AJ Sousa

AJ Sousa began his BJJ training under the watch of respected BJJ black belt and UFC veteran Vagner Rocha, until moving to Ft. Lauderdale in 2012. In 2014, AJ received his black belt from one of the most successful grapplers in the history of the sport, Pablo Popovitch. ​ AJ is one of a handful of American jiu-jitsu players to capture national attention even before receiving a black belt. In 2013, AJ was part of the cast of Lloyd Irvin’s original “BJJ Kumite,” and was a 2013 IBJJF No-Gi World Champion (brown belt, middleweight). That year, AJ was also victorious in an ESPN televised International Martial Arts Festival finals. Since earning his black belt in 2014, AJ was the featured champion of Xande and Saolo Ribeiro’s “BJJ Library” reality challenge. AJ has earned gold medals at dozens of competitions, including numerous International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation (“IBJJF”) championships (Miami, Boca, Vegas), as well as numerous other grappling/BJJ events, including ISGA, MMAC, Del La Riva Cup, Copa America, and Grappler's Quest tournaments. AJ is a 10-time North American Grappling Association (“NAGA”) champion (expert division), and is a submission ace. He was a 2015 UAEJJF World Trials champion (Tampa) and, despite his relatively short time so far as a black belt, has victories over a number of former black belt world champions, including Tarsis Humphries and Lucas Lepri. AJ competed in the 2016 Copa Podio in Brazil, with his only losses coming by points to undefeated lightweight Leandro Lo and ADCC champion Davi Ramos (2 x 0). More than being a frequent competitor on the international jiu jitsu circuit, AJ enjoys teaching and mentoring at GFT Ft. Lauderdale. Off the mats, AJ enjoys fishing, sushi with his fiancé, and the companionship of his Labrador (“Duke”) – but not necessarily in that order.

Shawn Eager

A native of Biddeford, Maine, Shawn was a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu student under Amal Easton’s first black belt, Jay Jack. Soon after moving to Florida in 2009, Shawn began training under the instruction of Pablo Popovitch. Shawn is a veteran competitor of IBJJF, NAGA, ADCC, and numerous other BJJ competitions. Shawn earned his masters degree from Florida Atlantic University in 2016, and assists Broward County with the development and implementation of criminal/civil policies. When not working, Shawn enjoys traveling with his wife, has been seen sipping cold PBR on the beach, and doodling photos of Tom Brady.

Robert McCausland

Robert is a father of three, a practicing lawyer, and an avid student of BJJ. In 2014, at the age of 45, and after 8 years of competitive training, Robert received his black belt. Having reached the top of the podium in NAGA, Grappler’s Quest, IBJJF, and numerous other more local competitions, Robert credits his modest BJJ success to excellent instructors, consistent training, and love for the “gentle art.” Robert regularly teaches fundamentals, beginners, children, and executive level classes at the academy. Sometimes affectionately referred to by members and BJJ friends as “Professor,” Robert emulates his teaching style after the dozen or so world champions with whom he has trained across the U.S. and abroad. More than any personal achievements, Robert values the friendships and family that he has made along his BJJ journey.

nathalia marin

kids'/adults' instructor

Nathalia Marin is a purple belt under AJ Sousa.  A frequent competitor of international jiu jitsu competitions, Nathalia is constantly developing her BJJ game and philosophy.  A "natural" as a kids' instructor, Nathalia commands respect when she teaches, from both the young and young at heart. 

Jordan Lowery

Coach Jordan began training jiu jitsu at the age of 16. A Maryland native, he started teaching kids’ classes while Jordan himself was still a teen. Coach Jordan is now in his eighth year of instilling strength, technique, and confidence in kids. When not on the mats, Jordan is an outdoors enthusiast. He frequently dives in the Keys, boats the Everglades, and jogs the beach. For the record, Coach Jordan is terrible at Golden Tee - or golf of any sort.

ALEX Moran

After-School Program leader

OTHER BEACH BJJ AND GFT INSTRUCTORS: Daniel Roman, BJJ black belt (adults’ BJJ); Adam Ferrara, BJJ brown belt (adults’ BJJ); Jake Ferrara, BJJ brown belt (adults’ BJJ); Ari Pollan, BJJ purple belt (adults' BJJ)


Monday10:15AM - 11:30AM|11:45AM - 1:00PM
Day4:45PM - 8:30PM
Tuesday4:45PM - 8:30PM
Wednesday10:15AM - 11:30AM|4:45PM - 8:30PM
Thursday11:45AM - 1:00PM|4:45PM - 8:30PM
Friday10:15AM - 11:30AM|5:30PM - 8:00PM
Saturday10:00AM - 1:30PM
Sunday10:00AM - 11:00AM


/ keep in touch


1424 S. Powerline Rd.,

Pompano Beach, FL 33069

Phone. (954) 745-4743