I was looking for a place to train after taking time off from many years of Karate, and all I knew was that I wanted to study Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Having researched numerous academies in the Los Angeles area, I’d decided on Gracie Barra Pasadena, and although the reputation of Gracie Barra along with my personal history with the physical location had a lot to do with my choice, by far the most important factor was Professor Orlando Sanchez himself.
Professor Orlando has an immense passion for life, his art, and sharing his knowledge with others. With this, he is able to explain the concepts and their subtleties to people of various levels.
From day one he has always treated me as a good friend, and time has proven this is not an act designed to get money out of your bank account on a monthly basis. Professor Orlando is very approachable, and deeply cares about each and every one of his students. In this regard there are numerous witnesses to the many occasions he has gone far beyond the role of a martial arts instructor when it comes to the health and well-being of his students.
He is also a multiple medal winner and world champion of numerous competitions including those held by the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) and Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC). So we’re definitely talking about a rare case a world champion really does being a great teacher or coach.
As for the classes and training; All of the instructors are incredibly patient and caring, with student safety being one of the top priorities. Whether you’re a little kid, someone just looking get in shape while learning to defend yourself, or a person looking to become a world class Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitor, the Gracie Barra curriculum and Gracie Barra Pasadena has something for you.
Over the years I’ve come to realize that the number of black belts, trophies and medals isn’t always a good way to measure the “strength” of a martial arts school. For me it’s all about the number of (happy) women, children and “regular folks” who can effectively utilize what they have learned, and I’m not just talking about technique. If this is true, then Gracie Barra Pasadena is the strongest place around, and it speaks volumes about Professor Orlando as a human being, instructor, and leader.
At Gracie Barra Pasadena, Professor Orlando Sanchez is on a mission to empower others, and build “Champions in Life” through “Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone.”