Friday, January 3, 2014

The Legacy of Pedro Sauer

I am continuously asked how good of an instructor Professor Pedro Sauer is.  I am often at a loss for words as to how to respond to such a question.  After much thought, I can only come up with one word, “Prodigy.”   

I often liken Professor Sauer to Amadaus Mozart.  Who was the musical genius of his day.  This is Professor Sauer, only, he is a genius of the Gentle Art.   I once saw Professor teach a room with many black belts, who happened to not be in our association and after the class many were telling me that it appeared that they didn’t know Jiu-Jitsu yet.  I simply smiled and said, “Welcome to my world.”   

Professor Sauer,who prefers to be called “Professor” instead of “Master”, comes from the mean streets of Rio.  He says that if you’re a nice guy you fight once a day and if you’re not so nice you fight three or four times a day out on the street.  He was taken on as a student of Helio Gracie after befriending Helio’s son Rickson.   He often speaks of the day when a young Royler Gracie gave a personal no holds barred demonstration to Professor, on Grandmaster’s orders, to show young Pedro how effective Gracie Jiu-Jitsu really is. He went home literally scared knowing that there are people out there in the world “who knew this kind of stuff.” 
Professor made a commitment to the art and spent years being ruthlessly submitted in the Rio Gracie Academy, spending up to eight hours a day on the mat before being molded into the master he is.    Professor gained insights that he went on to use to develop a unique and highly “refined thought process” on how to apply Jiu-Jitsu.  To this day many black belts still don’t understand how deep the depth of Jiu-Jitsu really is.  This becomes obvious in Professor’s teachings.

Professor Sauer, I believe is the person who most represents the idea of using the finest technique in Jiu-Jitsu so that one is able to submit his opponent without trying.  He also advocates taking care of one’s training partner at all times and not be extremely rough.  I think of his Jiu-Jitsu style like a fine hand crafted chair.  It keeps you comfortable during trying times and is built to be passed down from generation to generation.

Professor Sauer’s Jiu-Jitsu is simple though.  It always assumes that you are fighting someone bigger and stronger.  There are no fancy moves that require you to be a phenom. In its simplicity, however, it seeks to innovate and improve.  It works for all body types. It works for the weakest person or the smallest man.  It requires minimum athleticism, meaning it does not require speed or physical ability, only the right defensive or offensive technique choice combined with the right angle and right timing.  It requires the softest touch and is effortless, regardless of what the opponent is doing. 

Professor Sauer is NOT the most famous Gracie Jiu-Jitsu instructor in the world but I often feel his last name should have been Gracie.  I think other than Grandmaster’s children no man has loved Helio Gracie more than Professor Sauer. 

I will probably get in trouble for this but few people realize that Professor Sauer admired and respected Helio Gracie so much that he bought Grandmaster’s furniture after he died.  He had no motive, other then he felt that such Iconic items from the great man could never be simply left to the junkyard.  

I once asked Professor when I was a blue belt what it took to be a black belt.  He said that Helio Gracie told him that he needed to be “more” than perfect.  I, being the stupid individual that I am asked Professor “Were you  more than perfect when you got your black belt?   Professor looked at me like I was a complete idiot and with a sly smile said, “I did not get my black belt because of my good looks my friend.”  I thought to myself…”Uh…..I’ll just be over here if you need me”.  

Follow me on twitter at

1 comment:

  1. Great blog about about a well respected jiu jitsu Ambassador!