be accessible to students of all levels: the Dangerous Damsels program.

"We were determined to provide our community with a realistic women's self-defense program that could actually make a difference," Brogan said. "We partnered up with Monica Brogan, a black belt in both Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Judo to organize a 12-week women's only self-defense program that is effective, fun, and accessible to women of all ages and fitness levels."

Classes are offered in small groups and with private instructors. A family discount is available for new members living in the same household. To view the class schedule and learn more about Harrisburg Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Judo, visit their website at

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About The Author

Pamela Sosnowski is a freelance writer, social media manager, contributor for REBEAT...

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