Weather Forecast


Woodbury Martial Arts Academy achieves Gracie Combatives Jiu Jitsu certification

Excel Martial Arts Academy in Woodbury has announced it has received licensing as a "Certified Gracie Combatives Jiu Jitsu" training center.

The Gracie Combatives program is committed to the preservation and perpetuation of pure Gracie Jiu-Jitsu as modified from traditional Japanese Jiu Jitsu by Helio Gracie, with the objective of developing a system that would enable a person with a small physique to defend himself against a larger opponent.

The UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) was created by a member of the Gracie family.

Dave Niska, chief instructor at Excel Martial Arts, trained with Ryron and Rener Gracie at their headquarters in Los Angeles to meet the requirements that a certified Gracie Jiu Jitsu instructor must acquire.

As a fifth-degree black belt holder, Niska has been training in and teaching various martial arts including Jiu Jitsu for more than 25 years.

The certification makes Excel Martial Arts in Woodbury the only training facility in the Midwest currently to be licensed to teach the Gracie Combatives program.

For more information on Excel Martial Arts or the Gracie Combatives program, visit, call Sue at (651) 501-1023 or e-mail