Elite black belt coach: Carlos Santos

First BJJ is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu school  operated by world class BJJ Black Belt Professors Carlos Santos from the legendary Carlson Gracie School in Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


Carlson Gracie Academy: Carlos’ Jiu-Jitsu career started in 1993 at the Carlson Gracie Academy in Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, under the supervision of Marcelo Alonso and Marcelo Saporito. He trained under Carlson Gracie until receiving his brown belt.

Brazilian Top Team: Thereafter, Carlos became a head coach of Brazilian Top Team (BTT), where he managed the Gi division. Carlão also trained with Luiz Carlos Dias (“Manimal”), Mario Sperry, Murilo Bustamante, Bebeo Duarte and Ricardo Libório.

Abu Dhabi, UAE: Carlos was the head coach of Emirates Jiu-Jitsu and introduced BJJ into the local army training, royal family and guard as well as succeeding in making BJJ a mandatory subject in their public schools. Created and organized more than 20 local and international tournaments.

To mention the most successful in his career, the 1st World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Cup in Abu Dhabi that Carlos Santos launched and managed 2009 and 2010, with more than 10 international trials.Colorado Springs, Colorado USA: In February 2012, Carlos Santos created and co-owned a BJJ center as well organized 3 editions of a successful BJJ tournament.

Salt Lake City, Utah: In June 2014 Carlos Santos decided to move with his family to Salt Lake City to launch FIRST BJJ CENTER and a new BJJ and Grappling tournament in the Valley.


Black Belt 5th Degree

3 times IBJJF World Champion from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Martial arts accomplishments:

  • 2004 European Champion
  • 2nd Place Team Brazilian Champion 2002
  • 2nd Place Brazilian Champion 2003 – Black Belt
  • 2nd Place Brazilian Champion 2001 – Black Belt
  • 2 times Pan American Champion 2000 and 2001
  • World Champion 2000 (defeated Walter Pinto)
  • World Champion 1998 (defeated Rolles Gracie)
  • World Champion 1996 (defeated Fabio Martins)
  • Brazilian Champion 1996
  • Brazilian Champion 1995
  • 2nd Place in Brazilian Championship 1994
What you can expect

At First Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, we offer a comprehensive experience for all practitioners, from beginners to seasoned competitors. Our academy, nestled in the heart of Salt Lake City, is your destination for mastering Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) under the guidance of Carlos Santos, a 5th Degree black belt world champion.

We provide a robust curriculum that includes self-defense techniques, competitive BJJ, and physical fitness training, all within a supportive, family-oriented environment.

Our programs cater to every age and skill level, emphasizing the values of respect, discipline, and perseverance. Whether you're looking to improve your fitness, learn effective self-defense, or compete at the highest levels, our academy is equipped to help you achieve your goals. With classes designed to challenge and inspire, you'll develop both physical and mental strength, build confidence, and join a community dedicated to mutual growth and respect.

Beyond the mats, we're committed to fostering a welcoming atmosphere where every member is part of our extended BJJ family. Our anti-bullying initiatives and self-confidence-building activities for children are integral to our mission, reflecting our belief that BJJ is more than just a sport—it's a tool for personal development and positive change.
Join us at First BJJ to begin your journey in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, where you'll find not just a team, but a family waiting to welcome you. Embrace the challenge, enjoy the camaraderie, and transform your life, one roll at a time.

Our Mission

Our mission at First BJJ is to equip our members young and old, male and female alike with the most effective self-defense/martial arts instruction in the world. We provide our students the necessary skills to defend themselves without punches or kicks in any real life confrontation. BJJ is a non-striking martial art. Our focus is to teach our students how to defend themselves by taking their opponents to the ground. By doing this, we become capable of defeating a much bigger and strong opponents through the use of leverage techniques that anyone, regardless of weight, strength or athletic ability, can learn.

Another big difference between BJJ and other martial arts is how we practice fighting. Unlike other martial arts, with BJJ you have the opportunity to live spar every single class. The term we use for this is “rolling” and is a fun and safe way to try new techniques every day. If you are interested in trying Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, why not just come and join for us a few days to try it out? Professors Carlos Santos as well as many members of our team are more than willing to guide you through your first days in a fun environment.

Ideal for all ages

At First BJJ you will find a place that is 100% family oriented. We want your family to become our family too! First Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Center is the only BJJ school in Utah, with native Brazilians, BJJ Black Belt – Carlson Gracie Sir Lineage and IBJJF World Champions teaching cutting-edge techniques. FIRST BJJ memberships include unlimited ​Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Self-defense classes for kids and adults of all levels of experience.

Anti Bullying

One of the many reasons people bring their kids to First BJJ is to try and expose their children to elements of self defense. Unfortunately bullying is a very real issue today and BJJ aims to provide our children not only useful self defense techniques but more importantly a strengthened mindset to give your child the self confidence they need to cut bullying off before it even begins.

Get in Shape

Possibly one of the most amazing things about the sport of BJJ is that you don’t need to adhere to any special diets or particular set of weight lifting routines to become strong and healthy. Simply by attending BJJ classes a few times a week you can essentially remove the need to lift weights or run on a treadmill. BJJ is an all-in-one health and fitness solution – just show up, train with us and we will take care of the rest.

Come try it out

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Trial classes: Just show up and join the family, no stress, no expectations. If you are interested in joining our BJJ family but aren’t sure yet if BJJ is for you, we are 100% convinced that you will fall in love when you come and try it. You are welcome to come and step on the mat for a trial period to see that BJJ is a great fit for you. You can drop-in and introduce yourself or even fill out this quick online waiver to speed up the process. If this is your first time, no problem. Just arrive in light “shorts and a t-shirt” type sports gear and we will take care of the rest!

If you are interested in finding out more, call or text us at:  801-864-0440
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