10 May

35 Years of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

In 1988, a young boy named Paulo Guillobel was fed up with being harassed by bullies at school and decided to join a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu school.

He found Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (which in Brazil we call Jiu-Jitsu) through one of his school friends, Marcelo, that was already a student of this Art.

After listening to Paulo’s continuous complaints about having a bully targeting him, Marcelo suggested that Paulo should come with him to his Jiu-Jitsu school, owned and taught by Master Jorge Pereira.

Hesitant and afraid to show up at a martial arts school for the first time, Paulo invited three friends to go with him.

The four boys walked into Master Jorge Pereira’s Dojo without knowing what to expect, and one hour later they left feeling that they found something special. That was when Paulo fell in love with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

With only a few weeks into his new passion, Paulo was already dreaming of becoming the best kid in his group.
He went from training three times a week to five. Then to two times a day, five times a week, then six days a week, multiple times a day.

During summer vacation, he even trained three times a day, putting 6 hours of training per day while most of his teammates were barely training once a day.

Because of his commitment and passion, Paulo became one of the best young Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitors in the world, winning multiple tournaments.

But Paulo was dreaming bigger. He wanted to be an accomplished Jiu-Jitsu teacher as well. He wanted to share his passion with others, so they could benefit from it as he did.

So, in 1992, he asked his Sensei if he could teach the 7 AM class, which was a time slot that his Sensei didn’t want to teach anymore.

That was when he started his teaching career parallel to his competition career.

A short period after that, Master Jorge opened a new location (Sao Conrado, Rio de Janeiro) and asked Paulo to run it.
Paulo soon became the head instructor of this location at only eighteen years old, and, over there, he taught kids and adults for eight years.

Paulo with his students in Brazil

In January of 2000, Paulo moved to the U.S. to explore new possibilities, spread his Jiu-Jitsu around the world, and learn directly from Jiu-Jitsu legends like Rigan and Jean Jacques Machado.

He studied and taught under the Machado Brothers for seven years until he moved to San Clemente in 2005, where, after going there several times to surf, he decided it was the perfect place for him to open his first American Dojo under his name.

In 2007, he connected with two other Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu legends, Saulo and Xande Ribeiro, that just had opened their Dojo in San Diego.

To continue studying Jiu-Jitsu from the best, Paulo started to train under the Ribeiro Brothers since the Machados were too far away.

Thirty five years after he started his Jiu-Jitsu journey, Paulo is now considered the number one Sensei (teacher) in San Clemente, CA.

He has had an accomplished competitive career and has become a well-known author. He is the only six-degree black belt in the region and has used his 35 years of experience to teach thousands of Orange County and San Diego residents.

Paulo owns and operates Guillobel Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy, which won the best martial arts school in San Clemente nine times consecutively.

If you want to try Guillobel Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for free, call us or leave your name and email in the box up above.

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Best Martial Arts School in San Clemente
28 Feb

Voted Best Martial Arts School In San Clemente Since 2014

Voted Best Martial Arts School In San Clemente Since 2014

Once again, Guillobel Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy got voted the best martial arts school in San Clemente.

Every year, the San Clemente Times polled all its readers to vote for their favorite businesses in town. They have many categories, such as best restaurants, gyms, retail stores, etc. The San Clemente Times is the biggest local magazine in town.

In 2013, the San Clemente Times introduced the best martial arts studio category among others, and since 2014, our community has voted us the Best Martial Arts Studio in San Clemente every single year. In other words, we have won the best martial arts studio in San Clemente for the last 9 years in a row!

It’s not like we are the only martial arts school in San Clemente. We are competing with big franchises, which makes it even more interesting because Guillobel Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a mom-and-pop Dojo that was established in San Clemente in 2006.

Our founder, Sensei Paulo Guillobel, moved to San Clemente in 2005 attracted by the beauty of this town and its great waves. Since then, he decided to make San Clemente his hometown and the headquarters of his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Dojo.

At that time, San Clemente didn’t have any other Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, and he believed that the community could benefit a lot from having one.

Best Kids Summer Camp

Another category that we’ve been winning for the last five years is the Best Kids Summer Camp. Every year we have dozens of kids in our community participating in our Ninja Summer Camp, which offers martial arts activities, games, outdoor activities, character development lessons, and much more.

Winning the best martial arts school in San Clemente in 2022 was very special because, last year, we made big changes.

We went from 2,200 sq/ft. facility to a 7,500 sq/ft. We added a fitness room, a kid’s room, a private lesson room, and a snack bar with Acai bowls, coconut water, coffee, etc.

