Gracie Barra La Cañada FlintridgeGracie Barra La Cañada Flintridge

Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone
  • 814 Foothill Blvd
  • La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011 United States
  • 790-2500

Team Members

Professor Orlando Sanchezorlandosanchez232x350

Owner, Head Instructor – Black Belt

  • 2015 ADCC World Champion
  • Coach on the UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter
  • World Champion
  • Brazilian National Champion (Brasileiro) – Weight and Absolute Divisions
  • 3x Pan-Am Champion
  • 3x North American Champion
  • 2x Abu-Dhabi Trails Champion
  • 2x World Champion Silver Medalist
  • 2x World Champion Bronze Medalist
  • Abu-Dhabi World Pro Championship Silver Medalist – Weight and Absolute Divisions
  • Abu-Dhabi World Pro Championship Bronze Medalist
  • American National Championship Silver Medalist
  • Abu-Dhabi Trails Bronze Medalist
  • No-Gi World Championship Bronze Medalist
  • Gracie Nationals Champion


Orlando Sanchez was born and raised in La Canada Flintridge, CA. He graduated from La Canada High School in 2000 as an All American Football Player. After graduating from La Canada High School he continued on with a scholarship to play football and study communications at Azusa Pacific University.  Orlando was part of a National Champion Football team at APU.  After college Orlando became a manager and started a Personal Training Program at Gold’s Gym in Pasadena, CA.  It has since grown into one of the best and most profitable Personal Training Programs in Pasadena.  After managing Gold’s Gym for several years Orlando started taking Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes and was immediately hooked.  He devoted himself full time to learning and training this Martial Art.  Orlando started competing immediately and quickly rose to the top of the sport and has become one of the world’s elite grapplers. Orlando became the fastest American to ever reach the rank of Black Belt. He has traveled the world competing at the highest level.  He is now a World Champion, Mexican National Champion, American National Champion, 3x Pan American Champion, and the only American ever to win 2 gold medals in the Brazilian National Championship. These are only a few of the titles Orlando has won.

Orlando started Gracie Barra Pasadena several years ago and built it from the ground up.  The school has quickly become one of the largest Brazilian Jiu Jitsu schools in the area with nearly 300 students.  He then took his blue print for success and started Gracie Barra La Canada Flintridge another successful school that continues to grow and serve the community. His goal is to continue to learn and grow,  sharing this amazing martial art with the world.

Professor Donny Flowers


Black Belt

Professor Donny Flowers has been on the mats since 1999. He began his Grappling career with the sport of wrestling while he was in High School in the state of Maine. As an active student athlete, he participated in Track & Field, Football, and Power Lifting, in addition to wrestling. Professor Donny went on to study Criminology at the University of Southern Maine. At USM he competed in Wrestling at the Varsity level. With his hard work and leadership qualities as an NCAA wrestler, he became Co-Captain of the USM wrestling team during his junior year. In the year of 2006, he was introduced to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu by his best friend. He worked his way up the ranks and competed as much as possible. Donny began competing in BJJ with only 3 months of experience. His wrestling background was a significant factor in his quick progress. At the Blue Belt level he began competing in MMA and by Purple Belt he set his goal to move to the Mecca of BJJ in the USA, Southern California. Since moving to California, he has continued to compete in BJJ and MMA. He has been teaching and training in California since 2009. He earned his Black Belt in BJJ in the year of 2014. Professor Donny believes Jiu Jitsu is a martial art that can be taught to everyone. He has experience teaching all different types of people. His youngest students are 2 years old and he has taught adults up to the age of 71 years old. His true passion is teaching children and also students with mental disabilities. As a young Filipino American growing up in an area with minimal cultural diversity, Donny was often bullied as a child. His father passed away while he was only 9 years old so he didn’t have a father figure to help him with bullies. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has given him the confidence he lacked as a child. With over  6 years of experience teaching kids Jiu Jitsu classes, Donny prides himself in the way he teaches children to defend themselves. 

Armando Sanchez


Brown Belt

Coach Armando Sanchez is a prime example of the benefits Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu-jitsu can have on an individual at any stage of their life. “Coach” Armando graduated in 2002 from Arizona State University with an honors distinction of Cum Laude bestowed upon him—a feat that is achieved by very few students.  He also received his Masters degree from Nova Southeastern University in 2010.  Teaching comes natural to Coach Armando which is evidenced by a successful 10-year teaching career.  During his teaching tenure, he received a Special Education Certification and applied this knowledge as the Team Leader and Supervisor for Lakeview Middle School.  His love for teaching and sports led him to coach several U6 soccer teams, and three Orange County middle school teams that he led to championships.  In addition, he was the Assistant Coach for the Freedom High School soccer team who later became championship finalists.

Today, Coach Armando continues to teach, but in a different setting where he can help inspire and change lives through the art of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.  As a Brown belt in Jiu-Jitsu, he partnered with his best friend and sibling, Professor Orlando Sanchez, a Black-Belt in Jiu-Jitsu, to help run both La Canada and Pasadena locations.  Coach Armando helps his students get in the best shape of their lives, empowers them through the art of self-defense, and gives them the self-confidence and self-discipline to achieve whatever goals they set their minds to.  Through his many years of experience in teaching, Armando is able to reach students of different ages, backgrounds and special needs.  He makes Jiu-jitsu training a very rewarding experience.

Alec Gillies


Blue Belt

Starting at just 9 years old, Jiu Jitsu has been a huge part of Alec’s life.  He started training at Gracie Barra Pasadena when he was 11 years old, as one of Professor Orlando’s first child students.  Currently enrolled at Pasadena City College, Alec spends all of his free time either teaching or training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  Alec loves to inspire and teach kids, as he was once a child in the kids program, he understands how to make class enjoyable while maintaining a positive learning environment.  Alec is also an active competitor, competing in all the major IBJJF tournaments.

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