The Team

COACH JOHN SMALLIOS

It started by seeing the UFC in action, which led to BJJ. It was love at first sight. This romance has led me all over the world, living, and learning with the gentle art of jiu jitsu.

Things got very interesting when a gold medal came with a loud tear, and a severely damaged shoulder. The lengthy recovery process allowed for plenty of time to ponder the intentions, and the methods of training.

I’ve learned from experience that the way of forceful effort is neither smart nor sustainable. Quality is now the priority. Soon enough there’s no choice but to change. So I sought out others better than me. I listen, and we learn.

Higher Jiu Jitsu is the outcome. It’s a community of everyday people who come together in respect, and in curiosity. The common goal is to learn, and to flourish on and off the mats.

MASTER PEDRO SAUER

Professor Pedro Sauer earned his Black Belt from Helio and Rickson Gracie in 1985, after years of training at the famous Gracie Humaitá Academy in Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

In 1990, he left a thriving career in law to relocate in Utah and spread the message of jiu jitsu. There he taught as one of only two non-Gracie black belts. His teaching is second to none. He has been named the “Best of the Best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Instructor” by the ADCC.

He leads by example. With the most refined understanding of technique, and a humble appreciation of the philosophy behind our art, the Professor continues to inspire the Pedro Sauer Association and the entire jiu jitsu community.

PROFESSOR PHILLIP GRAPSAS

Lead Coach Phil Grapsas is a highly qualified black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  And it is his knowledge of self defence that truly defines him as an expert. The focus of Phil’s Leverage Jiu Jitsu Academy is to ‘get you home alive’ hence an emphasis on practical techniques which can be used in real life situations.

Phil is the Professor Pedro Sauer’s second black belt in Australia. He regularly comes down to guide our practice of Higher Jiu Jitsu. We’re lucky to have him as our coach down under.