We doubled our mat area, so our students could have more room to practice. And we are the only school in the area that has springboards under the mats to make it more comfortable for our students to train in takedowns and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu overall.

So, this vote was a testimony that we moved in the right direction, but we won’t stop here. There is more coming up pretty soon. We believe that not moving forward is the same as moving backward, so stay tuned.

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jiu-jitsu san clemente
22 Apr

Guillobel Jiu-Jitsu BBQ

Guillobel Jiu-Jitsu San Clemente BBQ

Every year, Guillobel Brazilian Jiu-jitsu School celebrates our founder’s birthday by hosting a Brazilian BBQ at one of our San Clemente parks. This year was Sensei Paulo Guillobel‘s 48 birthday and we celebrated at San Gorgonio Park in San Clemente.

We usually host a few events outside of our martial art school with our students, their families, and friends. This way our Jiu-Jitsu family can meet in a different environment and get to know each other better. That is important for us and for them.

For this event, our martial arts school provided most of the meat and drinks, and our students brought delicious side dishes to complement the feast.

I don’t know if you have ever been to a Brazilian BBQ (if you like red meat, you should). But when it’s done properly, it is one of the best flavors you will find on a slice of meat.

At Guillobel Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu we like to wow our students and their families by bringing them the best quality of service (in and out of our Dojo). So, when we put on a BBQ event, we make sure we select some of the tastiest cuts and season them to perfection.

But other than the meat, just the fact that we had a lot of our students hanging out together in one place, getting to know each other was awesome.

Camaraderie is one of our values at Guillobel Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy.

We are fortunate to have attracted great people to study with us, that’s why we like them to get to know each other and make new friends. We’ve been doing this successfully throughout the years and the proof is in the pudding. Many long-time friendships were made in our Martial Arts school since we started it 17 years ago.

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Voted Best Martial Arts School in San Clemente 8 Times in A Row

17 Mar

Voted Best Martial Arts School in San Clemente 8 Times in A Row

Voted Best Martial Arts School In San Clemente 8 Times In A Row

Even with all the uncertainties due to COVID, Guillobel Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu school has managed to thrive and win Best Martial Art School in San Clemente for the eighth time in a row.
In the last two years, COVID has put many martial art schools and small businesses out of business. Government shutdowns and people’s fear of being around other people were the major contributors to this.
So, only the martial art schools that have special connections with their members and good reputation were able to survive.
So, we don’t take this award lightly. But this award doesn’t belong only to us.
Guillobel Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu did not win this award only because of our dedication to our students, our professionalism in our services, and our care for our community, we also won because of our students and their families.
We always tell our students that it’s not only our staff and myself that win this award, we all do. People come to us because of our great reputation, but they stay because of the friendships they make, the family-oriented environment, and the camaraderie.

“I think the program is great. It’s a good atmosphere to be in with great instructors and other students who are always willing to help.”

– Joe Fernette, USMC.

We believe that if we put our best effort into helping our students achieve the results they want and put out a good vibe, we’ll attract the right people to our Jiu-Jitsu family. And the right people make us the best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu school in San Clemente.

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10 Mental Benefits From Training Brazilian Jiu-jitsu

18 Feb

10 Mental Benefits From Training Brazilian Jiu-jitsu

10 Mental Benefits From Training Brazilian Jiu-jitsu

If you think Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) will ONLY give you more confidence, physical fitness, and self-defense skills, think twice.

There is one thing that people overlook about jiu-jitsu training, which is the mental benefits.

The physical benefits of training Jiu-Jitsu are great, and they can definitely change anyone’s life, but the mental benefits gained by training Brazilian Jiu-jitsu are far greater, and here is why.

If we could choose, we all would want to function to the best of our mental abilities, right? That would improve our day-to-day life, also our work, and everything else.

What most people don’t know is that we can improve our mental skills through continuous use of them.

These skills are tools for our minds, and building them up provides us with a strong foundation for achieving our highest potential.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training helps us build up several of our mental skills. Here is a list of some of them.

  1. Memory 
  2. Reasoning
  3. Adaptiveness
  4. Patience
  5. Emotion Management
  6. Perceptual speed
  7. Decision Making
  8. Resilience
  9. Concentration
  10. Mental Strenght



In Jiu-Jitsu classes, we learn many martial art techniques to use when we need them. But for our techniques to be effective, we have to repeat them until we fully memorize them.

Also, each Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu technique is full of micro-steps and small details. The more the students memorize those steps, the more they will use them successfully, making memorization a big part of getting better at BJJ.


Reasoning is the ability of the mind to think and understand things in a logical way to form a conclusion or judgment. 

