Course: GST Level 1 (Instructor Certification Program)

Lead Instructors:  Rener GracieRyron GracieEvandro Nunes
 Access:  All   Status:  Active   Course:  Application

Gracie Survival Tactics (GST) is Gracie University's specialized Defensive Tactics (DT) program for military and law enforcement professionals. Originally, this Instructor Certification Program was only accessible through 5-day in-person courses taught throughout the country each year. Due to limited training budgets, travel restrictions and increasing international demand, many agencies are unable to send officers to the live courses, as a result, we have made the entire course available online.

60-Day Online Course
The GST Online Instructor Certification Program (Online ICP) is a 60-day online course specifically designed to equip you with the exact same Gracie techniques and teaching methodologies that you would learn if you attended the 5-day live course. Since you have 60-days to complete the program, and all the material is presented via streaming online video, you can complete the Online ICP at your own pace from anywhere in the world with a training partner of your choice.

Official Certification via Video Evaluation
In the first portion of the Online ICP you will learn all 23 techniques and develop your muscle memory in their execution. Then, you will learn the essential Gracie teaching methodologies that will prepare you to transfer the skills to other members of your organization. Upon completion of the program, you will demonstrate your comprehension of the skills learned using our Video Evaluation Process (through which you upload 5 videos for us to evaluate your skills), and if your performance meets Gracie University standards, you will receive your GST Level 1 Instructor Certification!


This course is part of the Gracie Survival Tactics Program. Click the button below to learn more on how to verify your credentials and purchase:
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Course Lessons (36)

Free (Registration Required)

Intro Class

In the late 1920s, Helio Gracie was introduced to traditional Japanese Jiu-Jitsu by his older brother, Carlos, but, due to his frail physique, he was unable to employ the techniques effectively.

Lesson 1: Base Get-up

As a military or law enforcement professional, if you find yourself in a situation where you are sitting or lying on the ground with a violent subject standing over you, your life may rest in your ability to stand up successfully.

Lesson 2: Trap and Roll Escape

The Trap and Roll Escape is a simple and extremely reliable way to remove your opponent, from atop of you. In this lesson, we will teach you three variations of the Trap and Roll as well as how to disengage from the fight after employing the technique.

Lesson 3: Americana Armlock

The goal in the fight is to achieve the mount, exhaust our opponent and then win the fight. Punching your opponent from the mount can be effective but may cause you to exhaust yourself, lose your balance, and in some cases do more damage than you originally intended. Instead, we encourage the use of leverage-based...

Lesson 4: Positional Control

The mount position is the most dominant position in a fight because you can win the fight in a variety of ways from there. You must understand, however, that as soon as you achieve the mount, your opponent will do everything in his/her power to remove you from atop of them. This lesson will provide you with the Po...

Lesson 5: Take the Back

If you achieve the mount, there is a very high probability that your opponent will fear getting punched in the face and will instantly roll to their knees. If you don’t respond to their roll correctly, you will fall off. Knowing how to Take the Back will ensure that you do not lose control when your opponent...

Lesson 6: Vascular Neck Restraint Defenses

More than ever before, civilians are learning techniques and submissions from watching MMA. Consequently, it is essential that ever officer learn how to defend against Vascular Neck Restraints (VNR) as well as Rear Naked Chokes. We will start with the basic application of ...

Lesson 7: Straight Armlock

The goal in the fight is to achieve the mount because from there we can exhaust and eventually submit our opponent with ease. It is very common for your opponent to reach up for your chest or throat during their escape attempt, and when they do, they create the perfect opportunity for the Straight Armlock. The Stra...

Lesson 8: Clinch Control

When a seemingly cooperative suspect is determined to attack a military or law enforcement professional without notice, it can be very difficult to avoid contact. Traditionally, when this happens, the professional will attempt to back-step to keep a safe distance, but this can be very challenging since a persistent ...

Lesson 9: Body Fold Takedown

When using the clinch to neutralize a surprise attack from an aggressive subject, the safest option is usually to disengage as soon as the opportunity arises so you can utilize other force options. If, while in the clinch, you conclude that you would rather take the subject to the ground to apprehend him/her, then t...

Lesson 10: Punch Block Series

Ideal top position in a fight is the mount. If you are unable to keep the top position, and you end up in the bottom of the fight, you can use your legs to wrap the opponent in a position called the guard. In this lesson, we will teach you how to neutralize punches from the bottom of the guard, as well as how to re...

Lesson 11: Guard Get-up

From the bottom of the guard, neutralizing punches should always be your primary concern. Once your opponent has exhausted their initial barrage of punches, you should attempt to get back to your feet as soon as possible so you can utilize the appropriate force options.

