Reinforcing Values

The parental decision to invest in a martial arts program for their child is an important one. The program they choose should effectively teach their children the martial skills they want to develop, while reinforcing the values they teach at home.

Unlike many TMA (traditional martial arts) schools Gracie Barra O’Fallon takes a long term approach to child development. We pride ourselves in not being a “belt factory”. Simply put, we do not quickly push your child through a system of katas, forms, and other martial art choreography while at the same time incurring you, as the parent, costs per test and belt. At Gracie Barra we DO NOT charge for tests or belts.

Teaching Defensive Skills

We definitely want to teach the highest level jiu jitsu possible, however, our primary goal is working with parents to develop healthy, happy, strong and confident boys and girls who become outstanding citizens in our community.

The classes are taught in a safe, fun and challenging group environment with instructors that are attentive to the individual need of the students. Our children’s program is broken down into two age groups, 4-6 and 7-9 years of age. This allows age appropriate learning and a better instructor to student ratio. These classes have an emphasis on physical fitness, listening skills and begins the fundamental instruction of self defense and bully prevention through the fundamentals of the Gracie Barra Brazilian jiu jitsu system. There are also options of live training and competition preparation for those students that wish to pursue competitions. Competitions are always a choice and not a requirement at Gracie Barra.

Program Benefits

  • Learning Current Practical and Effective Self Defense
  • Enhanced Coordination & Gross Motor Skills
  • Increased Self Confidence & Self Control
  • Improved Behavior & Respect for Others
  • Increased Attention Span & Focus

Custom Curriculum

Thanks to the convenience of our Lake Saint Louis facility, children in Lake Saint Louis, O’Fallon and Wentzville have the opportunity to take advantage of the unique class structure that is the result of the collaborative efforts of Mike and Amy Buckels;

Mike is a martial artist with over 30 years experience and Amy specializes in pediatric occupational therapy with over 30 years experience. Combining their areas of expertise, they have developed a custom designed curriculum for the children’s class that you will not experience elsewhere.

At Gracie Barra O’Fallon we use a multisensory teaching approach to accommodate for all learning styles. Using this approach our students that are visual learners, auditory learners, tactile learners and/or kinesthetic learners thrive as they execute what they’ve learned in class without frustration.

The First Class

We love what we do and we call it “playing Jiu Jitsu”. In addition to being a self defense, it is also a competition sport and a form of exercise that our students love and can’t get enough of. We are a family first Jiu Jitsu school & when you come in you will see and experience a family friendly environment that our students feel is their second home. We welcome you to try out a free class and see for yourself how wonderful Jiu Jitsu can be for your child.

The first time you come to our school you will be welcomed by our staff. Please arrive 15 minutes before class so you and your children have enough time to prepare for practice. The class will start on time and your child will be asked to walk to the training area where the instructor will be waiting for him or her. One of the assistant instructors or a senior student will be assigned as a helper to assist your child in performing the drills and activities. Parents are encouraged to stay and watch the entire practice.



Amazing changes in my son in 2 months so far awesome instructors and way of running their program.

-S Dalton


  • Empowerment: Builds confidence in one’s ability to defend oneself.
  • Physical Fitness: Enhances overall strength, flexibility, and stamina.
  • Self-Defense Skills: Teaches effective techniques to protect oneself in dangerous situations.
  • Stress Reduction: Acts as a stress reliever through physical activity.
  • Mental Toughness: Develops resilience and mental fortitude.
  • Weight Management: Helps in maintaining a healthy weight through active training.
  • Increased Self-Confidence: Boosts self-esteem through skill acquisition and mastery.
  • Improved Coordination: Enhances body coordination and motor skills.
  • Community and Support: Fosters a sense of belonging and friendship among the students.
  • Heightened Awareness: Increases situational awareness and self-awareness.
  • Enhanced Flexibility: Improves flexibility, reducing the risk of injuries.
  • Better Reaction Time: Sharpens reflexes and quick decision-making abilities.
  • Discipline and Focus: Encourages a disciplined approach to learning and life.
  • Goal Setting and Achievement: Motivates setting personal goals and achieving them.
  • Cultural Exposure: Offers insight into the rich cultural background of martial arts.
  • Improved Balance: Strengthens balance and poise.
  • Healthy Lifestyle Habits: Promotes a lifestyle focused on health and well-being.
  • Patience and Perseverance: Teaches the value of patience and persistent effort.
  • Enhanced Problem-Solving: Develops quick, creative problem-solving skills.
  • Respect for Self and Others: Instills a deep sense of respect for oneself and others.
  • Life-Long Learning Journey: Encourages continuous personal growth and learning.