Jiu-Jitsu is very logical. Some people even compare it to playing chess. When training Jiu-Jitsu against someone else, we have to create strategies on the go based on our quick assessment of the situation and usually under pressure. 

We always have to find the most logical solution to our present circumstances, and we do this by developing our reasoning.


The element that represents jiu-jitsu is water. Water is adaptable. If we put it into a glass, it takes the form of the glass. For a person to master Jiu-jitsu they have to be adaptable too. 

In Jiu-Jitsu, it’s impossible to use exactly the same strategy to win every match. Many times you will face a much bigger, or much faster, or much stronger opponent that will force you to adjust your game and emotions to the new challenge this person represents.


One of the major Jiu-Jitsu principles is Timing. All techniques work best when they are executed at the perfect time. If you do it too soon, the opportunity might not be fully there yet, and if you take too much time, the opportunity goes away. 

So, Jiu-Jitsu practitioners need to learn how to be patient to find the perfect moment to apply their techniques effectively. 

The good news is that patience is an attitude and it can be developed when we understand how important it is to our Jiu-Jitsu.

Emotion Management 

Emotion management is the ability to be aware of and constructively handle both positive and challenging emotions. 

When we are in a Jiu-jitsu match, we’ll experience all kinds of emotions like fear, confidence, happiness, sadness, excitement, confusion, clarity, etc. And one of our main objectives is to keep all those emotions in check.

 It’s not easy at first, but with continuous practice and great coaching, we can get there.

Perceptual speed

Perceptual speed is the ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of objects, pictures, or patterns. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.

In Jiu-Jitsu, we have to be able to quickly compare our partner’s body position to a similar body position we have seen before to decide what to do in that situation. 

Our minds will be always looking for similarities and differences while training. That is how we know when to use the techniques we have in our “toolbox.”

The more experience we get in Jiu-Jitsu through continuous practice, the better we will use our perceptual speed.

Decision Making

When training with someone else in Jiu-Jitsu, we have to make many decisions every minute, like what we are going to do next, and next, and next. 

The decision can be even to stay still for a few seconds. Regardless, we have to decide something or we will lose quickly.

Making decisions is a habit, and like any habit can be improved through repetition.


Most people are always trying to avoid distressful situations in their lives, so, when they face one, they are usually not mentally prepared for them.

When we train Jiu-Jitsu, we experience many undesired situations in every single training session.

We might be in a chokehold while deciding if we’re going to give up or try to escape, and how we are going to escape.

So, to succeed in Jiu-Jitsu, we need to develop the ability to adjust to these situations and recover mentally from them. We’ll have to learn to be resilient.


In martial arts, we have to be present, which means we cannot be thinking about anything else but what is going on at that moment.

We have no control over what our opponents will do. We can anticipate their actions based on some obvious moves and personal experience, but we still have to be fully connected to our present situation to be able to properly choose what to do next.

That takes 100% concentration. A Distracted mind will give our opponents a momentary advantage that can be crucial in the outcome of the fight.

Mental Strenght

Mental Strength is the capacity that an individual has to deal effectively with the stressors, challenges, and pressure to present their best performance despite their circumstances.

People who are mentally strong deal with their circumstances and keep a positive attitude. Although the situation might be challenging.

That defines what a BJJ practitioner has to do in every training session to succeed.

Acquiring mental strength when you don’t have it already is a process and takes time and great coaching, but it has to be acquired if we want to be successful at Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

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Secret Revealed! How Guillobel Won The Best Martial Art School 7 Years in a Row


Best Martial arts school in San Clemente 2020
12 Mar

Secret Revealed! How Guillobel Won The Best Martial Art School 7 Years in a Row

On a Tuesday afternoon, we got a call from a reporter from the San Clemente Times. I, Sensei Paulo Guillobel, was teaching my classes, so Esteban, our Program Director answered the phone.

The reporter congratulated us for winning an award again. He didn’t tell us exactly if we took first or second place, but he asked us “how do we do it?” “How do you get the award of Best Martial Arts Studio in San Clemente every year?”

Esteban answered his question by telling him a couple of things that we do here, but he didn’t tell him the REAL SECRET.

The year before when we won the best martial art school in San Clemente for the sixth time, I was the person that took the reporter’s call and when he asked me the same questions, I mentioned the real secret as the main reason for our success. 

Apparently, he didn’t think much of it because he kept asking me what else we were doing at the Dojo.

So, I told him many other things we do at Guillobel Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu such as our work to provide a family-oriented environment, our focus on helping our students achieve their goals, our character development lessons, etc., and that seemed to satisfy him. 