Lesson 12: Twisting Arm Handcuffing Procedure

The “tap-out” has little meaning in a real street fight when your life is on the line. In the military and law enforcement line of work, victory isn’t accomplished until the threat is fully neutralized and the enemy or suspect is in handcuffs. If you have two or three people working in unison to h...

Lesson 13: Positional Control

If you MUST be in a ground fight, your positional objective should be to achieve the mount on the opponent. That being said, another very dominant top position that can be used to control and exhaust your opponent before transitioning to the mount is the Side Mount. In this lesson, we will start by teaching you how ...

Lesson 14: Double Underhook Pass

Although less than 1% of people actually train in Gracie or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, MMA is growing so quickly that more and more people are becoming familiar with the basic standing and ground fighting principles and strategies. As such, the threats against military and law enforcement professionals have never been so ...

Lesson 15: Triangle Defenses

The Triangle is one of the most common submissions in BJJ. Due to its widespread popularity, it is essential that police officers understand its application to effectively counter and escape this attack. We will start by introducing you to the application of this technique...

Lesson 16: Elbow Escape

Any time you find yourself trapped underneath your opponent in the mount position, you should aim to use the “Trap and Roll” escape, since it will place you on top of your opponent and give you the opportunity to immediately disengage from the fight. If your opponent is too big or this escape is not pos...

Lesson 17: Shrimp Escape

Against a much larger opponent, there is a good chance that you will find yourself on the bottom of the fight. If this happens, the safest thing to do is to get your opponent in your guard because from there, you can neutralize punches and disengage. If somehow your opponent is able to get past your guard you will...

Lesson 18: Safe Draw

If you find yourself trapped in a situation that warrants deadly force, you may opt to use your firearm to neutralize the threat. The challenge is that once you draw your weapon, there is a very high probability that the opponent attempts to gain control of it. The chance of this is even greater if you are on the bo...

Lesson 19: Double Leg Takedown

The advantage of utilizing the Leg Hook Takedown is that once you take your opponent down, you end up in the very dominant mount position. But, if you think it might be difficult to establish the clinch on your opponent, the Double Leg Takedown is a great alternative.

Lesson 20: Front Headlock Defense

When closing the distance against a subject, there is a possibility that they wrap your neck in a Front Headlock and if you don’t understand it, you could be rendered unconscious. In this lesson we are going to explore the Front Headlock as an offensive tool, so that we better understand it, and then we are go...

Lesson 21: Headlock Escape

Headlocks are one of the most common forms of aggression that you may experience in a street fight. Without a specific escape strategy, getting caught in a headlock against a larger opponent will certainly demoralize you and can easily lead to your demise.

Lesson 22: Hidden Arm Technique

In the law enforcement line of work it is very common for a subject to cooperatively assume the prone position, but then hide their hands in order to avoid being handcuffed.

Lesson 23: Kimura (Weapon Retention)

The Kimura shoulder lock was named after the Japanese Jiu-Jitsu champion, Masahiko Kimura after he used the technique against Helio Gracie. Today, we use it as a powerful submission and a life-saving weapon retention technique against overly aggressive subjects.

Tactical Gear Demo

Although we highly recommend that you avoid wearing tactical gear when learning the GST techniques for the first time, for safety reasons, once you are confident in their execution it is very important that you put on your gear and put them to the test. Over the years, we’ve found that although hip movement is...

The 4-Hour GST Training Module

Although the exact amount of training time varies greatly from one organization to the next, it is a known fact that most law enforcement professionals receive no more than 4-8 hours of defensive tactics training annually. Many would argue that this isn’t enough time to make any difference in the officer&rsquo...

Teaching 1: Slice Presentation Formula™

Handed down over three generations, the Gracie Slice Presentation Formula is what separates the Gracie University instructors from the rest. Learning the formula will make you a better teacher in all fields of study.

Teaching 2: Essential Presentation Skills

Learning the Slice Presentation Formula will instantly make you a good instructor, mastering these essential presentation skills will make you great.

Teaching 3: Error Correction Strategies

If defensive tactics is taught in a way that is safe, encouraging, and enjoyable, students will learn better and they will train more frequently and with higher levels of enthusiasm.

Teaching 4: Support Material

Extra support material is discussed to help launch and ensure success of the GST program in your department.

Evaluation Intro

Upon gaining access to the GST Online Instructor Certification (ICP), you will have 60 days to complete the program and demonstrate proficiency in the techniques and teaching methodologies you learn throughout the process.

Evaluation 1: Technical Proficiency

The Technical Proficiency portion of the evaluation is graded on a point basis. You will start with 100 points and receive a one-point for each critical mistake or omission. To pass this portion of the evaluation, you must amass no more than 10 deductions.

