top of page


Head Instructor, Paul Serwatka - Gracie Jiu Jitsu Athens, AL® - STREET READY Self Dense LLC

Paul Serwatka

Head Instructor

Paul is a retired, career firefighter/paramedic, previously living in Chicago, IL. He began studying Gracie Jiu Jitsu in 2000 at a Rorion Gracie Training Center in Chicago. During this time, Paul also had the opportunity to train at the Gracie Academy in Torrance, California with 3-time UFC Champion, Royce Gracie. Paul subsequently went on to train at the Carlson Gracie Academy, in Chicago, where he had the opportunity to train extensively under Master Carlson Gracie himself, before his passing.


Paul's previous training also included a bit of boxing, Muay Thai, wrestling and Hapkido.  

Paul competed, and placed, in a number of Jiu-Jitsu tournaments (no-gi), including N.A.G.A. (North American Grappling Assoc.) and Midwest Jiu-Jitsu Championships. It was then that he experienced, first-hand, the very real differences between competition/sport jiu-jitsu and reality-based, "street" self-defense jiu-jitsu, and decided to focus his training on the more reality-based, self-defense approach.


Paul went on to test his skills in the MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) arena, fighting in several amateur bouts before moving on to his professional MMA debut with a 2nd-round submission victory in his first and only professional MMA fight at Xtreme Kage Kombat.


A career ending injury then led to a several year hiatus from training before Paul resumed training non-competitively through Gracie University. 

Gracie Jiu Jitsu Athens, AL - Head Instructor Paul Serwatka and Professors Rener Gracie and Ryron Gracie

Left: Professor Ryron Gracie

Front/Center: Head Instructor Paul Serwatka

Right: Professor Rener Gracie

Although his MMA career was short-lived, Paul always acknowledged that self defense was the true driving force behind his training. Competing and fighting in the cage were merely a means of testing himself and his skill development. When it comes to the subject of self defense, Paul is quite passionate. He believes, quite strongly, in the idea of being proficient in the ability to protect and defend, not just yourself, but also your loved ones. And he absolutely believes that Gracie Combatives® is the safest, fastest, and most effective way to develop the STREET READY skills needed to accomplish this.

Paul has undergone extensive training - directly on the mats with, and under the watchful eyes of, professors Rener and Ryron Gracie - to become a Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Certified Instructor, ensuring that you are provided with the best possible instruction and learning environment on your path to Gracie / Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu mastery.


Take Advantage Of Our 10-DAY FREE TRIAL! 

- Learn More At Our MEMBERSHIPS Page -

bottom of page