Lawyer is new owner of a jiu-jitsu academy


By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

Lawrence G. (L.G.) Almeda, an intellectual property attorney and shareholder in the Ann Arbor office of Brinks, Gilson, & Lione, is the new owner of the Plymouth Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy, purchasing it from head instructor Elihu (E.J.) Ledesma.

Almeda’s daughter and three sons, ages 7 to 14, are all students at the Academy. After seeing his children take to the martial art and combat sport, Almeda – who in his youth was captain of the varsity wrestling team at Brother Rice High School in Bloomfield Hills – got involved in 2009, and went on to win a silver medal at the 2014 International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation Pan American Championships in California.

“The Plymouth Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy has been a part of my family’s life for several years and I see the multiple benefits of preparation, strategy, composure, wit, athleticism and confidence that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brings to my children and to me,” said Almeda, who earned his J.D. from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law and LL.M from The John Marshall Law School. Chair of the Brinks’ Brazil Task Force and Nanotechnology Practice Group, he focuses his practice on patent opinions and prosecution in the medical device, nanotechnology, and clean technology fields.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, for self-defense, sport grappling tournaments (gi and no-gi) and mixed martial arts (MMA) competition, focuses on grappling, with the goal of gaining a dominant position, and uses joint-locks and chokeholds to force an opponent to submit. It promotes the principle that a smaller, weaker person using leverage and proper technique can successfully defend against a bigger, stronger assailant.

“Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu got mainstream attention as an offshoot of the martial arts family in the early 1990s when Royce Gracie, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert, took several titles in the Ultimate Fighting Championships, which were then single elimination martial arts tournaments,” said Almeda, who describes the sport as a human chess match, and adds that the discipline helps him in his legal practice.
“It’s growing in popularity, as evidenced in part by the increasing number of participants in the Pan Am and World Championship competitions as well as its advantages in anti-bullying efforts.”

Located in downtown Plymouth, the Academy is an affiliate of Ribeiro Jiu-Jitsu, a world-wide association of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu academies founded and run by Saulo and Xande Ribeiro, both winners of multiple world titles. Ribeiro Jiu-Jitsu Association of Plymouth was established in 2010 and serves all ages.

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