Today we’d like to introduce you to Pedro Soriano.
Pedro, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Back on September 9th of 2001, I left Rio de Janeiro and I arrived in Redondo Beach at a friend’s house to stay a year studying English and living the California lifestyle. Needless to say, I was hook in living here and decided I was gonna stay. Towards the beginning of 2003, I had the pleasure to connect with my Sensei Paulo Guillobel, which at that time was looking for a kid’s Jiu-Jitsu instructor for his School in San Pedro. I happened to be looking for a place to get back on the mat, since I am a lifelong Martial Artist, and it all working out perfectly. I had a place to train and I was also finally making some money doing what I loved. In 2006, Sensei Paulo Guillobel decided to move to South Orange County and I ended up staying and opening my own Jiu-Jitsu School.
We first started super small on Pacific Avenue where we stayed until 2009. In May 2009, we moved to a way bigger and better location on Gaffey St. (San Pedro’s Main Street), where we are currently still.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Being young, immigrant, trying to start a business not many people know about it, in a community like San Pedro, where the population is very community oriented and also kind of closed to “outsiders”. Anyway, it was and has been all worthy!
Pedro Soriano Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Pedro Soriano Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy is a Martial Arts School for families and individuals, specialized in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Self-Defense, as well as Judo and Wrestling. (Grappling Arts School).
We teach classes to students as young as 5 years old to as old as you can have a healthy enough body and mind to train.
What I am most proud of aren’t medals or even the fighting skills of my students (don’t take me wrong we have made World Champions, PanAmerican Champions, National and Local Champions), but what the Jiu-Jitsu practice does to them. Like, the shy kid that can’t look up into someone else’s eyes and give a firm handshake, in a few months of classes turn into a confident kid with presence and fierce look; the overweight man or woman that embraces the training and shed their pounds on the mat while having fun and learning the most effective Martial Arts System known to men; the hyper child become more self-controlled and polite etc. These are the things that really makes me proud of our work here at the School.
What sets us apart from others is that we have been doing all this for the last 11 years with excellence.
What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
I really don’t have the proudest moment of my career. I have many moments in my mind which are never forgotten. My students and my team of instructors are my family and I sure see some of them more often than I see a lot of my blood relatives, that being said it sums too many moments like coaching my World Champion students at their final matches, my first match as a black belt, the move from Pacific Ave to Gaffey St for the new location…. they are so many. I believe each moment is special and proud moment their own way.