Jiu-Jitsu’s First Lady has earned her brown belt under John Danaher, and she’s just the second woman to accomplish that feat yet.
Santoro has been training under Danaher and with Gordon Ryan since they met at New York’s Renzo Gracie HQ in 2016. She just recently acknowledged the benefits of having Gordon as a training partner and the hundreds of hours of drilling instructional videos as his UKE. She’s taken her skills to the competition mats and earned a win via Triangle at WNO in 2020.
She made the announcement of her promotion on instagram,
Teammate Nicholas Meregali joked in the comments, “Sooo nice.. I hope I’m still living in Austin to see your black belt promotion in 2033 ”
While it might have taken a bit longer to receive her brown belt than it may have taken her elsewhere, it must be sweet to have received such a high honor from one of the greatest to ever do it.
Gordon Ryan also posted about the achievement, giving props and poking a bit of fun as well, “She may suck at competing, but she is very good at jiu jitsu . I am very happy to he part of this process. A huge congrats to @heysonnyy2 on a WELL deserved brown belt. She is now, to my understanding, John’s 2nd ever female brown belt, which is a big statement. Now if she can just learn a guard Pass she can get her black belt before age 60.”
Congratulations to Sonny and the team.