Our Story

How Unicorn Jiu Jitsu came to be…..

Hillary and Andrew started training in Virginia outside of Washington DC in 2005.  They spent a year doing a program called "Combat Defense Systems" at One Spirit Martial Arts (now Pedro Sauer's headquarters).  In 2006 they spent the year training Judo full time at Sport Judo in Springfield, Virginia under Maurice Allan.  Hillary and Brian moved back home to Portland in 2007, but it took Hillary two years (until Andrew moved back to Portland also) to have enough courage to start training again.  Brian wasn’t training at this point in time; he spent his time honing his beer brewing skills while Hillary was at the gym. 

Hillary and Andrew started training again in Portland at Team Quest in 2009.  Andrew fit right in, spending most of his time in the striking classes and Judo classes but Hillary was initially intimidated by the number of UFC fighters who trained there.  Hillary focused more on MMA at the time and found her place as the only woman on the amateur MMA team.  In hindsight, Hillary wishes that she hadn’t waited until Andrew moved back to Portland and Brian wishes he had started training when Hillary and Andrew initially tried to get him to train in 2005. 

Hillary and Andrew moved to Impact Jiu Jitsu in 2013, and that change somehow inspired Brian to give jiu jitsu one more try.  This time it stuck, and in less than six years, Brian has gone on to not only be a highly skilled jiujittero, but he has also been very successful in the competition scene, winning gold at Masters World Championships at purple and blue belts, as well as gold at the Pan American Championships, and several other medals at major IBJJF jiu jitsu tournaments. 

Through all three of their unique experiences in jiu jitsu and martial arts, they thought they could form a unique training environment, not only creating a welcoming envirnment to women, but also to anyone wanting to learn self defense, self confidence, and even highly competitive athletes looking to perform at their best at the biggest jiu jitsu tournaments in the world.

In January 2020, Unicorn Jiu Jitsu joined One Jiu Jitsu USA, led by fifth degree black belt and head coach, Giva Santana, headquartered in Irvine, CA.  Read more about One Jiu Jitsu online at  https://onebjjfitness.com/.