A personal testimony:
I discovered Gracie Jiu-Jitsu in 2001. Ever since I started training I experienced a positive transformation in my life, not only physical but also on the psychological level. I have competed in several Jiu-Jitsu tournaments and have attended multiple seminars from world-class Jiu-Jitsu fighters.
I took my first Jiu-Jitsu class in my hometown, Trujillo, Perú. My first instructors were Professors Pablo Salvatierra and Julio Zegarra, who taught me solid concepts of Judo and Jiu-Jitsu. Their example and knowledge made me realize from day 1 that I was going to dedicate the rest of my life to practice this beautiful art. I trained with them for about 9 months.
Upon moving to the United States, I continued my training at Fightworks Jiu-Jitsu Academy (Sterling, VA), a Relson Gracie affiliate, under the guidance of Professors Dan Wallen and Tony Waldecker. I have fond memories of training at Fightworks. It was a competitive environment but everyone was friendly after all the armlocks and chokes. I remember making great friends, hard sparring sessions, lots of jokes and fun, competing at local tournaments, attending Seminars with world-class Jiu-Jitsu Professors, meeting GM Relson Gracie, and taking many privates with him. Here’s where my Jiu-Jitsu grew and developed until I received my brown belt in 2011.
I had the honor of training with different members of the Gracie family. It’s like drinking water from the source, clean and fresh. Grand Master Relson Gracie has been a great example to follow since the beginning and I am deeply thankful for his teachings. In 2015 Grand Master Relson Gracie decided it was time for me to get promoted and awarded me the rank of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu black belt.
I have also been lucky to meet Professors Ryron and Rener Gracie, third generations of the Gracie family; they have also instructed me in the way Gracie Jiu-Jitsu should be practiced and taught. I went through the Gracie Academy’s Instructor Certification Program in July 2011 in order to become a better teacher. This has been one of the best experiences of my life, not only did I learn how to teach more efficiently but how to be the best version of myself in order to share positive energy with others.
I officially opened Mastery Jiu-Jitsu Academy in February of 2012 in Leesburg, VA. I invested all I had to make it possible with no idea how it was going to turn out. I’m grateful that I had the most amazing support from my community since the beginning and over the years we have taught Jiu-Jitsu to thousands of people, adults and children. My mission is to create a positive impact on people’s lives through the practice of Jiu-Jitsu, especially to those who need it the most: the weak, the unathletic, the introvert, the bullied. This has been my biggest gratification and I’m thankful to all the students who were ever part of The Mastery Jiu-Jitsu Academy.
The impact of this amazing art has been so profound and positive that I decided to dedicate my life to share with the people of my community the benefits of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. I am honored to have the opportunity to do so and to help keep the vision of Grandmaster Helio Gracie alive.