Founded by Wander Braga almost 8 years ago Gauntlet Jiu Jitsu has been one of the top schools in the Los Angeles Inland Empire. After Braga returned to Brazil and being under the direction of Lucas Leite and the Checkmat team for a few years the academy is now led by Ralph Gracie Black Belt Gregorio Marcellino Rivera. A student of Ralph’s for 20 years. “Greggie” is excited to revamp the school’s student base along with its new location in Claremont Ca.
Gregorio started Jiu-Jitsu with many great grapplers including OTM’s Scottie Nelson, BJ Penn, JD Penn, Reagan Penn, Dave and Dan Camarillo, Cameron Earl, Alan Gumby Marques, Bobby Southward and many more. They were all part of an elite team back then led by a stern, raw, uncensored and straight from Brazil teacher in Ralph Gracie. “I remember he would make you drill a technique over 100 times if he saw you do it wrong in training. He made me drill till my knuckles bled once,” stated Gregorio. Also back then if you were one of his top students he would go to your house if you were late or didn’t show! He was serious about creating a solid team and he did. He was fighting in the cage back then and unfortunately didn’t have any top guys to train with so he forced the team to get better very fast which included a very steep learning curve into MMA fighting. “We got beat” laughs Gregorio. But it made us who we are today and we thank him for it.
After teaching at the Ralph Gracie Chino Hills academy for 3 years Gregorio has big plans for the Claremont school and wishes to help introduce and evolve the sport side of Jiu-Jitsu but also bring back the street worthiness that he feels every Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black belt MUST teach in order to ensure the safety and security of their students and their families. He is a student of the game to this day and says he still “goes to sleep with a tired body but a racing mind,” constantly thinking of better techniques and positions to increase his understanding of the vast space of Jiu-Jitsu. His passion shows through his teaching and his ability to still make Jiu-Jitsu fun which is why his kid’s classes were well received at Chino Hills. Many have said he is just a big kid. Being a feather weight, he has had to rely on technique and flexibility which he believes is key for a small man or woman in Jiu-Jitsu. The school is currently offering special grand-opening rates for the next few months and will look to be a venue for Claremont McKenna College where students can acquire credit for classes. The school is currently offering sport, no gi and MMA Jiu-Jitsu for kids and adults and looks to add Muay Thai in the near future. For more information on classes please call 909-579-1595 or visit www.gauntletbjj.com.