Evaluation 2: Freestyle Fight Simulation

Throughout the GST program, you learned several scripted Fight Simulation Drills to help you understand the connections between techniques. Now we’d like you to see how well you can transition between all the techniques without a script.

Evaluation 3: Slice Presentation Formula™

The Gracie Slice Presentation Formula™ (SPF) has been perfected and refined over nearly 100 years, and now it’s being used by Gracie Certified Instructors around the world to transfer knowledge to students of all ages and abilities.

Evaluation 4: Error Correction Strategies

Your students will make mistakes, and how you intervene when they do is one of the most important factors in determining their level of confidence on the mat.

Evaluation 5: Instructor Interview

When you become a GST Certified Instructor, you are an extension of the Gracie Family. As such, we’d like to get to know you.


Course Specs

Course Chapters

There are no individual chapters available for this course.

Course Goals

  1. Understand the Course Topic
  2. Refine your ability to execute the techniques presented in the Course
  3. Become familiar with the drills that can be used to develop your skills
  4. Achieve significant proficiency in the material

Lead Instructors

Rener Gracie

Gracie University Chief Instructor

Ryron and Rener Gracie are the eldest grandsons of Grand Master Helio Gracie, the creator of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Their father is Rorion Gracie, one of the world’s foremost experts in self-defense. In 1993, Rorion created the Ultimate Fighting Championship to showcase the supremacy of the family’s self-defense system in a realistic “no holds barred” confrontation against all comers. Rorion’s younger brother, Royce, won 3 of the first 4 UFC tournaments proving that the leverage-based techniques of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu provided the most reliable way to defeat a larger, more athletic opponent. Ryron and Rener were born into this family tradition of testing the art against all challengers.

Rorion introduced his sons to the art as soon as they could walk. As children, they watched him teach private classes in their garage in Southern California. But, it wasn’t until they observed their father and uncles – Royce, Rickson, and Royler – easily winning challenge matches that they began to comprehend fully the effectiveness of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Even more important, Ryron and Rener recognized the profound impact the family’s art had on all who studied it. The life changing transformations of Gracie University students motivated the brothers to teach the art. While constantly perfecting their physical techniques, they worked equally hard to master the powerfully effective instruction methods developed by their forbearers. In 2003, Grand Master Helio Gracie awarded Ryron and Rener black belts in recognition of their mastery of his unique techniques and teaching methodologies.

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Ryron Gracie

Gracie University Chief Instructor

Ryron and Rener Gracie are the eldest grandsons of Grand Master Helio Gracie, the creator of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Their father is Rorion Gracie, one of the world’s foremost experts in self-defense. In 1993, Rorion created the Ultimate Fighting Championship to showcase the supremacy of the family’s self-defense system in a realistic “no holds barred” confrontation against all comers. Rorion’s younger brother, Royce, won 3 of the first 4 UFC tournaments proving that the leverage-based techniques of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu provided the most reliable way to defeat a larger, more athletic opponent. Ryron and Rener were born into this family tradition of testing the art against all challengers.

Rorion introduced his sons to the art as soon as they could walk. As children, they watched him teach private classes in their garage in Southern California. But, it wasn’t until they observed their father and uncles – Royce, Rickson, and Royler – easily winning challenge matches that they began to comprehend fully the effectiveness of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Even more important, Ryron and Rener recognized the profound impact the family’s art had on all who studied it. The life changing transformations of Gracie University students motivated the brothers to teach the art. While constantly perfecting their physical techniques, they worked equally hard to master the powerfully effective instruction methods developed by their forbearers. In 2003, Grand Master Helio Gracie awarded Ryron and Rener black belts in recognition of their mastery of his unique techniques and teaching methodologies.

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Evandro Nunes

GST Master Instructor

Evandro Nunes is a Gracie Jiu-Jitsu black belt who was born and raised in Brazil. After several years of success at the elite BJJ competition level (World No-Gi Championship, Pan American Championship, Abu Dhabi Grand Slam, American Nationals, etc), Evandro immigrated to the United States and joined forces with Gracie University.

After spending several years learning all the Gracie techniques and teaching methodologies, Evandro was handpicked by Ryron and Rener to help lead the GST program based on his ability to connect with and captivate any audience. Today, he travels around the world orchestrating the 5-day GST Instructor Certification Programs which empower graduates with the skills and teaching methodologies to return home and share the life-saving techniques with their colleagues.

Nunes' profound knowledge, infectious enthusiasm, and deep gratitude for law enforcement officers and first responders, make the GST course a life-changing event for all those lucky enough to participate under his leadership.

Evandro embodies the principles of Gracie Jiu-jitsu on and off the mat and we’re lucky to have him as part of the family.

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