In 1997 Greg Wood was the first student in the first school for Gracie Jiu Jitsu in CT (and one of the first in the country). Greg’s advancements through the ranks come directly from “Godfather of MMA” Royce Gracie, his father Helio Gracie, and award-winning instructor Master Pedro Sauer, under whom Greg has earned his black belt, as well as the highest level teaching certificate.
Weighing only 150 pounds, Greg’s philosophy on jiu jitsu emphasizes jiu jitsu as a complete self-defense martial art, and the smartest, simplest, and most effective choice for anyone, any size or ability, who wants to prepare to defend themselves or loved ones against a potentially larger, stronger attacker. He also strongly espouses the path of learning the art of jiu jitsu as a powerful means of personal development for kids and adults.
Greg’s passion for teaching is lifelong, having taught music (as a certified CT K-12 music teacher), guitar, art, entrepreneurship, personal development, as well as leadership and team building for kids. Greg has taught jiu jitsu to police and SWAT team members, and he has started a number of self-defense programs for women. He is proud and happy to teach alongside wife, and fellow instructor, Lisa, herself an accomplished practitioner.
Plainville Martial Arts is the culmination of half a lifetime of training, and learning from the best instructors in jiu jitsu, and is a synthesis of Greg’s loves for jiu jitsu, teaching, entrepreneurship, and people of all ages.
Notable Jiu Jitsu practitioners with whom Greg has personally trained:
Pedro and Gui Valente
Beginning her training in 2011, Lisa Wood is currently a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Lisa shares her husband's emphasis on the self-defense aspects of jiu jitsu, and, at 5'3", frequently in classes with all larger partners, mastering the concepts that allow for defeating a larger opponent are her primary focus.
Lisa began the women's self-defense program at Gracie Farmington Valley, in Tariffville, CT in 2014, and has been the lead instructor for women there since that time. During her tenure, she has taught classes with students ranging from under 10 to 60-something, and become a beloved mentor to her female students because of her cheery, easy demeanor, and her step-by-step approach to instruction.
Notable Jiu Jitsu practitioners with whom Lisa has personally trained:
Robert Astur is a 1-stripe blue belt who is the head instructor for our kids 4-7 years old classes. Robert
started his jiu-jitsu journey at Royce Gracie dojos before he obtained his blue belt from the Gracie
Academy under Ryron and Rener Gracie. He was then invited to the Gracie Academy in Torrance where he completed the selective Instructor Certification Program, qualifying him to teach Gracie Combatives to adults and Gracie Bullyproof to kids.
Robert is a teacher both in and out of the dojo, and he is the father of 3 children: two of whom are
training jiu-jitsu and the other child is just learning to crawl. He wholeheartedly embraces the PMA
mission that jiu-jitsu is a complete martial art that can lead to great personal development for both
children and adults.
Some of Robert’s favorite teaching moments include teaching Gracie jiu-jitsu to
blind individuals; teaching jiu-jitsu to survivors of sexual assault, and; helping Rener Gracie and Brian
Ortega teach Gracie Combatives to the Baltimore Police Force.
Notable practitioners with whom Robert has personally trained: