INSTRUCTORS | Gracie St. George
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Jake Johnston (Head Instructor / co-owner)

In the summer of 1993, Jake Johnston moved from Southern Utah to learn from Master Pedro Sauer. He received his black belt in August of 2006 and is part of the original crew that started with Master Sauer in the early 90s. In 1994 or 1995, he started teaching classes at the Utah County academy, then began traveling to Southern Utah to visit family as well as sharing Jiu-Jitsu with students who didn’t have access to an academy. In 2012, Jake became a Gracie Academy Certified instructor and then re-certified in 2018. He remains dedicated to the teachings of GM Helio Gracie & Master Sauer.

Ian Abbott (Assistant Instructor / co-owner)

Ian Abbott was born and raised in Southern Utah but has lived all over the western US, as well as Germany and Belgium. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah and has trained with Jake Johnston for several years. Ian has experienced over 50+ physical altercations because of his work, and proudly utilized Gracie Combatives techniques in all of them. Ian prides himself on his ability to use Jiu Jitsu to keep people safe. He has worked for nearly a decade in psych, and in addition to teaching Jiu Jitsu, Ian owns and operates a youth intervention and transport company.

Melissa Wells (Women’s Self-Defense Instructor)

Melissa Wells tried one class in 2012 and was hooked immediately. She received her blue belt a year-and-a-half later and helped teach Gracie Combatives classes as well as Master Cycle classes up until last year when she found out she was pregnant. When a stranger followed her daughter from the bus stop and then tried to cut her off before she could get into her house, Melissa shifted her focus and decided she wanted to dedicate some of her time educating women about effective self-defense and awareness. She teaches the women-only self-defense classes as well as helping with kids and Combatives.


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