The Santa Fe Brazilian Jiu  Jitsu Academy was founded in 2000 by Professor Alberto Crane, a 4th degree Black Belt. Our Academy is the result of the efforts of Professor Crane and  Professor Thomas Pless, a third degree Black Belt under Alberto Crane and Vinicius Draculino. Our mission is to train body, mind and spirit through the highest level of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instruction as a vehicle for individual development and the strengthening of the family spirit, going beyond the ‘winning-losing’ or ‘contest’ philosophy.

Gracie Barra is a global network formed by more than 100 Brazilian Jiu Jitsu schools.  Inside the Gracie Barra Family, the famous martial arts principle of maximum efficiency minimum effort is not restricted to a general principle behind the practice of self defense techniques, but serves as a moral beacon that guides the behavior of each and every Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner – instructors and their students.

Since inception, the Gracie Barra organization has been in constant growth. Under the leadership of Master Carlos Gracie Jr., Gracie Barra has evolved from one small school at the suburb of Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro, to more then one hundred schools all around the globe, forming a community of thousands of individuals in the five continents.

Above all, Gracie Barra is a family. Its members are proud of being a key part of a successful team that has being able to create something much bigger than themselves.

Inside the Academy, there are no opponents. There are only training partners–“Uke”–engaged in a cooperative learning experience aimed to make each other better not only as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioners but as human beings.

To excel on any endeavor, discipline is essential. It is no different with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. At Santa Fe BJJ the discipline of training and the willingness to sacrifice for higher achievements is reinforced in and outside the school.

Inside Santa Fe BJJ, all people must act with warmth and equality toward one another, regardless of differences in race, creed, nationality, etc. Respect for the hierarchy of the ranks is also very strong and the authority of a Black Belt is truly recognized.

Santa Fe BJJ Instructors shall understand their importance on students lives as role models, as well as their responsibility in bringing out the best each person has within.

Our Instructors shall reinforce that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a life long journey with no ending point. Students must perceive the Black Belt as their minimum goal and that their progress represents an increasing commitment to their growth as BJJ practitioners and human beings.

Santa Fe BJJ Instructors shall lead by example, kindness and care. The formal authority shall always and ever be supported by their moral authority built upon a positive, cooperative, and constructive attitude towards the students and other instructors.

Santa Fe BJJ Instructors shall teach a class as a privilege and never take it as a burden. Each class is the realization of a dream, the instructor life’s work. They must enjoy every minute of it and teach like it was going to be their last opportunity to change students lives for better.

A Third Degree Blackbelt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Alberto Crane and Draculino, owner, Professor Thomas Pless, has been teaching Martial Arts for over 20 years. He is a black belt or equivalent rank in Tae Kwon Do, Hapkido, Muay Thai and Pekiti Tersi Kali. He also has a 4-0 MMA record. Born in Santa Fe, Tom is a lifelong Martial Arts devotee. His first foray into martial arts was at the age of fifteen with the study of Tae Kwon do at the Tae Kwon Do Institute, a discipline in which he holds the rank of black belt. Tom has trained in the field for 30 years and has owned the Santa Fe Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy for ten.


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