Current Updates! The Grasshoppers Club OUTDOOR Practice meets every SUNDAY at Meadowbrook Park from 8:30AM until 9:30AM / 10AM. If it rains, we'll be in the Pavilion by the Playground. Wear comfortable workout clothes and shoes! Bring Water! This is a Family-Friendly practice open to ALL AGES. First class FREE! Please allow this site to send you notifications about class status and also sign up for our email list.

It’s All About Functional Learning

Learning-Building-Blocks is the core concept of our practice. Please explore some of the common questions and answers below:

2022 COVID NOTIFICATION: Care First!

For the time being and until further notice, MASKS ARE MANDATORY INDOORS even if vaccinated. If you are not feeling well, or if you have knowledge of possibly being exposed to someone with Covid, please protect everyone by staying home.

About Me

My name is Bogdan Heretoiu, I am a Parent, Filmmaker, Producer, and Martial Arts Instructor/Student. My practice of Martial Arts began more than 40 years ago when I was about 13... We had serious problems in my family - lots of trauma, abuse, and violence - and I can honestly say that my two Goju-Ryu Sensei saved my life by becoming my Mentors and later my very dear friends.

My fascination with Martial Arts was less about Bruce Lee and flying daggers, and more about the phenomenal effect it had on my fragile body, shaken mindset, and confidence in general. I tell my story during classes and you can find it written inside our Private Community, but one thing always stood out from my initial encounters with Karate and my Sensei. He said, "If you stick to it for six months, it will stick to you for your entire life."

Fortunately I stuck with it, and even more fortunately - IT stuck to me. Martial Arts became an intrinsic part of my life - from how I move, how I orient myself in space, how I approach conflicts, to how I learn and how I grow. It was the greatest gift I could have received at that young age, and I am forever grateful for it, as well as for the presence of all my teachers with whom I had the privilege to touch hands, minds, and hearts.

You can find out more about what I do here - https://agency.arts4hope.com/about - and of course, we can get to know each other if you join our community and/or our practice.

Member Benefits & Practice Fees

The Grasshoppers Club offers 1 payment option:

  1. Monthly FULL Membership (recommended)* - $45/mo
  2. DROP-IN Class (Cash/Check Only) - $15/class/student


* The FULL membership includes both of our Indoor & Outdoor practices, as well as all PAID COURSES & Online Events (Classes/Workshops/etc) organized by The Grasshoppers Club.


  • ALL Memberships in 2022 include ALL of your practicing family members (no limit)

  • Monthly Memberships are non-refundable and you can cancel at any time. Each monthly membership payment will be automatically charged and will cover each month from its first to last day.


  • All Members have full access to the Grasshoppers private Community.


  • ALL plans allow you to bring a FIRST TIME GUEST for FREE.


Payments accepted: CASH, CHECK, ONLINE.

Is this a Martial Art?

Absolutely. However, not in the traditional sense of the word. The Grasshoppers Club practice is using Martial Arts training, concepts, and techniques to promote learning and development.

My kid needs discipline; will you teach that?

NO. It is important that the participants - of any age - clearly express their desire and willingness to be a part of practice. Ages 6-8 REQUIRE an adult participation in class and that adult is responsible for their child's behavior. You can count on me to "lure" the students into our learning environment and help them explore, grow, and enjoy it.

A Note about Disabilities.

Over the years I have worked, trained, and practiced with kids, teens, and adults having various disabilities. The Grasshoppers Club is open to EVERYONE, regardless of their abilities.

However, if your child/teen has any of the four main disabilities (Physical, Developmental, Behavioral/Emotional, Sensory Impaired), I require a prior conversation with you in order to best understand their situation and how to adapt (myself) to their needs. In some cases we might discuss the possibility of starting with private classes.

This requirement will help me help them as best as I can, in conjunction with your guidance as well as their doctor/therapist recommendations if/when needed.

Private Sessions Availability.

In some cases - for whatever the reason - a student does not want to take a group class, but expresses interest and even passion for Martial Arts. Please ask and we will discuss how to make it happen.

I found my first Sensei when I was just shy of being 13 years of age. At that time, I was confronting serious family problems which reflected in a slew of social behaviors that exacerbated my own personal challenges, including (regular) aggressivity in school. My journey in Martial Arts began with TWO YEARS of one-on-one training with my Sensei before I was introduced to the Dojo and group practice.

When we started, my Sensei asked for 2 things:

  1. To NEVER fight again unless I HAVE to save myself or someone (or he'll stop training me), and
  2. To stick "with it" for six months and the practice will stick to me for the rest of my life.

I obliged on both counts, and indeed the practice and my love for Martial Arts never dwindled.

As an Instructor, I make the same 2 requests as my Sensei made of me more than 40 years ago...

What are the "Learning Building Blocks"?

While it is best to come practice and discover for yourself, in short we are breaking down each technique - each movement even - in smaller learning chunks. In other words, these building blocks contain all the skills at that level, but with the power withdrawn. These learning building blocks function like puzzle pieces that our practice is putting together in a progressive manner.

What makes this different than other styles & schools?

You are UNIQUE. So our practice respects that and will not try to mold you into repeating the exact form and style as everyone else. Each person is given the power to explore and assimilate techniques AND make it their own, in their own expressive movement. We start with a mix of basic and advanced training from the get-go, in a no-nonsense AND practical approach. More so, EVERY SINGLE ELEMENT we practice is explained in its larger context, and your questioning is a part of the process.

