Gracie Certified Training Center

Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Santa Cruz

Although Gracie or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is the most effective martial art on planet, it is a relatively young martial art. Lacking a standardized curriculum, it is common practice, at BJJ schools around the world, for techniques to be presented in complete randomness. Each day, the instructor shows up to class, having no clue what to teach, and asks the students: “What do you guys want to do?” as if the students know better than he does what should be practiced. Learning in such an unorganized environment can be extremely frustrating and overwhelming. New students almost always feel left behind since the techniques are usually tailored to meet the needs of the more advanced students. In most cases, students experience a sensation known as “Technique Overload” and end up quitting within 3 to 5 months of enrolling, and when they do, the instructor believes that the student’s lack of discipline is to blame. What they fail to realize is that when a student quits the problem lies not within the work ethic of the student, or the techniques of the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but within the format in which the techniques are being presented.


Realizing that the key to global dissemination of pure Gracie Jiu-Jitsu was the development of a formalized curriculum, Pathways Dojo dedicated several years to organizing all the techniques in the most logical sequence based on their complexity and usefulness in combat. Originally, due to its linear nature, the curriculum could only be taught in private lessons. But, after 15 years of experimenting with different training programs, the Gracie Academy developed a curriculum that would enable students to learn all the techniques in a group class setting and still get results that are comparable to those of private classes.

Aside from the unparalleled structure and organization of the curriculum, what makes Pathways Dojo group class training programs unique is the way in which we present the techniques. Perfected over three generations, the teaching methodology used at all Certified Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Training Centers allows students to learn at their own pace without feeling overwhelmed or left behind. Furthermore, we conduct all group classes with the utmost concern for safety, and we demand that all students treat each other respectfully regardless of skill level, gender, race, nationality, or creed.

At Pathways Dojo we don't just teach people how to fight, we give people the confidence so they never need to. 

To learn more about the Gracie Academy curriculum, including the differences between sport jiu-jitsu and street jiu-jitsu, watch this enlightening video featuring Ryron and Rener Gracie: 

The Gracie Philosophy

Gracie Basics

Steve Walker: Head Instructor, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.

Steve Walker has studied a variety of martial arts over the past 20 years, from BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) to Jeet Kune Do, Ninjutsu and most recently, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Expanding on his previous Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu knowledge, Steve began his studies with the Gracie family nearly 3 years ago. He quickly fell in love with the art, as well as with the teaching methodologies of the Gracie Family, which have been passed down directly by Grand Master and Founder, Helio Gracie. With a de-emphasis on competition and a focus, rather, on Jiu-Jitsu as self-defense and as a means of promoting a healthy overall lifestyle, Steve was inspired to become a certified instructor through the official Gracie Academy in Torrance, California. As an instructor, he is able to share the Gracie Way/Programs with his local community.  Steve accomplished his goal of becoming a certified instructor through the Gracie Academy in January 2015. He is very excited to share the amazing gift of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu with his local community at his newly established Gracie Certified Training Center in Santa Cruz, California! When Steve is not training or teaching Jiu-Jitsu he enjoys surfing, hiking, playing music, building things and most importantly, spending time with his family, wife Davina and son Rio!

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Santa Cruz Bujinkan Ninjutsu Classes

Pathways Dojo is proud to be a Gracie Certified Training Center!

Gracie Certified Training Center

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2724 Soquel Ave, Ste D/E • Santa Cruz, CA 95062

(831) 465-8236 • [email protected]
(831) 332-9876 • [email protected]