Jiu Jitsu is a martial art that, at its core, teaches individuals to resist and overcome an attack from someone, even someone of greater size, through an understanding of the body’s limits. This art form is based on leverage and physics and has been referred to as the “gentle art.”
“There’s not much punching, striking or hitting each other,” says Rob Murianka, co-owner of Breakaway Jiu Jitsu. Rather, students of Jiu Jitsu are trained to use leverage, grip and position to render their opponents harmless. “If you can get them to the ground and control them with your body, you can submit them to the fight,” says Murianka. “Jiu Jitsu is one of the few arts in which you can train people to go for the win.”
On December 1, 2018, husband and wife, Rob and Kassy Murianka, opened their business, Breakaway Jiu Jitsu, on Canon Boulevard near City Center. Rob is a black belt who wears many hats as a business owner, paramedic, husband, father of two and former firefighter. He has been in the martial arts for 13+ years and has competed and won several Jiu Jitsu tournaments. Kassy is a Jiu Jitsu white belt, just beginning her own journey. She, too, juggles many tasks as a business owner, wife, mother of two and co-owner of Breakaway Jiu Jitsu.
Rob and Kassy opened Breakaway in hopes of creating a comfortable, people-friendly space for those wishing to learn the art. Unlike many other martial arts studios, Breakaway has an open lobby space with a sort of “fung shui” feel that “exudes an energy that is comfortable and all about good vibes; we are big believers in karma,” says Rob. Though many martial arts studios sport nothing more than a wooden bench for people to sit on, Breakaway strives to create an environment with a different feel than the typical gym or workout facility. It offers its clients mints and coffee, a live viewing of students in action so parents can watch while waiting and provides Netflix for entertainment in the lobby area.
Breakaway’s motto is to “be kind, be humble and be ready,” says co-owner Kassy. “No matter the route of learning, be humble as you learn how to defend yourself; don’t bully but be ready.”
“A lot of people get their black belt, and ego comes with it,” Rob says, “but there’s no ego here.” While many martial arts schools have become aggressive and only about competition and medals, says Rob, Breakaway is about reaching people where they are, “from the 70-year-old man to the 15-year-old teenager.”
For Rob and Kassy, the location of their studio is not only professional, but personal as well. “We love our location—this spot is just right for us,” says Rob. “We bring the kids here on Sunday—we call it ‘family fun day’—to ride our bikes, and students sometimes get here early and go for a jog on the sidewalks.”
Although Breakaway may not be the right fit for everyone, says Rob, “we provide good service, we are an honest company and we offer good Jiu Jitsu.”
To meet community wants and needs, Breakaway offers a variety of programs accessible to various demographics. At the studio, children learn self-defense tools and ways to boost their confidence through physical and mental development. And for adults, Breakaway offers classes catered to strength building, weight loss, self-defense, competition and more.
Not sure Jiu Jitsu is a fit? Breakaway Jiu Jitsu allows potential clients—men, women, and children—to try a class for free before committing. Whether it’s learning the fundamentals of the art, developing and honing skills, getting back in shape, losing weight or learning self-defense strategies, there are multiple classes throughout the day that just might make the grade.
As the famous historian, Herodotus, said, “Force has no place where there is need of skill.” At Breakaway Jiu Jitsu—it’s all about the skill.
TO THE POINT:
Breakaway Jiu Jitsu, LLC
Address: 11861 Canon Blvd., Newport News, VA 23606
Contact: Rob and Kassy Murianka, owners