Hello, my name is Robb and I am a grappaholic. In December 2012 I wanted to find something different to get in shape. Going to the gym was boring, and re-enlisting in the Marine Corps was not an option. At 42 years old I needed to make some changes. Joining this family at Great Grappling was the best decision I could have ever made. From day one everyone here has been very helpful, and not one time have I felt like an outsider who was here to be used as a test dummy. Professor Jeremy is not just a Black belt, he is a good person. He is awesome to train with, and the type of guy you enjoy hanging out with after class. I started this to get in shape, but once I realized what I had found, I want to train as much as I can so I can earn some rank and compete. I want to compete for the test of my knowledge and ability in the art, not just for the trophy. If you are considering learning the art and having a place you can go and train without fear of being the test dummy, this is the place. Great People, Great Training, Great Grappling.


We found GGBJJ when searching for kids Brazilian Jiu Jitsu programs in the Charlotte area. We were not experienced in martial arts, but were told that BJJ can be better exercise for kids since they actually get to spar regularly in class (as opposed to needing pads, headgear to spar in most other martial arts to avoid injury). We were immediately impressed with Professor Jeremy as a teacher. Not only is he obviously a great BJJ practitioner, but he’s an amazing communicator and loves kids. That’s a very rare and unique combination of skills. Our sons, age 7 and 8, have flourished at GGBJJ. The older of the two is very big for his age, and his balance/coordination were lagging as a result. GGBJJ has fixed that, and they both love it.

After almost a year of my boys doing BJJ, I was convinced to try it myself and have had the same results. I’m still at the beginning of my BJJ “journey” but I enjoy it already. It’s challenging yet addictive. GGBJJ has a family community where everybody is great friends outside of class, supports each other, and as a new practitioner I am constantly impressed by the great help I get from the more experienced guys I go up against. This is not an intimidating atmosphere where I’m afraid to join, as an outsider. This is a welcoming community where the expectations are high, but everybody helps everybody else. That all flows from Jeremy’s great teaching style and the culture he has created at GGBJJ. I can’t imagine a better place to learn BJJ – not only in the Charlotte area, but anywhere in the country.


Purple belt in BJJ

Hey all,

I ran into the Jeremy by complete accident, by rolling up to Gordo’s academy to train a few weeks, and asking about places to stay. What I got was an amazingly warm welcome and a new family for a few weeks. Everyone at the Connection Rio house was friendly and fun, and they were serious about training BJJ. Awesome.

As for Jeremy himself, it is few and far between to find people who are as dedicated to teaching as this man. The classes are very well researched, based upon extensive experience, and set in a format to learn through muscle memory. All of the techniques build off of each other in a continuum, designed around building a game plan and prepping for competition. Jeremy keeps things moving and fast paced, but you never feel exhausted until its all over and you realize you’ve been training hard and nonstop. I highly recommend his classes and I’ll definitely be back again.

Thanks Jeremy!, will be seeing you at the Rio Open!




Hey guys, I recently took a private with Jeremy (yesterday) and couldn’t be happier.

My expectations for an instructor, be it a private lesson, seminar or instructional DVD are as follows.

1)Is he teaching you proven techniques that he himself makes work in a competitive atmosphere?

2)Is he teaching you a set of conjoined techniques or are they random and disconnected?

(I’ve been shocked at how many seminars operate this way)

3)Does he pay attention to the details of each technique and make sure you are getting the fine details?

4)Does his teaching methodology reinforce the learning process?

Jeremy met and exceeded all of these expectations. I want to stress just how exceptional a teacher Jeremy is. He not only explains the techniques in detail but also the principles behind them, so that you understand not only the “how” but also the “why”. When you do get it, he is obviously and genuiney excited for you. He also uses terminology that is clear and concise and also gives you a distinct mental picture of how it needs to be executed. Finally at the end of the lesson he reviews and quizzes you on all the techniques to make sure you have absorbed everything, this includes reviewing your written notes to make sure they are step by step accurate.

I’ve got 4 more privates to go and I’m stoked.

P.S. the site looks great.



Blue Belt – Abhaya MMA – Nova Scotia, Canada

I have had the pleasure of training with Jeremy for the last 3 and half months here in Brazil and on top of that i have gotten to take several private lessons with him as well. Jeremy has a natural ability for teaching and great mind for BJJ, his ability to help you understand concepts and help you develop new skills is on an elite level. On top of this Jeremy is one of the most genuine people I have ever met, and wont hesitate to give you advice or praise on whatever you are doing. Even after class when he is dead tired and sweating out small lakes on the mat he will still provide answers to your questions/ show you techniques. If you ever have the opportunity to train with Jeremy I highly recommend it, I know I am going to try and make it down to South Carolina at some point to train at his school when he gets it open.



