Pedro Sauer – A True BJJ Master

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One of the most influential BJJ instructors in the world and one of the pioneers of BJJ in the United States, Pedro Sauer has been an influential leader in the growth of BJJ around the world and is currently an 8th degree Coral Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Running one of the largest BJJ associations in the world, The Pedro Sauer Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Association, Pedro has influenced thousands upon thousands of students over the decades he has taught BJJ in the US and around the globe.

It All Began in Brazil

Born and raised in Rio De Janeiro Brazil, Pedro Sauer began his martials arts journey not in BJJ but in the art of Boxing at the young age of 5. Later on he would train in the grappling art of Judo and the Korean striking art of Tae Kwon do.

It was not until he was 15 that he was introduced to Brazilian Jiu-jitsu by his close friend, the one and only Rickson Gracie. Rickson invited Pedro the train with him and his brother Royler Gracie. Pedro accepted the offer and when he went to train with them, he was amazed that Royler who was 9 years at the time was able to effectively compete with Pedro. This led to a realization that Pedro needed to learn Gracie Jiu-jitsu as it was a truly effective martial art.

When asking the question who trained Pedro Sauer, Pedro started to learn BJJ directly from the source – the Gracie family and be a loyal and talented student of the Gracie Academy. Pedro’s love of BJJ could be described as his understanding that BJJ is all about leverage.

 One day when beginning BJJ, Helio came up to Pedro and asked him “Pedrinho, can you lift a car up” where Pedro mentioned that he could maybe get a wheel up on the air a tiny bit if there was no gas in the tank, Helio replied, “I can lift a car, I simply just use a Jack”. This simple anecdote led to Pedro understanding the key to BJJ which was leverage.

Rio De Janeiro
Rio De Janeiro

Pedro was a true talent on the mats according to BJJ Coral Belt Ricardo Bubman who’s first experience when starting BJJ was rolling with Pedro. Ricardo who is well over 6 feet tall and a true athlete remembers meeting a much smaller statured Pedro who was a blue belt at the time and thinking “I’m going to beat this guy”. To his surprise Ricardo was being tapped out and dominated by Pedro and thus Ricardo understood the effectiveness of BJJ as a self defense martial art. Ricardo and Pedro would go on to learn with one another and stay friends to this day – a true gift of BJJ.

Pedro had a true appreciation for education and would go on to double major in economics and business administration and complete his postgraduate studies at Fundacao Getulio Vargas. He would then continue to work as a stock broker in the Brazilian stock market all while trained BJJ and eventually earning his blackbelt form Rickson and Helio Gracie in 1985.

During his time as a stock broker, Pedro would start his BJJ teaching career at an academy called Corpo Quatro run by Helio Gracie Black Belt named Álvaro Barreto. It was here that Pedro developed his teaching skills as well as learning BJJ under Alvaro’s guidance as well.

Pedro Sauer Moves to The USA

5 Years passed with Pedro working as a stock broker and teaching BJJ in Rio and during this period the Gracies decided to move to the US in order to propagate BJJ and show its effectiveness to the world.

Pedro made the decision to stop working as a stock broker and join the Gracies in the journey and moved to the US in 1990. Pedro moved to California and lived with Rickson Gracie and would train daily with Rickson and his brother’s Royler and Royce as well as many other Brazilians who decided to make the move to California as well, this would include names like the Machado brothers and many other BJJ practitioners who would be pivotal in the growth of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu in the US.

Later that year, Pedro made the decision to promote BJJ in Utah and moved there to start an academy. Pedro’s academy grew at a very quick rate due to his truly natural ability to teach, his demeanor and the fact that he was the only Brazilian teaching BJJ in the area. People were quickly looking to learn Pedro Sauer BJJ and study with Pedro as their teacher.

Pedro Sauer vs Lance Bachelor

4 years later, Pedro built a solid academy and had a good number of students under his tutelage and Pedro would be part of one of the most important videos to promote the effectiveness of BJJ in a real world fight.

1994 was the year and a former 2 time Mr Utah bodybuilding champ named Lance Bachelor decided to challenge Pedro to a No Holds Barred fight in front of a crowd at Pedro’s academy, Pedro gladly accepted the fight and was happy to represent Gracie Jiu-Jitsu in unarmed combat against the challenger.

Pedro Sauer vs Lance Bachelor
Pedro Sauer vs Lance Bachelor

Many people ask how much did Lance Bachelor weigh when he fought Pedro Sauer, Lance Weighed 100lbs more than Pedro at 250lbs+ and it was 100 pounds of solid muscle. Lance was also a short stocky man at 6”5 which was a lot of muscle for a small frame like that yet Pedro happily took the fight against Lance and it was because of Pedro’s confidence in his Jiu-Jitsu skills.

The fight was a perfect display of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu self defense with Pedro controlling the distance with fast kicks to Lance’s knee, this helped keep Lance out of range and help Pedro control the fight. Lance kept on trying to grab Pedro’s leg but Pedro’s kicks were too fast, this constant reaching for Pedro’s leg would lead to Pedro landing a solid Right and Left Punch combo.

The fight quickly went to the ground where Pedro was able to avoid taking damage all while punching Lance many times in the face ultimately leading to Lance bleeding from the face.

Pedro Sauer Armbar Fight
Pedro Sauer Armbar

The 2 fighters kept on fighting on the ground until Pedro achieved a beautiful arm bar where one can notice Pedro unorthodoxically crossing his feet while applying the arm bar that forced Lance to tap and Pedro to win the fight. In an interview, Pedro mentioned the reason for the crossing of the feet was due to Lance being slippery like a fish and he had to hold onto the arm more effectively by crossing the feet.

Pedro had won the fight in dominant fashion and amazingly he did not get hit, much to the previous advice of Grandmaster Helio Gracie as a few days prior to the fight, Pedro spoke to Helio on the phone and asked for some advice, Helio simply said “Pedro, don’t get hit”.

This fight was videotaped and it could not come at a better time as it was during the birth of the UFC and would further help prove BJJ’s effectiveness in combat.

Teaching BJJ to The Masses

A long way from that plane ride from Rio to California in 1990 in order to teach BJJ in the US, The Pedro Sauer Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Association is one of the largest associations in the world with over 150 affiliated schools and thousands of students worldwide and over 200 Blackbelts under him.

Pedro has taught many law enforcement agencies, the US Marines and even the Navy SEALs Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Pedro’s BJJ is focused on Self Defense and real world BJJ.

Developing a truly outstanding method of teaching students which is recognized within the BJJ community Pedro is sought after for seminars around the world, having taught hundreds and hundreds of seminars to date. 

Pedro currently teaches out of his BJJ academy in Virginia and is to this day promoting the effectiveness of BJJ and the positive benefits of the BJJ lifestyle.


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