Interested in learning from Nelson and Hillary? The two head pandas are available for seminars anywhere in the world. Find out what they have to offer.

Meet Nelson Puentes

Nelson Puentes began his journey into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in 2007. At the suggestion of his close friend Dave, he entered his first tournament only one month after his training began, and he never looked back. Nelson has been a mat rat ever since, and now has the experience of over 100 tournament matches under his belt. Nelson is a multiple time Grapplers Quest and NAGA champion, a bronze medalist at the Pan Americans, as well as a NY Open champion, and Boston Open champion. He currently holds the rank of black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and a brown belt in Judo. He remains an active competitor and devout student of both Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He also trains Sambo and is well known for his extensive knowledge of takedowns and leglocks. 

Follow Nelson on Instagram @invertedgearnelson

Meet Hillary Witt

Hillary started training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in 2005. She has trained with some of the most prominent instructors in the sport. While she lived on the west coast she trained with Saulo and Xande Ribeiro as well as Andre Galvao. Hillary even tried her hand at MMA and spent a year training and teaching BJJ at Alliance MMA – one of the premiere MMA schools in the country.

Hillary is an accomplished competitor in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu having won both gi and no gi World Championships at Purple Belt. She also has multiple Grapplers Quest titles and is a Judo Nationals champion. She also has teaching experience at all age levels and looks forward to sharing her love and knowledge of the Gentle Art with you.

Contact about hosting a seminar at your school.

Praise for Nelson and Hillary's Seminars

Together, Nelson and Hillary have taught seminars across North, Central and South Americas, Europe, Asia and several islands in between. That includes seven BJJ Globetrotters Camps (and counting), an annual Santa Teresa Beach Camp in Costa Rica, and Groundswell Grappling Concepts seminars in the US. Nelson even holds bragging rights to being the first black belt to teach in Greenland. 

"I have had the opportunity to learn technique and strategy from Hillary and Nelson in a team-teaching scenario. Their size differences and individual training 'personalities' ensure that they cover multiple eventualities and that their instruction speaks to a variety of practitioners. They have a great rapport between themselves and with learners, and their knowledge of detail is matched only by their enthusiasm for helping people learn. If you have a chance to learn from Hillary and Nelson, do it! You'll come away a better grappler and a happier person."

-Valerie Worthington, Black Belt

"Nelson Puentes embodies what I love about BJJ training... He is enthusiastic, careful, extremely knowledgeable, and loves his subject. He makes certain that the technique is done properly and keeps on making sure that it stays that way. His charismatic approach coupled with a scientific and physiological understanding make him an exceptional instructor even within the ranks of his outstanding peers."

-Jason C. Brown, Brown Belt

Hillary and Nelson teaching at Groundswell

"I met Nelson and Hillary at the first US BJJ Globetrotters Camp in New Hampshire. They were there as attendees, but when a scheduled instructor had to bow out, Nelson stepped right in to teach. His personable approach and obvious love of our art make it easy to follow his instruction and his attention to detail made sure we were getting the technique right. He had a way of breaking things down to make them easy to understand, then showing you how it all comes together to make it work. I highly recommend him and hope he comes my way to do a seminar soon!"

-Frank Valenti

Nelson Teaching a Seminar at Garden State BJJ Academy

"I had the privilege and pleasure of taking a series of private lessons with Nelson a few years ago.

"I was having some difficulty with a few positional situations that I had been running into as of late. Nelson corrected them quickly by pointing out some very important details I had been missing. He also made some suggestions on techniques I could add to my arsenal based on my rolling style and body type. These have since become a permanent part of my game.

"A lot of jiu jitsu players are extremely talented on the mat, but cannot convey and break down a concept to make others understand that may be on a different level. Nelson is an individual that does both.

"He's very technical in his approach to teaching, and is very patient as well. Nelson is a super friendly fellow, and I'm confident that anyone who chooses to invest in him will see immediate returns. You won't regret working with him."

-Richard Mannes

Hillary Teaching at BJJ Globetrotters 2016 USA Camp

"I have had the opportunity to learn from Nelson on several occasions during different training camps across Europe. Nelson isn't just a teacher of the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and grappling but an all round good guy with a fantastic personality. His knowledge of Jiu Jitsu is above average and this is shown during his teaching, in the detailed and “easy to understand” classes. As we both are foot lock enthusiasts, I've picked his brain and learned concepts and techniques that has raised my game to new heights. I would recommend a seminar with Nelson any day of the week."

-Simen Raudstein, Purple Belt

"Nelson's classes at the Globetrotters camp was hands down my favorite of the classes. His instruction was easy to understand and follow. I was able to not only learn some new tools in Nelson's class but I was able to retain and use them to this day. Definitely an incredible instructor."

-Howie Spratte

"Nelson has a very fine attention to detail and a wide range of techniques from simple through to advanced. He's also a friendly funny guy, so perfect to learn from. I would highly recommend."

-David Morcegao, Black Belt

Hillary, Nelson and Chris Haueter at Globetrotter's USA 2016 Camp

"I've had the opportunity to learn from Nelson several times. I'm always impressed with his teaching ability and come away with something I can instantly add to my game. As someone who has been practicing BJJ for almost 20 years, it is refreshing to learn from such a great instructor. I highly recommend you attend one of his seminars! Oh, and he makes nice gis too!"

-Brad Wolfson, Black Belt

"I just wanted to send you a note of sincere gratitude. I have been reviewing information from the last two seminars I took with you and it has really enhanced my game. The slight adjustments and corrections you provided to me were greatly appreciated as too often at seminars I find I am left to my own devices coming away with limited information, this was not the case with you. Your instruction on some simple judo takedowns really demystified an over looked part of my game. Thanks again! I am signed up for the 2017 camp and very much look forward to your seminar."

-Tom Dowdall, Purple Belt

Nelson teaching the "Chilean Necktie" on ShowtheART

Podcast Interviews:

Nelson and Hillary have spoken on many podcasts. Give these a listen:

 Playlist of 100+ White Belt Questions, Black Belt Answers Videos

Hillary and Nelson have filmed dozens of video replies to white belt questions on Reddit's /R/BJJ. Here is the playlist: