Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy
Gilbert, Arizona

Brazilian jiu-jitsu is the one martial art discipline that not only levels the playing field, but gives the practitioner the upper hand. Sign up for a free class today to experience for yourself just how effective BJJ really is!

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Gracie AZ Jiujitsu Instructor - Allen Sandoval

Allen Sandoval
Head Instructor

Allen Sandoval has spent most of his life training in martial arts and carries years of experience. Allen holds many titles and honors in the field of martial arts.

Throughout Allen’s martial arts career, he has reached many personal goals and accomplishments, including:

  • Attained a black belt in Relson Gracie Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (Gracie Arizona Association)
  • Attained a black belt in Taekwondo: 6th degree – ITBA (International Tae Kwon Do Black Belt Association)
  • Attained a black belt in American Kenpo: 3rd degree
  • Earned a black belt NASKA World and National Title (1997) for #1 Overall Forms competitor of the year
  • Played the character Liu Kang in the Mortal Kombat Live Tour (1994 – 2001)
Gracie AZ Jiujitsu Instructor - Kevin Bunyan

Kevin Bunyan
Head Instructor

Kevin Bunyan is a Relson Gracie Black Belt. He is a lifelong martial artist, a 6th degree Black Belt in Taekwondo, 3rd degree Black Belt in Freestyle Karate and has also been trained in Boxing, Muay Thai, and Wrestling. Kevin has over 30 years experience training private security, club security and SWAT in situational awareness, personal defense, and use of force.

Kevin started training at Gracie Arizona in 2010 and fell in love with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He is extremely passionate about teaching, takes great pride in helping his students achieve their goals and is a well respected member of the community. Whether your goal is self-defense, competitive jiu-jitsu, improving fitness, or just wanting to get better at jiu-jitsu, all are equally important to him.

Gracie AZ Juijitsu Instructor - Miller Reupenny

Miller Reupenny

Gracie Arizona black belt, Miller Reupenny was born and raised in the Bay Area. He and his wife Seta along with their 6 children moved to Arizona in 2005 and soon found BJJ in 2006. Since then, their whole family has been training BJJ of which 5 of their 6 kids have achieved an adult rank. As a former football player and coach, Miller has made the natural transition to practicing, teaching and coaching Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Through his long journey, Miller finally received his black belt in 2021.
Gilbert Jiu-Jitsu Instructor - Seta

Seta Reupenny
Women’s Head Instructor

Seta Reupenny received her black belt from the grandmaster himself Relson Gracie in 2019 becoming Relson’s 2nd ever female black belt and Gracie Arizona’s 1st female black belt. Seta was born on the Island of Tonga and grew up in the Bay Area, California. Seta is married to Miller Reupenny and have six children who all train Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Seta began Gracie Arizona’s women’s program in 2010 and has been a Girls in Gis Ambassador for the past eight years. She loves to train jiu-jitsu with her family and remains active in supporting & participating in various jiu-jitsu events for women which include camps, seminars, and tournaments. Seta attributes her jiu-jitsu longevity to her family. Especially with her daughters as training partners, she is able to workout and train daily.
Gilbert Jiu-Jitsu Instructor - Alisa

Alisa Reupenny
Kid’s Head Instructor

Alisa Reupenny is a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. She was born in California, and moved to Arizona at a young age. Alisa comes from a family of five siblings and parents who have trained for over 15 years. She started training jiu-jitsu at just five years old. As an active competitor, Alisa enjoys learning and growing in the sport. One goal of hers is to become a Black belt World Champion. 

Mission Statement:

Gracie Arizona Gilbert is a Jiu Jitsu training facility that aligns with your core values. We strive to support and create meaningful relationships with our community. We believe Jiu Jitsu is not just an activity but a lifestyle. Our mission is to encourage people to live a healthier, safe, and prosperous life through Jiu Jitsu training.

Sign-up for Your FREE Class Today!

    How Your FREE Class Works

    Step One:

    Find out if jiu-jitsu is something you (or your child) wants to pursue by taking a free lesson.

    Simply fill out the form above to contact our front office to schedule your first class… We can’t wait to meet you and show you the mighty effect of BJJ!

    Step Two:

    Attend a full BJJ workout session (or as much as you are comfortable in participating in) and begin learning the basics of defending, attacking, and countering your opponent.

    Show up wearing workout clothes and be ready to engage in grappling and wrestling with fellow students.

    Step Three:

    After you’ve had a chance to experience a full lesson and have a better understanding of the sport of jiu-jitsu and its effectiveness for self-defense, you can decide to continue taking classes or not.

    There’s no pressure to continue your training at our dojo, but we’d love to have you as part of the team!

    Did You Know?

    3 million

    people actively train in BJJ

    10+ years

    is how long a black belt takes

    1 in 3

    practitioners are 26 to 30
    Gracie AZ Instructors

    About Gracie Jiu-Jitsu

    What it Means to Learn Gracie Jiu-Jitsu

    The Gracie method extends beyond the straightforward submission of adversaries. The Gracie concept equips practitioners with the skills necessary to lead healthy lives and make the most of their bodies and minds.

    Here are some of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu’s core principles:

    • The martial art encourages leading a life devoid of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. The reason for this is that maintaining a healthy physique is essential to excelling in the art.
    • In accordance with the family’s ideology, maintaining relationships with loved ones and close friends is essential since it helps practitioners grow mentally and spiritually.
    • BJJ is a self-defense martial art and combat sport centered on grappling, ground fighting, and submissions. BJJ focuses on the ability to take an opponent to the ground, dominate them, take control of the situation, and then employ a variety of moves to submit them using joint locks or chokeholds.

    Through the inventions, techniques, and adaptations of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and Judo, BJJ ultimately developed into its own distinct fighting sport and became a crucial martial art for contemporary MMA. International governing organizations, like the IBJJF, define the guidelines and requirements for sport BJJ contests.

    BJJ is based on the idea that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend themselves against a bigger, stronger, heavier opponent by using leverage and weight distribution, taking the fight to the ground, and using a variety of holds and submissions to win.

    This idea is adapted from traditional Japanese jiu-jutsu. Sparring, sometimes known as “rolling” within the BJJ community and repetitive drills are very important to learning and retaining the art, building muscle memory, and for the growth of the practitioner.

    BJJ may also be practiced as a way of life, a means of fostering moral character, a way to meet like-minded people, and an effective means of boosting physical health.


    Introduction to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

    If you’re interested in learning Gracie BJJ, take a moment to watch the intro video to get a better understanding of what’s involved. When you’re ready to take the next step, click the button to sign up for a free class. We can’t wait to meet you!

    Try for FREE!

    History of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

    The grandson of George Gracie via his son Pedro, Gasto Gracie of Rio de Janeiro, wed Cesarina Pessoa Vasconcellos, a rich Ceará family member, in 1901, and made the decision to move in Belém do Pará.

    Gasto Gracie joined the American Circus in Belém as a business partner. The Italian-Argentine Queirolo Brothers brought the Japanese judoka and prize fighter Mitsuyo Maeda there in 1916 as part of circus performances. Additionally, Gasto was instrumental in assisting Maeda in establishing a Japanese community in Brazil.

    The oldest child of Gasto, Carlos, began to study judo after seeing a Mitsuyo Maeda demonstration at the Da Paz Theatre in 1917. Thus, as a way of saying thanks to Gasto for assisting him in settling in, Mitsuyo Maeda, better known as Conde Koma, accepted the offer to teach Gasto’s son Carlos. But after facing financial difficulties and losing his own father, Gasto and his family moved back to Rio de Janeiro in 1921.

    Carlos and his brothers Oswaldo, Gasto Jr., George, and Hélio passed on Maeda’s jiu-jitsu instruction to neighborhood Rio de Janeiro martial artists.

    There is a version that claims Helio was too young and sluggish to master the skill at the time, and because of his medical condition, he was unable to physically participate in training. However, it is now known that Helio went on to become a coxswain for the local rowing team and a skilled swimmer. Hélio successfully picked up the technique of Jiu Jitsu by observing his bigger brothers practice, but owing to his frail frame, he learned to utilize leverage and certain body motions rather than brute force to effectively submit his opponents.

    As a result, Hélio Gracie is now credited for shaping Brazilian jiu-jitsu into what it is today.

    While many members of the Gracie family found success in competition, Carlos’ grandson Roger Gracie is recognized as one of the most successful.

    Six times at 100 kg, one at 100+ kg, and three times in the Absolute class, Roger won the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship. Additionally, he won the Absolute class at the Pan-American Championship in 2006 and the 100+kg and Absolute categories at the European Championships in 2005.

    Gracie AZ Gilbert
    Located at Sandoval Freestyle Karate

    1525 S Higley Rd #101
    Gilbert, AZ 85296
    Business Hours