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Welcome to the Inverted Gear Academy, a premier destination for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) enthusiasts and practitioners. Our esteemed instructors, Nelson Puentes and Hillary Witt, are at the heart of our academy, each bringing a wealth of experience, expertise, and passion to our mats.

Meet Nelson Puentes

Nelson Puentes, co-founder and a highly accomplished BJJ practitioner, began his journey in 2007. Known for his competitive spirit and extensive tournament experience, Nelson has competed in over 100 matches, making him a seasoned and knowledgeable instructor. He is a multiple-time IBJJF Open champion and holds a third-degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, as well as a brown belt in Judo. His ongoing participation in the IBJJF masters circuit exemplifies his dedication to both his personal growth and to the sport.


Meet Hillary Witt

Hillary Witt, co-founder and a pioneering figure in BJJ, started her training in 2005. With a focus initially on self-defense, Hillary’s journey evolved into a deep-rooted love for BJJ, leading her to train under some of the sport’s most prominent instructors. An accomplished competitor herself, Hillary has claimed multiple championships and continues to make her mark in the IBJJF, including notable successes at Masters Worlds, Europeans, and No Gi Worlds. As the most accomplished Gi competitor in the Lehigh Valley and the only female Black Belt teaching co-ed classes in the area, Hillary’s role at Inverted Gear Academy is not just as an instructor but as an inspiration to many.