Cadu Francis

Head Coach

  • From Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Started martial arts at the age of 7 with Judo
  • Started training Jiu Jitsu at age 14 
  • At 19 years old he started coaching others 
  • Over the years has trained with and learned from some of the best masters of Jiu Jitsu, such as: Master Saulo Riberio, Xande Ribeiro, Murilo Santana, Barbosa, and Rodrigo Minotauro
  • Received a bachelor degree in Business
  • Has taught fellow masters all over the world including in Australia and across Europe
  • Has substantial competition experience such as in Worlds, Pan American,  and Brazilian Nationals
  • Started coaching Jiu Jitsu in the United States in 2009
  • Founded Jiu Jitsu Foundation in 2011 to accomplish the dream he always had of running his own academy

Gabriela Francis

Head Coach

  • From Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Started her martial arts path at the age of 5, when she trained Judo at the Flamengo Athletic Club. 
  • Started training Jiu Jitsu in 1995
  • Coaching since 2001
  • Experience in numerous competitions such as Worlds in Abu Dhabi and Nationals in Brazil
  • Has earned a Bachelor Degree in Physical Therapy, and a Bachelor Degree in Physical Education
  • Mom of two kids

Brian (Panda) Abella


  • Training Jiu Jitsu since 2014
  • Prior to coaching worked with kids with disabilities for 6 years as a tutor and a case manager.
  • Coaching Jiu Jitsu since 2017. Started as an assistant coach while finishing up degrees in education and special education.
  • Worked as program director since 2020 and in 2023 transitioned to a more on the mat role that helps other coaches develop

Meet the Assistant Coaches!

Emma Purdue

Years Training: 4

Favorite Move: Mata Leão

Fun Fact: Plays Dungeons & Dragons

Nicolis (Gumby) Solis

Years Training: 10

Favorite Move: De La Riva

Fun Fact: Family is from Argentina

Molly Peel

Years Training: 9

Favorite Move: Tripod Sweep

Fun Fact: Loves to sing

Joe Flores

Years Training: 5

Favorite Move: Crucifix

Fun Fact: Is a pescatarian

Luke Freeman

Years Training: 5

Favorite Move: Bow & Arrow Choke

Fun Fact: Visited the white house

James Horton

Years Training: 6

Favorite Move: Omoplata

Fun Fact: Is a powerlifter