PSBJJA Endorsed Black Belts

The Pedro Sauer Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Association is one of the oldest and most respected associations in the world today.  Master Pedro Sauer founded the Association in order to maintain and pass on the art he learned from his teacher Grandmaster Helio Gracie and his lifelong friend Master Rickson Gracie. Below you will find a list of official Pedro Sauer Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Association Black Belt Affiliates & Instructors.

  • Luis Heredia

    6th Degree Black Belt

    Greg Nelson

    5th Degree Black Belt

    Jeff Curran

    5th Degree Black Belt

Luis Heredia

6th Degree Black Belt

Greg Nelson

5th Degree Black Belt

Greg Nelson has his roots in athletic training and competition. Coach Greg is a former University of Minnesota D1 NCAA Wrestling Team member and All-American high school gymnast. In 1983, he started training in Jun Fan Martial Arts, Filipino Kali and Muay Thai under Sifu Rick Faye. Since then, he has earned Full Instructor credentials in Jun Fan Martial Arts/Jeet Kune Do Concepts, Filipino Kali, and Level III Instructorship in Maphilindo Silat under the legendary Guru Dan Inosanto. Coach Nelson is also a Senior Instructor in Muay Thai under Ajarn Surachai “Chai” Sirisute of the World Thai Boxing Association.

A grappler at heart, Greg earned the level of Advanced Student in Shooto Wrestling under Sensei Yurinaga Nakamura and is a certified Full Instructor in Combat Submission Wrestling under Erik Paulson. Beginning his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu journey in 1989 by taking a private lesson with Master Rickson Gracie, Coach Greg went on to become a student of 8th Degree Red & Black Belt Professor Pedro Sauer in 1996. Coach Greg was the first of Professor Sauer’s students to earn his Black Belt, receiving the honor in November 2002 – he is now a 5th Degree Black Belt.

Jeff Curran

5th Degree Black Belt

Jeff Curran is the founder of the Curran Jiu-Jitsu Academy and has a competitive history that spans over 27 years and counting.  Professor Curran has devoted his life to the martial arts and has managed to build a world recognized team as well as becoming one of the worlds top ranked righters in the world during his career.

He and his Staff have stayed the course to develop and brand their programs to be sought out and recognized inside the community and around the globe.  Mr. Curran is currently holding the rank of 4th Degree Black Belt under the legendary Master Pedro Sauer.  Jeff Curran and his staff continue to lead the way and are dedicated to helping each student reach their best potential on and off the mat!

  • Keith Owen

    4th Degree Black Belt

    Scott Smith

    4th Degree Black Belt

  • David Krstic

    4th Degree Black Belt

  • John Carlquist

    4th Degree Black Belt

  • Mike Diaz

    4th Degree Black Belt

  • Eddie Edmunds

    4th Degree Black Belt

  • Jonathan Friedland

    4th Degree Black Belt

  • James Gardner

    4th Degree Black Belt

  • John Hosford

    4th Degree Black Belt

  • Anibal Lobo

    4th Degree Black Belt

  • Adam Miller

    4th Degree Black Belt

  • Rylan Lizares

    4th Degree Black Belt

Keith Owen

4th Degree Black Belt

Scott Smith

4th Degree Black Belt

Professor Scott Smith is a 4th degree Black Belt under Master Pedro Sauer. Scott was introduced to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu on his work travels to Evansville IN. Years later he came back home to Louisville, KY and started training at Shaolin Kempo Jiu Jitsu Academy which was a part of the Rickson Gracie association. This is where Scott first met Master Sauer in the mid 90’s. Scott is a 1st degree black belt in TKD and has studied many other martial arts including Judo. He is the owner and CEO of Gracie Jiu Jitsu of Kentucky since 2007. Scott has always said this about Master Sauer ‘’ He doesn’t make me want to be a better black belt or school owner. Master Sauer makes me want to be a better human being”

David Krstic

4th Degree Black Belt

David Krstic, had his first class as a teenager in Jiu Jitsu in late 1993 and commenced his official training in 1995 under one of the “Dirty Dozen”, John Will. After training for 16 years and in pursuit of deeper knowledge, met up with Pedro Sauer and subsequently joined the PSBJJA in 2012. Earning his third and fourth degree black belt from Pedro Sauer and the PSBJJA in 2013 and 2021 respectively, continues teaching classes and tending to his academy in Templestowe, Melbourne, Australia. Constantly on the mat training and teaching Jiu Jitsu, as he has for most of his life, searching for the most efficient way to apply pressure without force.

John Carlquist

4th Degree Black Belt

Mike Diaz

4th Degree Black Belt

Eddie Edmunds

4th Degree Black Belt

Jonathan Friedland

4th Degree Black Belt

James Gardner

4th Degree Black Belt

John Hosford

4th Degree Black Belt

Anibal Lobo

4th Degree Black Belt

Adam Miller

4th Degree Black Belt

Adam is a 4th degree black belt under Master Pedro Sauer. He was introduced to Gracie Jiu Jitsu in 1992 while training in Jeet Kune Do. Adam pioneered Jiu Jitsu in the Chicagoland area, eventually becoming a founding member of Team Curran. He describes his time with Jeff “Big Frog” Curran this way, “My Jiu Jitsu came alive on the mats of Team Curran.” Prof. Miller currently lives in Louisville and teaches out of Gracie Kentucky with Prof. Scott Smith. In addition to Jiu-Jitsu, Adam holds black belts in Hapkido, Judo and classical Ju-Jitsu. Adam has videos at BJJFanatics and online resources at Armbarcity. You can also find spiritual coaching at myLifeChurch.

Rylan Lizares

4th Degree Black Belt