The Grasshoppers Method has a single goal in mind: playful exploration of movement in a Martial Arts context. Your results will vary according to your effort, and you will be able to apply what you learn in a variety of day-to-day life situations.

From Day One.

What do I need to start?

Comfortable workout clothes; Bring water; Time (including set aside time for practice during the week on your own); Practice fee. And please be ON TIME.

Is this for Families only?

No. I encourage a family setting, but the practice is not exclusive to families. Individuals of any age can join at any time. When you do, please observe what we do and jump right in. Our practice is village-like, meaning we support each other, especially our younglings. Play Safe.

There are things my body just can't do; do I have to do everything?

No. Practice what you feel safe & comfortable doing. The "no-pain-no-gain" approach is forbidden in our practice. I encourage you to explain your needs to me, so that we can explore ways to break down any obstacles into tiny success milestones. Stress-Free; Pain-Free.

Do you have Ranking and Belts?

No. You can choose to wear any color belt you wish. Keep in mind that in our training, the White Belt is a symbol of being on the path of the art of learning. It represents our ability to always adapt, learn, and change.

Do you have Competitions?

No. But we incorporate challenge in everything we do, encouraging self-challenging above all.

Do I need an uniform (Gi)?

GI's are optional, but I encourage you to get one. As practice moves on, a Gi will be useful.

Is there a philosophy or dogma involved?

NONE. EVER. The premise of The Grasshoppers Club is a modern and open mind, focused on Exploration, Learning, and Collaboration. If we were in the year 2500 and violence was no longer a reality, then this would be what the practice of Martial Arts would be like.

Are there any Age restrictions?

No. All ages are welcome; simply use common sense when it comes to your own abilities and never force anything - that's what the whole Building Blocks approach is all about.

Note about minimum age: for now we start at 6 years of age or older and as a parent/guardian YOU are in charge of their participation and behavior. Ages 6-8 REQUIRE a participating adult (family member or legal guardian)

All kids between 6 and 8 require your on-site supervision and hands-on participation.

Will I learn Self-Defense?

Skills emerge out of our practice, but combat is not our goal. What you'll learn you'll be able to use in "real life" as soon as you learn it.

Do I need to learn forms?

No. We take an entirely different approach to the meaning of Kata (martial arts forms).

Do you spar?

Yes. Every practice, but this is a controlled and adaptable process. It's actually fun and you are the one who dictates how challenging it gets.

I already practice Martial Arts; will my style be accepted at the Grasshoppers Club?

YES! I actually encourage and welcome every style to come and join. Mixing styles, ages, personalities, and even cultures gives everyone an enormous advantage. There is a story I tell about my own Sensei and how a bunch of tough Goju-Ryu students started to Waltz :)

Are there any extra fees besides Membership?

Never. The Grasshoppers Club has no affiliation with any organization, hence we do not pay anyone annual fees. I also do not conduct testing sessions, hence I do not charge any fees for that either. We do not offer ranking and belts, therefore you do not need to purchase a new belt every other month or so.

We charge a monthly Membership fee if you wish to become a practicing and/or supporting member. At some point, I suggest buying a Gi, which runs between $25 and $150 - depending on the size and quality of it (I recommend a cheap and sturdy option because it is for pulling and tugging).

Additionally, just like a co-op setting, we might all voluntarily contribute towards items we all agree that we need (mats, parties, etc.). Private Sessions and Online Classes are charged individually.

I want to be a street fighter; is this for me?

Very likely no. I discourage fighting and should you ever use what you learn to intentionally harm others you will be banned for life from our practice.

I have a problem about my outside life; can we talk privately?

In life there are many situations when we find ourselves unable to clearly see the solutions available and possible. If I can help, I will - please reach out to me anytime. It may be a bully at school, a frustrating co-worker, fear of heights, etc...but generally there are always available options and local professional services to deal with these conflicts and problems.

REACH OUT.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Always report any form of abuse. If you need help right away and are in danger, call 911.

I have more questions; where can I ask them?

You can use the form below, you can join us if you're in Champaign-Urbana, IL., or you can join our online private community to make new friends, explore content, etc. (please contact me to receive an Invite). Our current schedule will always be on the Home page.

Phone (leave a message or a SMS)

‪(530) 492-0149‬

Address

122 W Main St, Urbana IL 61802

Socials

More Questions? Drop me a message.

Rules We Practice By

Safety FIRST - for EVERYONE.

Respect Everyone, Respect Yourself.

Practice Kindness & Support for Everyone.

Always Ask Questions.

Rethinking Martial Arts

The Martial Arts world is notorious for big egos, often dogmatic training, highly structured and hierarchized subcultures. In many circles, this was often likened to cult similarities - "birds of the same feather" sort of thinking.

Historically, this made sense in the past, where different casts, families, groups had their own territorial issues and maintained a very proprietary approach to their "secrets." But we moved on, and we now live in the 21st century.

Learning, or rather TEACHING has evolved, opening up to meet our potential as human beings.

The Grasshoppers Club embraces an open minded approach, and a learning-centered, student-driven atmosphere.

In our practice, we laugh, we play, we think and question, and we grow.

“Why practice at The Grasshoppers Club?

Because you can apply it anywhere and anytime. You can implemented in any other sport, and in your daily life.

And we're having FUN!”

Bogdan Heretoiu (Bo)

The Grasshoppers Club Founder

COVID NOTICE: If NINJAS can do it . . . .

Then we can do it. Masks remain mandatory during our INDOOR PRACTICE. 

Play Safe!

THANK YOU FOR HELPING US GROW:

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