When Ian Ingleson opened React Brazilian jiu-jitsu this month, his aim was to create an academy which would become a community hub in Horwich, as well as a place renowned for top-quality instruction.

Brazilian jiu jitsu - otherwise known as BJJ - is a self-defence martial art which is based on grappling and submission holds. Ingleson has been training for 13 years and his dedication to the sport earned him a coveted black belt.

BJJ black belts are earned rather than handed out. Those who receive the prestigious ranking need an extremely high degree of skill and an intricate understanding of the martial art, but they are also required to display a genuine passion for the sport and a willingness to share their knowledge.

Although Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a sport you never stop learning, Ingleson decided the time was right to begin teaching. Earlier this year he took the plunge and branched out on his own.

React Jiu Jitsu opened earlier this month and operates out of a spacious unit on Chorley New Road. Lessons take place on a large, purpose-built matted area and the gym also has a weight section and a spectator gallery.

“Brazilian jiu-jitsu is passed on though belts and, normally, the people who opened schools were brown belts or black belts,” Ingleson said.

“I started noticing that people who have very little to do with Jiu-Jitsu were beginning to open gyms and then employ black belts to teach there. It is almost like buying a franchise to make money and I just felt it was taking the life out of the sport.”

Ingleson wants to take BJJ back to its roots. As well as running beginners classes, one of his major aims was to create a fun, safe environment for children to begin their journey in BJJ and React has already attracted a large number of young students.

The academy also runs daily classes for normal students and has a competition team for those who want to put their skills to the test.

BJJ has exploded in popularity over the past decade and students of all ages have fallen in love with the sport. Although React will offer a structured curriculum, the unique nature of BJJ allows students to find their own strengths and progress at their own pace.

As well as offering students the chance to learn a new, useful skill, Ingleson believes that his academy also provides plenty of other benefits.

“I think training is good for your mental health. I’m happy when I’m training and teaching BJJ and the sport,” Ingleson added.

“It is also good for your physical health and there is the self defence aspect of the sport. It is also great for developing self confidence.

“When people walk in the gym and try BJJ for the first time, they walk out and they are buzzing.

“I see BJJ as a personal thing. We have people of different ages and abilities and my aim is to make them all the best that they can be.”

* To view a full timetable, visit www.reactbjj.co.uk or if you are interested in going in a class, e-mail contact@reactbjjacademy.co.uk for full details.