Effectiveness and Results Over Tradition

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Personal and professional self-defense.

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Perfect for anti-bullying and self-defense.

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"Jiu Jitsu is for the protection of the individual, the older man, the weak, the child, the lady and the young woman – anyone who doesn’t have the physical attributes to defend themselves” - Hélio Gracie

Fat Snake, a Utah Jiu-Jitsu Academy

Jiu-Jitsu also known as BJJ/ Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is very different from many other martial arts. Unlike other martial arts like Karate and Tae Kwon Do, Jiu-Jitsu’s main focus is on grappling and ground fighting. Jiu-Jitsu is a combat system that emphasizes leverage and control over size and strength. Participants in Jiu-Jitsu attempt to apply a series of chokes and joint locks that will cause their opponent to “submit” or “tap out.” The sport and art is built on principles of self-defense that evolved from Judo and Japanese Ju-Jitsu.

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"Self-defense, self- confidence, discipline and emotional control. The values you learn are you priceless." - Rickson Gracie

What’s the difference between Gracie jiu-jitsu and Brazilian jiu-jitsu?

Rickson Gracie is one of the most noteworthy and mythologized characters in jujitsu, and is widely considered the Gracie family’s best competitor. Importantly, Rickson was able to witness first-hand the growth of jiu-jitsu, from practicing it exclusively with his family at home, to showcasing the power of the art on the biggest stages in MMA bouts.  On the Jocko Podcast with Jocko Willink, Rickson answered a common question: What’s the difference between Gracie jiu-jitsu and Brazilian jiu-jitsu?

“People want to learn jiu-jitsu but they also want to compete in jiu-jitsu, and competition becomes bigger than the actual platform for learning jiu-jitsu with self defense… People teach how to pass a guard, people teach how to choke or do a footlock, but they don’t teach gun retention or wrestling control, knife attacks, and fighting without gloves… because of that lack of information, competition jiu-jitsu becomes much bigger than the self defense jiu-jitsu. Anyone can do Brazilian jiu-jitsu, can fight, can pass guard, do sweeps, but not anyone knows the total Gracie jiu-jitsu which is self defense and more elaborate techniques for self defense.  That’s the big difference. When people refer to Gracie jiu-jitsu they go more toward the traditional aspect of the art, and when they talk about Brazilian jiu-jitsu, they recognize Jiu-jitsu as a competition. But they are the same with lack of information in both sides. Because sometimes now you see self defense academies who have no fighting skills… And other academies they have fighting skills but zero self defense.”

     In short, the key difference is that Gracie jiu-jitsu includes a wide range of self-defense techniques to deal with a multitude of potential situations, whereas Brazilian jiu-jitsu is the competition-based grappling art that is popular today.

Here at Fat Snake Jiu-jitsu we can accommodate you with both aspects.  Competition and self defense.

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Our team is comprised of genuine talent.


Tarl Reynoso

Tarl started Jiu Jitsu by taking a self defense class at BYU in his first semester.

Tarl started Jiu Jitsu by taking a self defense class at BYU in his first semester. To better prepare for the tournament at the end of the semester he started attending the BYU BJJ Club. He started teaching in his Junior year (2015) and was the president of the club in his senior year. He began training under Paul Tom after 2 years in the BYU club. Tarl is currently a Brown Belt and enjoys training people in self defense and training them for competition in local tournaments.

Sio Gali

A life long martial artist with an amazing ability to teach not only adults but children as well.

A life long martial artist with an amazing ability to teach not only adults but children as well. You would be hard pressed to find a more upbeat and motivated instructor who truly cares what you or your child learns and can apply in their daily life. His martial arts journey began at the age of 7 as he studied traditional TaeKwon-Do and earned his 4th degree in 2012. He has also studied Judo, hapkido, as well as the sport style WTF Taekwondo. Sio fell in love with Gracie Jiu-jitsu in 1995 when he found a tape called Gracie in action. He wanted to learn Jiu-jitsu from that moment on but would not begin his journey until 2008. Sio earned and recieved his Black Belt from the Flávio Behring International Association through his friend, and mentor, Professor Paul Tom in 2021. A husband and father of 6 he knows what it takes to teach your kids this beautiful art. If he’s not on the mat, he’s with his family. If his family is not at home, they’re on the mat with him.


Professor Paul Tom is a 3rd degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.

Professor Paul Tom is a 3rd degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu under Grand Master Flavio Behring, and has become widely known for the contributions he has made in training security personnel, police officers, FBI, military, and families of students throughout the state of Utah, while he has taught for over 20 years.

Q) What aspects of BJJ do you prefer?(self defense,Vale Tudo, Sport) Why?

A) This one is easy for me to answer, but harder to explain. "Self Defense" is the short answer. I feel everything other then that is a game. I enjoy all the games that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has developed, MMA, sport Jiu-Jitsu, No Gi grappling, even NHB, but they are games to play. The most important thing to teach my family and students, what I prefer to focus on, is as pure Helio Gracie/Flavio Behring Jiu-Jitsu as possible. I teach tons of things to use in Gi and no Gi competition and we train everyday in a "sporting" way, but I see this as just practice for real life. It is like shooting paper and moving targets on a range; play shooting is fun, but I do it so I have a better chance at surviving if the target is shooting back. I don't want to be the best sport shooter or make my students the world champion skeet shooter. I support the games that my students choose to play and as an academy we have a very successful record in the sport side. I just won't allow the "tail to start wagging the dog."

Q) What advice would you give to all your black belts and students?

A) Don't be fooled by imitations or fancy new moves. If you want to stay on the cutting edge of Jiu-Jitsu, continue to grow in the Jiu-Jitsu that Helio intended for you. Play with the fancy, fun tricky things if you must, but don't confuse fancy for fundamental.

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