Little did he know that all these things I told him about were only possible because of the real secret that he took for granted.

Do you want to know what our real secret is?

Drum roll, please… The real secret is… EXPERIENCE. 


Note: When I say experience, I don’t mean doing the same thing over and over for many years, I mean the consistent application of old and newfound knowledge related to our profession and observation of those results for many years.

Other martial art schools can copy everything else from us, but one thing they CAN’T is experience. Either you have it or you don’t. You can’t bypass it.

Why Experience Is The Real Secret Sauce of Guillobel Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

Imagine you need brain surgery. Would you use a new doctor with little experience that will be experimenting and gaining experience with you or a doctor that has been doing it for over 28 years successfully? 

Well, I have over 28 years of experience teaching martial arts. Not practicing martial arts, teaching it. This experience reflects on how fast your family will learn martial arts and how enjoyable it will be.

I have made tons of mistakes in the past to get where I’m at today (thank God I’m not a brain surgeon), so, I won’t be using you and your family as my guinea pigs anymore. But new instructors with little experience will.

We don’t become great instructors just because we are black belts in martial arts, great instructors are made through thousands of hours of teaching. 

I was fortunate to learn from many great martial arts instructors, such as Saulo and Xande Ribeiro, the Machado Family, Royler and Carlos Gracie Jr. Richard Bustillo, Dan Inosanto, Jorge Pereira, and a few others.

By doing and observing their classes I was able to learn what they were doing that was so special. I tested many things until we got to where we are today (and we are still improving every year).

So experience is the great differentiator and it has been giving us many local awards as the best martial arts school in our Area.

By the way, we won this year again. Now we have SEVEN Best Martial Art School in San Clemente awards in a row, three for the Best Kids Summer Camp, and one for the Best Customer Service.

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The Highest Ranked Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt in San Clemente


highest ranked jiu-jitsu black belt in san clemente
27 Oct

The Highest Ranked Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt in San Clemente

On October 24th, 2020, Guillobel Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu San Clemente held a rank promotion event where some of our black belts were promoted to their next rank.

At this event, Sensei Saulo Ribeiro, founder of the Ribeiro Jiu-Jitsu Association and IBJJF Hall of Fame, came from San Diego to officially promote Sensei Paulo Guillobel to a 6th Degree Black Belt.

In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, it takes 24 years as a black belt to earn the 6th-degree black belt. Below is a picture of the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation’s Graduation System.

Jiu-Jitsu ranks
In Orange County, there are only two 6th-Degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belts: Sensei Alan Goes and Sensei Paulo Guillobel.

With this promotion, Sensei Paulo Guillobel has become the highest-ranked Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt in San Clemente by far. The second highest-ranked is his long-time student, Andre Lucic, which is a 4th-degree black belt (soon to get his fifth).

Sensei Guillobel also promoted one of his instructors, Sensei Andre Pontes, to 2nd-degree black belt, and two of his students to 1st-degree black belts.

Guillobel Jiu-Jitsu Family BBQ

After the promotion, which was a small event because of COVID-19, Sensei Guillobel hosted a Brazilian BBQ for his students and families at San Clemente’s San Gorgonio Park.

The park BBQ event was a way to celebrate the promotion of all the Guillobel Jiu-Jitsu black belts with all the students in an open environment, and also a way to get the Jiu-Jitsu Family together.

“To give all my students and their families a chance to get to know each other is very fulfilling. My goal was always to make my Martial Arts school more than just learning self-defense, but to create a community where we can help each other and have a good time in and out of the Dojo,” said Sensei Guillobel.

A good number of students showed up for our BBQ and ate Sensei Guillobel’s delicious Brazilian BBQ and all the side dishes our students brought to the event.

Overall, it was a great day for the Jiu-Jitsu and the San Clemente community.

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A Man and His Journey to the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt

martial arts lessons online
18 Apr

Martial Arts and Fitness Online Classes For San Clemente

One martial art principle is to be adaptable to the circumstances. Guillobel Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu School in San Clemente is doing just that.

We are in the middle of a world Pandemic that no one has experienced in our lifetime. A good number of people are getting sick and dying, businesses closing, and people are being ordered to stay at home and away from others. Only the government declared essential businesses are allowed to be opened.

But the fact is, staying at home all the time is boring and unhealthy. People need to exercise and do exciting activities every day, even socialize with other people. But how, if you can’t get out of your home?

Guillobel Jiu-jitsu found one way to provide martial art lessons and a great workout to our community. It is through live-streaming classes using the Zoom App.

