Professor John Sylvester – Second Degree Black Belt
John Sylvester started training in 1995, when jiu jitsu was still in its infancy in the Northwest. He received his blue belt from Bob Bass (a Machado black belt) in 1997. A year later he began to train with Lotus Club black belts Juliano Prado and Giva Santana, as well as Cia Paulista brown belt, Alex Candido Puertas. John also trained with a Ralph Gracie brown belt, Sergio Silva, during his time in the Northwest. While enjoying some early successes competing locally in Vancouver B.C. and Oregon, John also began to realize the benefits that jiu jitsu brought him off the mat.
Marcio “Mamazinho” Laudier Vilamor moved to Seattle and became John’s professor and friend. His introduction to Gracie Barra was life-changing. Having made many life-long friends through jiu jitsu, John realized that they were a family. Having stuck together through a time when it was difficult to even find places to train jiu jitsu in the greater Seattle area, three local schools bonded together to be the foundation of what is now Gracie Barra Northwest.
He received his purple and brown belts from Mamazinho, under the close instruction of Micah Reyes and Rodrigo Lopes, and was promoted to black belt in 2009 under Professor Marcio Feitosa.
John’s teachings focus on the importance of fundamental technique, conditioning, repetition in drilling, and correlate the benefits of jiu jitsu to “real life.”
Professor Kyle McCutchen – Black Belt
Kyle McCutchen is a life long martial artist. He has competed in karate, amateur boxing, and mixed martial arts. He began his Brazilian Jiu-jitsu journey while in the United States Marine Corps in 1999 in San Diego, CA. After serving his time in the military, he returned to the Pacific Northwest, resuming his martial arts training at Charlie’s Combat Club and later Alderwood Mixed Martial Arts under both Charlie Pearson and Aric Wiseman.
Kyle rediscovered Brazilian Jiu-jitsu at Professor Mike Simpson’s school, then a Gracie Barra affiliate known as Tap or Snap (now a Zenith BJJ affiliate), in Lake Stevens, WA. He received his blue and purple belts from Professor Mike Simpson.
In 2010, Kyle relocated to the Edmonds area, discovering Gracie Barra Edmonds soon after. Kyle started at GB Edmonds in it’s infancy. As a purple belt, he immediately took on a leadership role as one of the most experienced students at the time. Kyle would go on to be promoted to brown belt, and have a share in Professor John Sylvester’s first promotions to black belt (promoted at the same time as George Watkins of Summit BJJ).
Kyle believes in learning all aspects of BJJ, with an emphasis on BJJ’s self defense roots. He runs adult classes at GB Edmonds, often mixing in other aspects of the art, such as no gi, leg attacks, and striking.
Coach Elliott Salisbury – Brown Belt
Coach Elliott is a brown belt under Professor John. He is one of the very first students of GB Edmonds and rose through the ranks to be part of the first homegrown GB Edmonds brown belts. Elliott is ever present at the school, as he is heavily involved in the day to day activity. Elliott oversees the Kids BJJ program, as well as running adult classes. His wife Danielle and daughter also train jiu jitsu at GB Edmonds.
Coach Alex Glavin – Purple Belt
Alex Glavin is a Navy veteran and administrative/organizational whiz. He uses his skill in connecting with kids to inspire future BJJ belt holders in our kids’ classes. Alex was promoted to purple belt in November 2016.
Coach Bobby Martinez – Purple Belt
Bobby Martinez began training martial arts in 2003. His work took him all over the country, giving him the opportunity to train with different people of varying disciplines and styles. Everything ranging from more traditional kickboxing to mixed martial arts.
In August of 2014, Bobby dedicated himself to Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and started training at Gracie Barra Edmonds. Bobby has competed in local tournaments in both gi and no gi, even having taken gold in his division. Bobby has a knack for coaching, having been a personal trainer, who now also co-owns and runs a fitness gym.
In November of 2016, Bobby was promoted to purple belt by Professor John. He currently runs the day classes at GB Edmonds.