Professor Juan Pablo Garcia is the owner and head coach at Pacific Top Team Brazilian Jiu Jitsu here in Corona, but many don't know his own journey in Jiu Jitsu. We sat down to learn some more including how he started in this art, his journey and why he is so passionate about teaching.
Professor JP started Martial Arts at the age of 13, training boxing and judo as jiu jitsu was not prevalent in Ecuador, JP's hometown at the time. JP Saw the first UFC, where Royce Gracie beat bigger opponents with Jiu Jitsu and knew he wanted to train this martial art, so his search began. Initialy he trained Judo because he couldn't find Jiu Jitsu in his hometown. After training Judo for a year, he began training at a school named Bidokan, a mixed martial arts school affiliated with Royce Gracie and participated in MMA. He attended a seminar with Royce Gracie, who gave him his blue belt after seeing him at the age of 16. In his search to pursue more Jiu Jitsu he traveled to the US and Brazil for seminars and competitions. Since there was not very many instructor in jiu jitsu in Ecuador, he would bring back what he learned to teach friends.
Professor JP was always traveling and searching to learn and expand his Jiu Jitsu and traveled and trained with well known Jiu Jitsu practitioners like Draculinho, Marcio Simas, Cobrinha, Marcelo Garcia, Daniel De Lima and many others in Brazil and USA.
He competed in Worlds the last year they were held in Brazil as a purple belt. After the Worlds in Brazil, he traveled back home to Organize the first grappling tournament in his home town city in Ecuador. He helped Found Gracie Barra and was responsible to establish various other Jiu Jitsu Teams in Ecuador.
After many years helping to establish schools in Ecuador, he started to focus on his own career and pursue achieving his black belt in the United States. From Ecuador, he traveled to Florida to train. Then spent 2 years in New Mexico training with multiple time world champion Roberto Alencar and received his brown belt. In 2010 he moved to LA to start teaching in multiple Gracie Barra schools and received his black belt in 2011 and his first degree from the legendary Master Carlos Gracie Jr. in 2014.
In 2015, Professor Jp finally opened his own school, Pacific Top Team in Corona. Having his own Academy was something he had worked his whole life for other than receiving his black belt. Throughout his Journey, he has always traveled to Canada, Chile, Ecuador and Europe teaching seminars and has now has affiliated schools in Germany, Chile, and Ecuador. Currently he continues to learn and expand his knowledge with privates with 8th degree Coral Belt Master Joe Moriera
Traveling so much during his own Jiu Jitsu Journey exposed him to many instructors, teaching methods and styles. This experience prompted him to fond Escuela de Jiu Jitsu which teaches courses on how to run Academies, equipping others with the tools they need to be successful and follow their dreams of opening their own schools. Since he didn't have any guidance, he is passionate about providing it for others.
Professor JP has a deep love for Jiu Jitsu and says it changed his life in a positive way and brought him more focus and discipline. Competing and traveling has helped his to face his fears, meet new people and help others have the positive change that Jiu Jitsu brings to lives. He loves to teach, build up and empower others to become instructors as well