Build each other

Sunny Yu

"Why Teach? My father tells me that my grandfather, whom I've only met once, was a Kung Fu master in his Taiwanese village. He continues to add that, among many contributions, he helped a lot of people in his community.


This revelation inspired me to evaluate my personal Brazilian Jiu Jitsu journey and come to the conclusion that I wished for my measure of success to not be defined by how many people I could "beat", but rather how many people I could help.


I desire that one day my grandkids will hear that their grandfather also helped many people in his community."

In 2016, Sunny completed the Gracie Academy Instructor Certification Program.  He has been a part-time instructor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill since the Fall of 2007, teaching social dance and adding Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to the course offerings in the fall of 2011.

Marty Josey

"My mission is to empower as many people as possible through Jiu Jitsu. I believe Gracie Jiu Jitsu is such an incredible self defense system, as well as an awesome vehicle for personal growth.


The confidence a person develops when training translates into every aspect of their life, and it's great seeing that happen. Jiu Jitsu changes lives."


Marty has over 30 years of martial arts experience including

 -Shorin Ryu Karate

 -Tae Kwon Do 

 -Kenpo Karate (Black Belt) 

 -Progressive Fighting System/Contemporary Jeet Kune Do (PFS) (Apprentice instructor)

 -Fear Adrenal Stress Response (FAST Defense-Certified instructor) 

 -submission grappling

 -Gracie Jiu Jitsu (Purple Belt under the Gracie Academy)

 -Gracie Academy Instructor Certification Program (2011)

A former Stress Management Counselor and Life Coach (Duke Medical System), he also produces a podcast (Gracie Jiu Jitsu Rocks!) dedicated to Gracie Jiu Jitsu.  He's always looking for opportunities to help people grow, learn, develop, and become the best they can be.

Jim Phifer

Gracie Combatives Testimonial 2011

"I get so excited when I talk about Gracie Combatives that sometimes it is hard for me to get the words out. What I meant to say was........"I love Gracie Combatives"


I never thought that I would be able to learn real Gracie Jiu Jitsu because I live in the middle of nowhere. I am a former DT (defensive tactics) instructor with over 20 years of Law Enforcement experience. I am only interested in self defense. I have never been in a tournament, I have never seen one, and I don't even know the rules.

In all of my Law Enforcement training it always bothered me that what I thought were the 3 most important things were never properly taught how to deal with, these were: The Haymaker Punch, The Tackle, and the Headlock. As soon as I previewed Gracie Combatives I knew that I had found what I had been searching for my entire career. I was serious when I told you that the Gracie Bullyproof Techniques that you teach to 3 and 4 year olds are better than the techniques I was taught as a Police Officer and as an Intensive Probation Officer.

This stuff works! Can I beat a more experienced, sport Jiu-Jitsu player at this point? Not Likely. Can I successfully defend myself against a crazed mental patient who is 1/2 my age and twice my size and trying to punch my head off? Yes, and I have, all because of Gracie Combatives. The essential 36 Lessons do prepare people for the most likely attacks. Period."

Jim Phifer completed the Instruction Certification Program through the Gracie Academy in 2012.  He was also the principal operator for Gracie Jiu Jitsu Williamston, a Certified Training Center under the Gracie Academy until he moved to the Raleigh area.

Jon Daniel

"I came across Gracie Jiu Jitsu a little different from most. I grew up as a “big kid” without knowing it. I never had to fight anyone.


I have always loved martial arts and achieved a black belt in Tae Kwon-Do from my school days but never even came close to needing it.


Once I became a Police Officer things began to change. There were situations where people refused to cooperate no matter how hard we tried to reason with them. At that point I saw something different from what I was prepared for. Almost every physical confrontation went to the ground. When you have the numbers you don’t always notice but one confrontation with an ex-high school wrestling champ taught me that I wasn’t as prepared as I thought.


Law Enforcement training with Defensive Tactics and SCAT (Subject Control and Arrest Techniques) hadn’t come close to covering basic ground skills that every officer should have before hitting the streets on their own.


Gracie Jiu Jitsu has bridged that gap for me. In fact, it has made such a difference that other Officers began coming to me for help on how to deal with combative subjects. What started out as one or two guys asking for help has turned into a whole squad worth of Officers coming together to better themselves for their family, agency, and community. Around here things don’t take off unless people believe in it.


Gracie Jiu Jitsu delivers effective training that prepares you for when you have no choice but to go hands on.  It has transformed and prepared our guys and we just can’t stop talking about it."


Corporal Jon Daniel has served his community in the Orange County Sheriff's Department since 2003.  He has received multiple awards as a Deputy - Patrol Division and a School Resource Officer.  Currently, he serves as the Community Relations/Crime Prevention Officer.  He exemplifies the heart of a servant and can be found helping people any chance he gets.

 Durham, NC   info@GracieJiuJitsuDurham.com   919.964.5777