Open every day except Sunday, Tomas “Papo” Sone, the second Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt in the Dominican Republic, and Joe Neurauter, brown belt, teach the grappling art that launched MMA into the mainstream through the dominant wins of Royce Gracie in the UFC.
Formerly located at Extreme Hotel, Jiu Jitsu de la Costa now has its own dedicated Academy in the Cabarete barrio known as “The Callejon.” Renovation was a team effort – each member put their own sweat into getting the space ready – from chipping out layers of old concrete floor with small sledgehammers to plastering the walls – their hard work created an environment with plenty of mat space, training equipment and a team atmosphere.
Always excited for visitors, Papo and Joe are excellent hosts and instructors. If visitors don’t speak Spanish, Papo teaches bilingually or Joe will quietly translate while Papo teaches techniques. Generous and patient, Papo gives gives individual attention and corrections and he rolls with everyone.
Members are friendly and work hard. Many of the regulars train 2x/day and 5-6 days/week. The majority are blue belts – they have solid technique, great cardio and are mentally tough and compete regularly and range in size form rooster to heayweight. Rolling varies from positional drilling to flow-rolling to fast-paced rounds that start on the feet. Practices last at least 90 minutes and there is usually drilling and questions after the official end of class until it’s time to close the building.