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.

Alixander Laffredo-Dietrich

"I believe life is more enjoyable once we are equipped to protect what we value – including ourselves,

however, for the majority of my life I felt ill-equipped. 


When I was younger I had tried various martial arts but none ever “clicked” for me. Therefore, I never developed the confidence with those disciplines to protect myself. Until my mid-20s, I chalked myself up as a lost cause when it came to defending myself.

Then I found Gracie Jiu Jitsu. Finally, I had found a martial art that had structure, taught me the WHY behind every move, and really “clicked” for me!


Before long I felt like I could actually protect myself.

I finally had the equipment I needed to enjoy my life!

Alixander Laffredo-Dietrich is currently pursuing certification through Gracie University as an instructor. At IBM, he is an Offering Manager and also runs his own business helping professionals and entrepreneurs speak from the stage!

Jim Phifer

Talton Mickle

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.

4908 Hillsborough Rd  Durham, NC   info@GracieJiuJitsuDurham.com   919.964.5777