Our History

History of Gracie (Brazilian) Jiu Jitsu

Jiu-Jitsu, translated as 'the gentle art,' is the oldest of the martial arts. Terms softness, yielding, pliability and subtleness are often times used when explaining Jiu Jitsu. Its origins date back to the ancient samurai. They used the techniques on the battlefield when they had no other weapons. Striking was not effective against the samurai armor. However, with techniques such as joint locks, they were able to demobilize their enemies.

After several hundred years, the style was simplified to include only the effective techniques that could be safely practiced in realistic situations. Japanese Jiu-Jitsu and Judo champion Mitsuo Maeda (aka Conde Koma, or Count Combat in English) traveled to Brazil in 1914 to help establish a Japanese immigration colony. Maeda was one of the top groundwork experts that was sent overseas to spread Judo's founder Kano Jigoro's art to the world.

The Gracie family helped Maeda get established in Brazil and as a show of gratitude, he taught his ancient self-defense techniques to Carlos Gracie. Carlos then taught Maeda's techniques to his brothers Oswaldo, Gastao, Jorge and Helio. In 1925 they opened their first Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

After several decades the Gracie family was able to hone these techniques by competing in the ring against the most popular martial art styles out there. Helio Gracie, the weakest and lightest of the brothers, was able to adapt these techniques to work against significantly heavier and stronger opponents.


Boxing instructor

Pedro Sauer Lineage

Pedro Earned his Black Belt from Helio and Rickson in 1985. Long recognized for the superior technical efficiency of his jiu-jitsu, he then began his career as an instructor in 1986 when asked to teach with an organization known in Brazil as Corpo/Quatro (Body of Four) where he taught and continued his training under renowned jiu-jitsu instructors Alvaro Barreto (who is a red belt master under Helio Gracie).

After moving to Utah in December of 1990, he taught as one of only two non-Gracie black belts under the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy (run by Rorion and Royce Gracie). In October of 1996, he became an official representative Black Belt Instructor under the Rickson Gracie American Jiu-Jitsu Association.

Currently, Pedro resides in Virginia where he instructs at One Spirit Martial Arts and at Jeff Gordon's Self Defense Academy. He also has several affiliated schools across the country, and he visits them on a regular basis to give intensive instruction to the students and instructors. He is one of the most highly sought after instructors in the U.S. (of any martial discipline) and has presented hundreds of public seminars around the nation.


Boxing instructor
PROF PEDRO SAUER 8th Degree Rickson Gracie Red/Black Belt
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Claritas est etiam processus dynamicus, qui sequitur mutationem consuetudium lectorum.

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