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Shawn Pretat

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Owner / Lead Instructor

Professor Shawn Pretat began his martial arts career in high school, practicing Jiu-jitsu and Pancrase Shoot Fighting. Upon joining the military in 1997, he dedicated himself to training in Russian Combat Sambo for the next 9 years. In 2007 he became a Master Combatives Instructor for the U.S. Army, training combat team operations as well as coaching and participating in traveling team competition. 


Shawn started his path in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu in 2006, learning from Jason “Blind Fury” Keaton under the lineage of Renata Tavares. Having moved to El Paso, TX he transferred under the mentoring of black belts Phil Cardella and Steve Hordinski, while being belted directly from the legend Relson Gracie himself and later receiving his Black Belt From  one of the best known instructors in the world , Red & Black Belt Master Caique.

During his military service Shawn was able to participate in seminars all over the world and train with Brazilian Jiu-jitsu experts Royce Gracie, Ralek Gracie, Bob Bass, Rener Gracie, Rigan Machado and several others. He continued to expand his training and expertise, traveling to be certified in IKI Krav Maga under Moche Kratz and Rob Peterson, as well as studying American Kenpo Karate with Grand Master Michael Pick, among others. In that time period, he also opened and established several academies, which are still open and have been transferred to qualified instructors.


Being technically and tactically sound, Shawn was selected to run military base programs as the Head Combatives Instructor for the U.S. Army. He was responsible for training soldiers every day, from basic to elite teams, in defensive and offensive fighting techniques, room clearing operations and small cell extraction with SRT (Special Response Teams).


While training soldiers and traveling he accomplished many victories with his team. He is a Pro Fighter and Army Champion at several bases around the world, has won several BJJ tournaments, including taking First Place in the NAGA Worlds Advanced Division in 2010 and 2019.


Shawn retired from the military in 2017 after serving 20 honorable years. Because of his passion for teaching and helping others, he now shares the knowledge and expertise his years in the military bestowed on him with the private sector.

Elle Jackson

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Instructor / Female only Lead Instructor

Professor Elle Jackson is a lifelong athlete and has 17 years of experience in hand-to-hand training. Frequent relocation led her to train in any art available at her current location, which included boxing, Kenpo and kickboxing. She is a certified instructor of Krav Maga and currently holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Professor Elle is notably the first Female to be awarded the Black Belt under 8th Degree Master Caique directly. She is known for her attention to technical detail, clear teaching style, and belief that while violence is serious, we shouldn't take ourselves too seriously.

Darrin Baldgridge 

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Instructor

"bio coming soon" Blackbelt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu belted directly under Master Caique and Shawn Pretat.

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