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Gracie Enfield is a self defense academy located at 648 Enfield St., Enfield, Connecticut. Gracie Enfield is the home of Royce Gracie Jiu-Jitsu in Western Massachusetts. It is a 2000 square foot facility that includes a 1000 square foot mat along with separate changing rooms and bathrooms for men and women. The primary and sole focus of Gracie Enfield is to spread the teachings and techniques of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu as taught and displayed by Royce Gracie. The head Coach, James Harpe, is a certified Black Belt under Royce Gracie and has trained and worked with Royce for over twenty years. The techniques taught here are based on leverage and body memory training through specific drills.

They are taught in an extremely detailed and repetitious manner whereby making the moves instinctive. The key at Gracie Enfield is to create muscle memory so that students can react as opposed to stop and think if they find themselves in a self-defense situation. The techniques of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu have proven their effectiveness from the streets of Brazil in the early 1900’s to Royce’s display in the UFC and Pride.

Due to the fact that opponents range in physical size, strength and ability, it is important to learn a self-defense system that uses leverage and body mechanics as its key to success rather then strength and force. More often then not, your aggressor will be bigger, heavier and stronger then you. Attempting anything but techniques that allow you to submit, control or take down your aggressor will be difficult. The techniques of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu are simple, effective and practical. Through commitment to becoming a better self-defense practitioner through proper instruction and repetition, your skill level and confidence will soar at Gracie Enfield.

We look forward to seeing you on the mat.


When you come to Gracie Enfield you will learn self defense, Gracie JiuJitsu, American Sabaki (The combination of thirty plus years of martial arts experience) which include but not limited to ( Dynamic strikes punches, kicks, knees, elbows, throwing techniques, chokes, joint locks and weapon defense and offense) these techniques are learn through drills and randori (sparring). The psychology and attitude of personal protection will be coached. Our school is available to children where we teach how to be bully proof, teens, as well as men and women of all ages. For the limited few who are interested in training for competition or MMA-Mix Martial Arts, our staff have the experience to prepare you.




James Harpe is the head instructor and founder of Gracie Enfield. James has been involved in the Martial Arts for over 35 years. He has been training non-stop since 1980. James holds a first degree black belt in Taekido under Sensei Willey Whitley his first instructor, His first Japanese Karate Black Belt was under Noriyasu Kudo a Grand Master and Red Belt in Judo and Karate. He holds a second degree black belt in Ashihara karate under Kancho Ashihara, a second degree black belt in Iaido (Muso Shinden Ryu) under Sensei Lorraine DiAnne, a fourth degree black belt in Enshin karate under Kancho Ninomiya-All Japan Champion 1978. Both Ashihara Karate and Enshin Karate are Karate Arts based on the art of Sabaki (Getting the Blind spot) both of these Grand Masters were Masters in Mas Oyama Kyokushinkai. 

Sensei Harpe holds a 2nd degree black belt since December 2013 in Gracie JiuJitsu under the legendary Royce Gracie. Sensei Harpe has been studying Gracie JiuJitsu since 1993 when Royce Gracie won the 1st UFC. Jim Harpe’s EXPERIENCE and JOURNEY in Martial Arts is Called American Sabaki in which he holds the rank of 8TH degree Black belt. This rank was obtained in 2010. His instruction is reality based for the Art of Self Defense which is the foundation of Gracie JiuJitsu.

In addition to being a Martial Artist, Sensei Jim Harpe is also a military veteran with twenty years of service. He retired as a Major in the Air National Guard when Westfield Air National Guard Base was a A-10 Unit. Some of his duties included, Executive Support Officer, Commander of the Security Police Flight, Commander of the Social Actions Office, Diversity Officer for the Army and Air at State Head Quarters in Massachusetts and Recruiter for the Air Force Academy. Sensei Harpe is a Citizen Soldier.
Jiujitsu Award: He was the Winner of the International Masters Seniors Championship in Rio de Janiero, Brazil in 2008 and 2009. He won two gold medals each year in his weight and as absolute champion. Once as a purple belt and once as a brown belt. He has also been champion in numerous NAGA-North American Grappling Association events both in GI and NO-GI. He is 67 years young. His true love is teaching Gracie Jiu Jitsu Self Defense.

Sensei Harpe played football and ran track lettered in both for his three years at Albany High School in Albany, Ga. As a kid Sensei Jim Harpe grew up in the YMCA in Albany, Ga. He was part of the Leaders council and went to the YMCA camps to enhance his leadership. He taught swimming, coach Basketball for young kid’s and help out as a staff member. The YMCA was the first place that Sensei Harpe experienced the ground fighting sport of Wrestling. His teacher was Bob Swadel a graduate of Springfield College who played football and Wrestle, Bob was an early and important role model for Sensei Harpe. Mr. Swadel saw something special in Sensei Jim Harpe and encouraged him to go to Springfield College. He went on to play four more years of football at Springfield College in Springfield, Ma. Sensei Harpe has always been driven to do his best and work out hard and to always challenge himself. Even at almost 67 years young he still pushes himself to the limit and is a great role model for his students. His dream is to be like Grandmaster Helio Gracie in his pursuit of self improvement through making Gracie JiuJitsu a way of Life. He wants to be 95 years young still working out on the Mat like Grand Master Helio Gracie.

Jim also has a MSW from University of Connecticut and M.Ed in Rehabilitation Counseling from Springfield College. As a therapist he specializes in trauma issues, domestic violence, substance abuse and Child Protection issues. He also works as a Forensic Investigator for the Juvenile Court specializing in child protection and neglect issues. 

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