First time attending a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class?
Read this first.

No one forgets what it felt like to be a new white belt in a room full of strangers. The experience of walking into an academy can be intimidating, but our practitioners are easygoing and welcoming.

At your first class, you’ll be greeted with a smile and a loaner uniform or “Gi”. We will start with a group warm-up that includes stretches and drills designed to introduce you to jiu-jitsu movements. Then you’ll learn fundamental techniques for controlling and immobilizing an opponent, protecting yourself from strikes and submissions, escaping bad positions, as well as launching your own attacks. Towards the end of the session, there’s supervised sparring, typically done from the specific position we worked on that day.

Sparring does not happen on the first day; this is to give you an opportunity to see that even though students are engaged in grappling combat, they are still competing in a friendly way. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, at its core, is a team sport and we push each other to become the best we can be.

First Day Checklist:

  • Shower & nail check. Hygiene is very important. Your feet and hands should be clean, and nails should be trimmed to ensure the safety of yourself and your training partners.
  • Comfortable, athletic clothing. Gym shorts, t-shirts, and/or compression clothing are all appropriate to wear underneath the Gi (uniform) and for No Gi training (Tuesdays).
  • Flip-flops or slides off the mat are a MUST. This is important in helping us maintain hygiene standards and ensuring a clean space to train.
  • Water bottle. We do supply water and cups, if you need it.
  • Change of clothes to wear home after practice. Jiu-Jitsu is a workout, and you will sweat.
  • Be prepared to have a great time!

Frequently Asked Questions

“What does SAS stand for?”

Quite simply, it stands for Sá And Santos. In 2009 Professor Carlos Pinto Sá broke away from long-time team Nova Uniao. After leaving Nova Uniao, he, along with Coach Guilherme Santos, formed SAS Team.

“What does the logo mean?”

The SAS Team logo is a Phoenix, a mystical bird that rose from the flames as a winner, having beaten all of life’s challenges and overcoming hard times. The Phoenix is a symbol of rebirth from the ashes of the past and represents the victory of life over death, thus immortality.

“How far-reaching is SAS’s influence?”

There are 120 SAS Team Academies around the world, unified in our traditions and proudly wearing the Phoenix. As a student here you can visit any one of them and be greeted with hospitality.

SAS Philadelphia Instructors

Professor Anton Gotsmanov

Black Belt, 2nd Degree

I came to the United States from Russia in 2000, and started my Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu journey in November of 2007, as a college student looking for a new hobby. Since that day, Jiu-Jitsu has become my biggest passion. I actively compete at all levels and in August of 2017 I achieved the rank of Black Belt under Francisco Daniel Tavares, on the podium of Master Worlds IBJJF Championship.

Over the years, I have had the privilege of helping many people become better athletes and better fighters. By sharing my extensive knowledge of holistic nutrition, I am also able to help others achieve their optimal health and body composition. I thoroughly enjoy teaching adults and children, and seeing my students’ progress and success has fueled my fire, leading me here: starting my own academy. I eat, sleep and breathe Jiu-Jitsu, and want to share this dedication with my students full-time.

I particularly enjoy breaking down techniques and how they apply to different body types and styles. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced practitioner, I can take you to the next level through private one-on-one lessons or group sessions. No matter what, you can always expect the same consistent, positive energy and attention from me!

Notable Achievements

Black

2023 IBJJF NY Summer Open Champion
2021 IBJJF American Nationals – 2nd
2019 FUJI NY State Champion
2019 IBJJF NY Spring Open – 2nd
2018 IBJJF NY Fall Open – 2nd
2018 Pride BJJ Champion

Brown

IBJJF NY Summer Open Champion
IBJJF NY Spring Open Champion
IBJJF NY PRO Champion
IBJJF Master Worlds – 3rd
NY IBJJF Summer Open  – 3rd (absolute)

Other

Purple – 2013 NJBJJF Spring Open Absolute Champion
Blue – 2011 NAGA Wildwood Champion

Coach Joe

Brown Belt

I started jiu-jitsu out of curiosity. In 2012 I met Daniel Tavares in a wrestling class. After wrestling, he’d get ready to teach jiu-jitsu at a different gym, and wanted to try it out. I began training under Daniel and met Anton in one of those classes. I took some time off for injury, but in 2018 I saw Anton teaching his own classes and re-started my jiu-jitsu journey. I’ve been studying under Anton ever since.

I grew up right across the bridge from Philly, in Cinnaminson, NJ. As a kid I fenced, played baseball and football, and wrestled in high school. I’ve always loved the ocean, Mother Nature, and our planet, and my favorite times are spent swimming, hiking, traveling, and filming my adventures on my GoPro.

I love the energy and atmosphere that SAS Philly has and it makes me excited to be an instructor, helping students improve their jiu-jitsu. I have big goals in jiu-jitsu and in life, and I’m always growing and learning. I aim to be the best, well-rounded jiu-jitsu instructor I can and am always ready for the next adventure!

Notable Achievements

Purple

2022 Grappling Industries Philly Spring Open – 2nd

Blue

2019 FUJI Allentown – 2nd

White

2019 IBJJF New York Open – 3rd

Coach Nnena (“Nay-nuh”)

Purple Belt

I’m a Minnesota native and a lifelong athlete. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu came into my life in 2019, after an assault left me unprepared to properly defend myself. I put my soul and all of my energy into learning and training jiu-jitsu, and began competing after 4 months of dedicated training with Professor Anton.

Before jiu-jitsu, in my formative years, you could find me playing outside with my brothers any chance I had, and finding my place on soccer, track, and cross-country teams. In 2004 I moved to the East Coast, and kept active with long-distance races, from 5Ks to marathons, and playing on local kickball and dodgeball teams.

As a Little Ninjas and Big Kids coach, I love being able to connect with everyone who steps on the mats. Besides helping kids master the gentle art, I want to help them feel accepted, find confidence, and push them to set and reach goals. My favorite part of any day, is walking through those gym doors. Come train with me!

Notable Achievements

Purple

2023 IBJJF Atlanta Winter Open – 3rd
2023 IBJJF Charlotte Fall Open – 3rd
2023 Grappling Industries Philly Summer Open – Gold (gi)
2023 IBJJF NY Summer Open – 2nd
2023 Grappling Industries Philly Spring Open – Gold (gi), 2nd (no gi)

Blue

2022 IBJJF Pans – 2nd
2022 IBJJF New Haven Fall Open – Gold (absolute), 2nd (division)
2022 Grappling Industries Philly Summer Champion – Gi & No Gi
2022 Grappling Industries Philly Summer Champion – Gi & No Gi
2022 Grappling Industries Monroe Winter Champion
2021 American Nationals Champion – Gi & No Gi
2021 IBJJF Master Worlds – 3rd
2021 Fuji Allentown Fall Champion
2021 IBJJF Orlando Open – 2nd

White

2021 Grappling Industries Philly Spring Champion – Gi & No Gi
2021 Fuji Allentown Spring Champion – Gi & No Gi
2021 Fuji Allentown Winter Champion
2020 IBJJF Pans Champion
2020 IBJJF Orlando Open – 2nd
2020 Grappling Industries Philly Fall Champion
2020 Daniel Tavares Winter In-House – 3rd
2020 Grappling Industries Philly Winter – 3rd

Coach Julio

Blue Belt

My journey with Jiu-Jitsu started in October of 2020, when the quarantine had me house-bound and I needed a change. I wanted to be more active so I joined SAS Philly where I quickly fit in with the team and the culture.

I’m a true Philly guy, born and raised in Philadelphia, just a few minutes away from the gym. In high school I played football, basketball, and played in the public soccer league. But baseball is my first true love and I’ve been playing my whole life–from peewee to the D1 college level. One day I hope be a little league baseball coach and pass along my passion and knowledge.

Nowadays, you can still find me playing in a softball league, enjoying BBQs and cooking with friends, or playing video games. My favorite part about teaching the Little Ninjas and Big Kids is watching a student grasp a new technique and seeing that “light bulb moment” happen for them. I help my students thrive and push themselves to the next level, in Jiu-Jitsu and in life.

Notable Achievements

White

2020 Fuji Allentown Winter Medalist – 2nd

Coach Kelly

Blue Belt

I became a Licensed Massage Therapist in 2017 at Cortiva Institute in Hoboken, NJ. I quickly gained skill, insight and appreciation for the client – therapist service based relationship. In 2018, being a practitioner for 10 years prior myself, I became a Yoga Instructor with the intention of sharing the power of this practice with my community and clientele.

In 2019, I hiked the 2,200 mile stretch of The Appalachian Trail to completion where a new layer of self discovery blossomed and exposed my desire to work closely to the birthing process. In 2020 I dove into various certifications and programs, focusing on maternal and family wellness.

I live slowly, meaningfully, and energetically in Fishtown Philadelphia. I train in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitively and have the honor of teaching Yoga at SAS Philadelphia. You will often find me enjoying early mornings with music, movement, meditation, exercise and reading. In my downtime I love to trail run, travel, cook, go out dancing, surf, camp and simply be in nature. I valuee family and friendship above all else. I truly love communicating openly and deliberately with her friends, family and clients and look forward to engaging with new clients and family units of all kinds.

Certifications & Notable Achievements

Certifications

Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga Teacher Training Certification
Birth Doula Certification
Infant Feeding Specialization Certification
Infant Massage Therapy and Instructor Certification
Postpartum Doula and Infant Care Certification

Jiu-Jitsu

Coming Soon

Coach John

White Belt

Coming Soon!

The Team

The SAS Team promotes the philosophy of Professor Sá and honors the legacy of the family that pioneered Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Northeast Brazil. The team’s main objective is to educate its members on the etiquette and ethics expected in the practice of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, while remaining on the cutting edge of technical ability, as well as setting guidelines for basic curriculum and belt advancement of affiliate schools.

By following this long-standing tradition, we can provide each student with an authentic experience that we were given. You will see other SAS Black Belts and members at team training sessions, seminars, and random classes. We support each other as well as each other’s students!

The SAS Family

Anton Gotsmanov

Anton joined SAS Team in 2007 when he started training Jiu-Jitsu under Francisco Daniel Tavares.

Professor Daniel Tavares

Daniel is a 4th Degree Black Belt from Fortaleza, Brazil. He has been practicing, teaching, and competing for the past 22 years. In addition to earning countless Black Belt titles, Daniel became a Masters World Champion in IBJJF 2018. Daniel was promoted to Black Belt by Master Francisco Sá in 2005.

Master Francisco Sa

Master Sa originally started training under Takeo Iano and achieved a very elite Red Belt status in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He was a Black Belt for 54 years and passed away in 2013 leaving the legacy to his oldest son, Professor Carlos Pinto Sá “Sazinho”.

Professor Carlos Pinto Sa “Sazinho”

Sazinho was born in Fortaleza and currently holds 7th Degree Black Belt rank. He formed the SAS Team in 2009. His brother Guybson Sá is a very accomplished Black Belt who lives in South Carolina.

“Daniel is a true inspiration for me and has been my mentor and big brother for the last 11 years. It has been an honor to train and travel with him and other SAS Black Belts in tournaments across the United States.”
- Anton Gotsmanov, student

Our Sponsors

As athletes always striving for better performance and recovery, we have been very fortunate to have the following companies helping out my journey. Together we grow stronger!