We took great care in choosing instructors that live and teach the One Jiu Jitsu philosophy of empowerment and personal growth. Each of our instructors hold black belts in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Our head instructor, Giva Santana is a 4th degree black belt with an exceptional record in competitive Mixed Martial Arts and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. But our students and instructors know him best for his outstanding character and generous nature.
Giva Santana grew up poor in the sprawling favelas of Sao Paulo City, Brazil. He was the youngest of four children, with two brothers and a sister. At the age of 2, Giva and his family were abandoned by their father.
Faced with the choice of feeding her family or paying rent, Giva’s mother was forced to move her family into the slums of Sao Paulo. On countless nights, Giva lay starving in bed while his mother cried herself to sleep.
The intense poverty, suffering, and violence that they endured, helped pave the path for the man that Giva would become. But at the time, Giva just knew that he needed a way out of the slums to grow as a man and to make his mark on the world. He committed to five years in the Brazilian army where he got his first taste of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu from Sargent Arlans Maia. He was hooked. To satisfy his new appetite for BJJ, he soon dedicated all of his free time and energy to his practice.
When Sargent Arlans was transferred to another state, Giva was accepted into the school of legendary Master Moises Muradi and began training under Professor Raul Viera Souza. And in 1999 he earned his black belt after winning his division in the Pan Ams, and placing 2nd to Rodrigo Minautaro in the open division.
Thanks to his BJJ record, along with his inspirational background, and magnetic personality, Giva earned a scholarship to Santana University, Brazil. The poor boy from the streets of Sao Paulo was hard on the heels of his biggest dreams, and there was no stopping him now!
Four years later, he graduated with degrees in Kinesiology and Physical Education. Furthermore, he was twice awarded as the best student on campus, and once as the best athlete on campus. But Giva didn’t rest on his accomplishments. Just one week after graduating, he won the Heavyweight Grand Prix in Korea with 3 submissions! It was an amazing start to his MMA career.
Eighteen wins and just 3 losses later, and Giva retired from MMA competition. Nicknamed “The Arm Collector” for his devastating armbar submissions, Giva now dedicates his life to sharing his love and knowledge of Jiu Jitsu.
He currently has more than 20 years of experience teaching students of every level and background from children and hobbyists to professional fighters. Giva’s vision, beliefs, discipline, and values helped mold One Jiu Jitsu & Fitness into the premiere Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gym in Orange County.