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About Unified BJJ

In 2006, Pedro Sauer left his original Brazilian Jiu Jitsu academy in Utah to start a new academy in Virginia. Master Sauer left the fate of his academy to a group of his most dedicated, high-ranking, students.

Those students were faced with a choice: go their separate ways and open their own independent academies, or stay unified as they continued on the path Master Sauer had set. Accordingly, during the summer of 2006, Pedro Sauer Black Belts, Shawn Weaver, John Carlquist, James Gardner, and Matt Strack founded the Unified Jiu Jitsu Academy.

Together, these four taught a new generation of jiu-jitsu students, aided by the capable instruction of fellow Black Belts Mike Diaz and Paul Sizemore. Since that time, a lot has changed but the quality and high-level instruction that has come to define Unified Jiu Jitsu has remained the same.

Today, John Carlquist and James Gardner own and operate Unified Jiu Jitsu, where every class is taught by a black belt; where the training is tough but technical; where teammates are like family; and where we are all driven by the desire to be better today than we were yesterday. We are Unified Jiu Jitsu.


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.

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