We are offering live-streaming classes every day to all age groups. Our instructors are teaching Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and fitness lessons to young and older kids, women, and men.

By using Zoom live streaming, we are still able to have a personal approach with our students, where we can talk to them and correct their moves when they need it.

Parents are loving the fact that their kids can still train martial arts and do something positive and fun while they are forced to stay at home. 

And adults of our community have the opportunity to stay in shape and learn self-defense skills in the convenience of their own homes.

“We’ve been enjoying the daily Zoom classes so much, so thank you for providing that during this time!”

– Katie Polivka


“Hello, thank you for being creative and finding a way to provide value in this crazy time.”

– April Sanchez


All of our students are getting access to our live online classes as part of their membership, but we are also giving free access every Thursday to some of our classes to anyone in our San Clemente community interested in learning and working out with us.

Adults don’t need a partner to participate because our Thursday’s classes are all about working out Ginastica Natural style. 

And non-students from 4 to 7 years old can attend our Little Ninjas classes, but they need to have their parents as training partners.

If You Want to Join our Classes Just Send an Email to bjj@guillobel.com with your name and age, and we’ll put you on our list for the next class available.

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Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Demonstration at San Clemente Ocean Festival 2018



04 Feb

6-Time Best Martial Arts School in San Clemente

What is the Best of San Clemente People’s Choice Award?

Fourteen years ago, our local newspaper The San Clemente Times (SC Times) created an annual poll where its readers can vote for their favorite businesses in different categories.

After all the votes are counted the results are presented in its special “Best of” issue, and the “Golden Ole Award” is presented to the category winners as is the “Silver Ole Award” for the second placers.

The idea is to promote and recognize the city’s outstanding businesses and individuals who contribute to making San Clemente an amazing place to live. They call it The Best of San Clemente People’s Choice Award.

The Best Martial Arts School category was created 7 years ago. Since then, the SC Times readers have voted Guillobel Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy the best martial arts school in San Clemente for 6 years consecutively.

But this year (2020) something special happened for the Guillobel Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu family. We won 3 other awards. We also won the Best Overall Customer Service, Best Group Workout and Best Kids Camp.

I train my staff every week so we can give our very best to provide the best instruction to our students, which includes efficient self-defense techniques, personal development principles, physical training, and a friendly and caring approach. So, I’m not totally surprised when we get good feedback from our students and their families, but this time we surpassed our expectations by winning 4 ‘Best of’ awards.

One thing for sure, this result serves as a motivation to keep on finding ways to improve our martial art school. We know we still have room to grow, that is why we are always listening to our students’ and parents’ feedback about the things they like and don’t like about our program.

Improving the good and getting rid of the bad is our priority because we want to always be recognized by the San Clemente community as one of the best in the business.

Now, after winning these 4 awards, we have an even bigger responsibility to provide the best services in our categories.

In conclusion, we’re very grateful for having such an amazing group of people as part of our community, without them we wouldn’t be able to win these 4 awards. We promise we’ll continue to work hard to make Guillobel Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu not only the best martial art school in San Clemente but the world.


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Kids Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu In-House San Clemente 2019
20 Aug

Why Are Kids Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu In-House Tournaments in San Clemente Important?

Our Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu school in San Clemente usually hosts a couple of In-House tournaments for our students every year. This year, we ran one specifically for kids.

There are many reasons why we host these In-House tournaments, particularly when they are for children. One of the most important reasons is motivation.

Although our students are motivated by the goal of achieving their next rank or earning stripes on their belts after successfully completing their character development homework or passing their monthly tests, nothing motivates them more than the possibility of earning a gold medal or a trophy.

Human beings need motivation to accomplish goals. Some have more self-motivation than others, but all of them will try harder for the right external motivation. In this case, a gold medal.

Competitors have a purpose. They want to win, and for that, they will focus more, try harder during practice, take care of their bodies, and go as hard as they can at their matches during the competition.

In our school in San Clemente, we notice that most of the parents don’t know how their child will react during a solo sport such as a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competition. That’s one of the reasons we like to motivate them to sign their children up for a tournament because we know their children will most likely exceed their expectations.

During regular martial arts classes, children are not always motivated. Sometimes they are not in the mood. So, if the parents have been watching their children during practice, they don’t know their real potential. But when they watch their children competing, they get a glance of that potential.

We can go on and on about the benefits of having children compete in martial arts. They become more focused and more determined. They become physically and mentally strong. But above all, they come back to practice a better student than before.

So, congratulation to all of our young competitors!


Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Demonstration at San Clemente Ocean Festival 2018