Jiu-jitsu master Pedro Sauer, a native of Rio de Janiero, has spent nearly his entire life honing his craft. He began training at age 5, learning boxing, judo, and taekwondo. At 15, his friend Rickson Gracie approached him with the suggestion that he train in the art of Brazilian jiu-jitsu—and Pedro's bond with the Gracie family was formed. In the early 1990s, he moved to live and train with Rickson and the Gracie brothers under grand master Helio Gracie. Through diligence, discipline, and skill, he worked his way up to become an eighth-degree black belt in jiu-jitsu—a title held by only a few in the country.
Today, Pedro passes on his knowledge as the founder and head instructor at Pedro Sauer Total Self-Defense Academy. Inside this 4,000-square-foot training facility, he and his team of certified trainers helm a range of martial-arts programs for youth and adults. Master Pedro personally coaches others in the skills of Brazilian and Gracie jiu-jitsu, techniques that blend standing and ground-based grappling moves with a focus on leverage and teaching one's opponent to sympathize with pretzels. Black belt Krav Maga instructor Brad Burnette trains students in a style of striking and grappling techniques devised by the Israeli Armed Forces. Additionally, khru Bryan Mossey helps students hone body control and striking prowess in Muay Thai boxing and the Filipino martial-arts styles of Kali and Silat.