Carlson Gracie-Coyote Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy

Carslon Gracie- Coyote BJJs primary focus is to provide the highest standard of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training with Professor Daniel Souza, a 5th degree Black Belt from Brazil with 30+ years of experience in a clean, safe, family and team oriented environment. We build a family of champions for LIFE!

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When you think of shopping at the mall, taking Jiu-Jitsu lessons doesn’t usually cross your mind. But inside of Cottonwood Mall, you will find the Coyote Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy, led by the husband and wife duo of Daniel and Gabriela Souza.

Daniel was born and raised in Brazil, and started learning Judo at the age of five. At the age of nine, he began his Jiu-Jitsu career. He now has almost 30 years of teaching experience, both in Brazil and the United States, and has won numerous medals, trophies, and titles, both as an individual athlete and through his academy. Gabriela, who was born in Mexico but raised in Albuquerque, NM and El Paso, TX, is also well-decorated not only as a martial artist, but also as a wrestler. “I don’t want people to remember me for all the medals and trophies I have, though,” said Daniel. “I want my students to remember me as someone who inspired them, as someone who impacted their life for the better.”

In 2000, with this objective in mind, Daniel founded Coyote Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Brazil. Two years later, he moved to San Diego, CA, and started teaching there. In July of 2016, Daniel and Gabriela moved permanently to Albuquerque, and opened Coyote Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy inside of Cottonwood Mall in 2019. Their academy is now a part of the global Carlson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Team, and has won national recognition for their success in tournaments.

Jiu-Jitsu is not the only martial arts discipline that the Souzas teach, either. They also train students in Judo and Muay Thai, as well as offering more specific self-defense courses. “We offer the self-defense course mostly for women who are recovering from domestic violence, so that they can feel safe and comfortable defending themselves,” explained Gabriela. Their commitment to training the community in martial arts extends beyond the classroom as well, as they have hosted anti-bullying seminars and helped victims of domestic abuse recover with private training and classes. They also offer their programs 100% free for law enforcement officers, and 50% off for all first responders, active duty military, and veterans.

“In the end,” said Daniel, “I want to make Jiu-Jitsu affordable for everyone.” As Gabriela puts it, “This is how we are giving back to the community, we want to give all of our students, both the adults and the kids, the confidence they need to tackle anything in life.”