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Brazilian Jiu Jitsu master comes to Rhinelander
RHINELANDER - Most people don't want to spend their Saturday pinned to the ground, legs wrapped around an adversary's head, unless you happen to be Brazilian jiu jitsu master Wade Barden.

"I really enjoy sharing what I know and teaching jiu jitsu to new people," Barden said.

Barden grew up just north of Madison and earned his black belt in less than five years.

He shared some of his knowledge with students at Groundwork Grappling in Rhinelander this weekend.

"You're going to learn a lot when you wrestle because you have to apply those techniques every day," Barden said.

The techniques students need to be successful in jiu jitsu are almost identical to another sport played by hundreds of athletes across north-central Wisconsin.

"We have a lot of wrestlers jump into mixed martial arts and jiu jitsu," brown belt Robert Tahtinen said. "You both start standing on the feet, you get takedowns [and] you get dominant position."

Brazilian jiu jitsu can also be a contradiction: a rough and tumble sport that's also welcoming to children.

"It is more physical, you are wrestling with your training partners, but as young kids that's kind of what we need," Barden said.

When those kids get older, practicing jiu jitsu can help with high school sports.

"I wish when I was in high school that this was offered to me as kind of an offseason thing," Tahtinen said.

Today's Northwoods athletes don't have to wish for that anymore.

Groundwork Grappling offers classes six days per week.

Story By: Andrew Goldstein


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