Purple Belt – Combat Base – Bolton, UK

I have had the pleasure of training with Jeremy Arel for the last month here in Rio, as well as sharing a house and I am proud to call Jeremy one of my friends. His jiu jitsu is off the hook and he is a great coach, with a very fine eye for detail when teaching. Most nights at training, he has watched me roll and has come to me with little nuggets of advice on where I have been going wrong and the tips he has given me have made an immense impact on my game, for which I am truly grateful. I have learned a lot from Jeremy in such a short space of time, he is truly an ambassador for BJJ and his students are very lucky to have such a talented and personable guy as their coach.



Hampstead, NC

I had the priveledge of training with Jeremy in Charlotte a couple months ago. I must say he is a class act and a great Jiu Jitsu practitioner. Although I only met him that night and was honored by getting a chance to roll with him he treated me like I was a long time friend and trained with me likewise. I hope I get the oppurtunity to train/roll with him again sometime in the near future. Thank you Jeremy and Luis “Sucuri” Togno for allowing me to learn from some of the best around.



Blue Belt – RGDA Barrie

I’ve been living in Rio and training at Gordo’s for 5 months, and I think my jiu jitsu game has made the most progress since Jeremy has been present for the last 2 months. Not only have I learned the most technique since I’ve been here from his classes, they have also been the techniques I can apply to my game immediately. His classes are laid out in a curriculum where one position is covered from all angles in a series of classes, one day building off the previous days lesson, making the information easier to absorb and apply, opposed to teaching random techniques. He teaches in a very detailed and precise way that makes things easy to remember, and in a logical order which build off each other or provides options if one move fails. His classes always have a positive atmosphere conducive to learning, and he always provides encouraging feedback. His comments and suggestion when watching you roll are always very helpful and on point. Whenever I’ve ever had any question, concerns or doubts about my game, he’d always be willing to answer questions and give me pointers or show me new techniques. One of the best teachers and positive influences in my time as a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu student. Thanks a lot Jeremy. I really appreciated it.



Brown Belt Brazilian Jiujitsu – East Coast Fighter – Charlotte, NC

I’ve been lucky to know Jeremy for a few years now. We kinda came up the ranks together and I can say without any doubt that he is not only a great instructor that helps you retain details of techniques, but also he is a good friend. I am a better jiu jitsu player just for training with him. Any of you who get the chance to train with him will benefit from top notch instruction. I HIGHLY recommend you take advantage of him if you go to Brazil or when he hets back home!




Hello, I trained for 3 weeks at Gordo’s and stayed at the Connection Rio house. As soon as I arrived, Jeremy made me feel welcome and he was very accomodating. From the very first class I did with him I knew I was going to get some top notch teaching. He has a systematic approach that is very helpful in building techniques and a holistic gameplan from the ground on up. Even as a white belt, I obtained very valuable skills day in day out. I was able to see my progression from the start to the very end, and was very pleased with how far I had come in such a short space of time. Jeremy’s attention to detail and clear, concise instruction made it very easy to apply new techniques correctly. He also didn’t just talk the talk, but attended and rolled every session (Gordo’s classes) (I think he just beat me on number of classes attended!!) If you want to up your game, I suggest in no uncertain terms to train under Jeremy. I will be returning for another stint again next year due to my fantastic experience~



BJJ Purple Belt – Defkon 1/Gracie Barra

I first heard about Jeremy through his blog that he began posting on the Sherdog Forum. By reading the blog I learned about ConnectionRio.com and because of his experiences I made it my goal to follow my dream of training in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. When I arrived, I was pleased to find out that Jeremy would be returning for another stay in the ConnectionRio.com house and would also be teaching daily classes for the residents of the house. Jeremy quickly showed himself to be an outstanding teacher and practitioner of the art of Jiu jitsu. Unlike other instructors who teach techniques at random, Jeremy follows a systematic approach by teaching techniques and positions that directly relate to one another. Jeremy also gives personal attention each of his students, ensuring that one understands and performs each technique correctly. In my ten years of travel and study under different Brazilian Jiu jitsu teachers and associations, I have rarely seen a more thorough and detail oriented instructor. No matter what your reasons for training in BJJ, your skill level or if you are a serious competitor, training with Jeremy will help you bring your game to the next level, guaranteed!



Concord, NC

I had the opourtunity to train with Professer Arel at Joe Hurst’s gym in Concord, NC. He is a amazing teacher because he makes things look so easy when he shows you step by step things that make your jiu jitsu game top of the line. I recently won tournements by using his 1/2 guard sweep. I can not wait for his to return to NC to get another chance to roll with him and strengthen my jiu jitsu game

PS- any school would be lucky to have him