Orlando Mario Sanchez

Date of Death

Orlando Mario Sanchez, owner of multiple Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu Jitsu schools and alumni of La Cañada High School passed away on December 15th, 2022, at 40 years old. He is known as “Big O” and leaves behind quite a legacy in the sport.
Sanchez was praised for his skill and performance on the mat, but his life experience and the impact he had on others is what made him most memorable. He credits Jiu Jitsu for overcoming drug dependency and depression. Sanchez was a big advocate for mental health.
Once he started training, he became a force that was hard to ignore. He climbed the ranks and achieved his black belt in an impressive 4 years (one of the fastest promotions in American history). Quickly passing many of the men who trained him, he went on to win more medals that he could keep track of and holds an ADCC World Champion title.
He opened several martial arts schools throughout the greater Los Angeles area, including his home town of La Cañada, CA. His schools continue as a community focused on fitness, anti-bullying, confidence, discipline and most of all family. A decade ago, Sanchez was quoted by the L.A. Times saying, “I don’t compete for myself anymore, I compete 100% for my students — all the kids in my class and for everybody else, I compete to be a champion for them now. … I am doing this so I can create champions so I can win and inspire others.”
Since that interview, he has done just that — by opening each of his schools with the motto: “Champions in Life.”
Anyone that knew Orlando can attest to the fact that he lived his live with passion; he trained hard and won big, but the accomplishment he loved the most was his family. He is survived by his wife Trisha and his three kids, Orlando Jr. (11), Penelope (8), and Oren (5). He leaves behind an impressive legacy and for those who are interested in paying respects to the family and celebrating the life of professor Orlando Sanchez, the celebration of life will be held on February 4th, 2023, at 6 p.m. at 7303 Ethel Ave., North Hollywood, CA. 91605.