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

No one ever 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 very intimidating, but have no fear! Jiu-Jitsu practitioners are extremely easygoing and welcoming!

On your first day of class, you will be greeted with a smile and a loaner uniform (“Gi”). We will then walk you through a warm up that consists of stretches and drills designed to introduce you to Jiu-Jitsu movements. You will then 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 this session, there will be supervised sparring. Sparring is usually 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 is, at its core, a team sport! We push each other to become the best that we can be.

First Day Checklist:

  • Shower before training and make sure your nails are trimmed. This is because hygiene is very important to us and those around us. Nails should be trimmed to ensure the safety of those that you are grappling with.
  • Wear comfortable, athletic clothing. Gym shorts, t-shirts, and compression clothing are all appropriate to wear underneath the Gi (uniform) and for No Gi training (Tuesdays).
  • Bring flip-flops or slides to wear OFF the mat. This is important in helping us maintain hygiene standards and keep a safe and clean environment for everyone.
  • Bring a change of clothes to wear home after practice. Jiu-Jitsu is a workout, and you will sweat.
  • Bring a water bottle. We do supply water and cups, if you need it.
  • Be prepared to have the best time of your life!

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

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


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


NY IBJJF Summer Open Champion
NY IBJJF Spring Open Champion
IBJJF Masters Worlds – 3rd
NY IBJJF Summer Open Absolute Division – 3rd


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

Coach Nnena (“Nay-nuh”)

Blue Belt

Hi there! I’m a Minnesota native and a lifelong athlete. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu came into my life in October of 2019, after I experienced an assault, and realized the urgent need to learn how to properly defend myself. I put my soul and all of my energy into learning and training Jiu-Jitsu, and began competing after just 4 months of dedicated training with Professor Anton.

Before my Jiu-Jitsu career, in my formative years, you could find me playing outside with my brothers any chance I could, and finding my place on soccer, track, and cross-country teams. In 2004 I moved to the East Coast, and kept active by running races, ranging in distance from 5k to a full marathon, and playing on local kickball and dodgeball teams.

Today I am a Little Ninjas and Big Kids coach, and love being able to connect with the young hearts that step on the mats. Besides wanting help kids learn and advance their Jiu-Jitsu, I want to help them feel accepted, find confidence, and push them to reach heights they never imagined they could. My favorite part of any day, is walking through those gym doors. Come train with me!

Notable Achievements


2022 IBJJF Pan American Medalist – 2nd
2022 Grappling Industries Philadelphia Summer Champion – Gi & No Gi
2022 Grappling Industries Monroe Winter Champion
2021 American Nationals Champion – Gi & No Gi
2021 IBJJF Master World Medalist – 3rd
2021 Fuji Allentown Fall Champion
2021 IBJJF Orlando Open Medalist – 2nd


2021 Grappling Industries Philadelphia Spring Champion – Gi & No Gi
2021 Fuji Allentown Spring Champion – Gi & No Gi
2021 Fuji Allentown Winter Champion
2020 IBJJF Pan American Champion
2020 IBJJF Orlando Open Medalist – 2nd
2020 Grappling Industries Philadelphia Fall Champion
2020 Daniel Tavares In-House Winter Tournament Medalist – 3rd
2020 Grappling Industries Philadelphia Winter Medalist – 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, and was 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 all the way up 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 at SAS Philadelphia is watching a student grasp a new technique and seeing that “light bulb moment” happen for them. I would love to see any of my students push themselves to the next level, in Jiu-Jitsu or in overall life, and thrive.

Notable Achievements


2020 Fuji Allentown Winter Medalist – 2nd

Kelly Tillyer

Yoga Instructor & Jiu-Jitsu 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


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


Coming Soon

Coach John

White Belt

Coming Soon!

Coach Adhvaith (“Ad-vy-th”)

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!