Instructors

“The instructor effectiveness should be gauged by the progress of his least athletic student instead of the accomplishments of his most athletic student.”
-Grandmaster Helio Gracie

Head Instructor – Marco Moreno.

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A personal testimony:

I discovered Gracie Jiu-Jitsu in 2001. Ever since I started training I experienced a positive transformation in my life not only physical but also in the psychological level. I have competed in several Jiu-Jitsu tournaments and have attended multiple seminars from world class Jiu-Jitsu fighters.

However, nothing compares with the honor of meeting and training with different members of the Gracie family. It’s like drinking water from the source, clean and fresh. Grand Master Relson Gracie has been my mentor since the beginning and I am deeply thankful for his teachings. In 2015 Grand Master Relson Gracie decided it was time for me to get a promotion an awarded me a Gracie Jiu-Jitsu black belt.

I have been lucky also to meet Profesors Ryron and Rener Gracie, third generation of the family; they have also instructed me in the way Gracie Jiu-Jitsu should be practiced and taught. I went through the Gracie Academy’s Instructor Certification Program in July 2011 in order to become a better teacher. This has been one of the best experiences of my life, not only I learned how to teach more efficiently but I felt I became a better person.

The impact of this amazing art has been so profound and positive that I decided to dedicate my life to share with the people of my community the benefits of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. I am honored to have the opportunity to do so and to help keeping the vision of Grandmaster Helio Gracie alive.

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The Basics GJJ receives frequent visits from Gracie family members to give seminars and to ensure that the instruction is meeting the high standards set by Grand Master Helio Gracie:

Grand Master Relson Gracie

Relson, the second oldest son of Helio Gracie, won his first tournament at the age of 10 and received his black belt from the Grand Master. After receiving his black belt, he spent several years training and teaching at the Gracie Academy in Rio De Janeiro. Relson participated in several no-holds-barred challenge matches to uphold the family name (viewable on Gracie Jiu-Jitsu In Action Volume 1), and during this time, he became particularly well known for his aggressive fighting style.

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In 1975, at the age of 22, Relson, with the support of Rio’s Secretary of Sport Jose Morais, started teaching at the academy at the late Clube Jardim Guanabara (ICJG). In addition to teaching Tuesday and Thursday evening classes at the already well established Academia Gracie Humaita, Relson taught at ICJG on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday nights. The academy would develop students and Relson and Rickson would show their dominance in the black belt division in tournaments.

In 1985, he moved from Rio de Janeiro to Monterey, California at the request of Pedro Sauer’s brother, Carlos, who arranged for him to teach at the Eseline Therapy Institute. From there, he set his sights on spreading his family’s art to Hawaii and moved to Honolulu where the art was completely unknown. Relson taught out of his garage in the evenings after a hard day’s work in the construction industry. Soon the word got out on the island about the effectiveness and benefits of Jiu-Jitsu, and in the same year he expanded his classes to Studio 4, in the Athletic Complex of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, to meet the demand.

Finally, after being on the islands for 8 years, the official Relson Gracie Academy was opened in Honolulu, Hawaii. It was located on Waialae Avenue until 2000 at which point it was moved to its current location at 844 Queen Street. In 2004, Relson turned over the daily operations of his Academy to one of his black belt instructors so that he could spend more time traveling to his growing network of associated schools throughout the country.

Ryron Gracie

Ryron Gracie is the eldest grandson of Grand Master Helio Gracie, the creator of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. His father is Rorion Gracie, the world’s foremost expert in self-defense. Rorion introduced his sons to the art’s basic movements as soon as they could walk. As a child, Ryron spent the majority of his time watching his father teach private classes in their garage in Southern California.

But, it wasn’t until he observed his father and uncles – Royce, Rickson, and Royler – easily winning “no-holds-barred” challenge matches that he began to fully comprehend the effectiveness of his family’s art. Like members of the preceding Gracie generations, he was born into this family tradition of testing the art against all comers, and he is always ready.

Perhaps even more important, Ryron recognized the profound impact Gracie Jiu-Jitsu had on all those who studied it. Having witnessed the life changing transformations experienced by Gracie Academy students motivated him to become a teacher of the art. While constantly perfecting the techniques of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, he worked equally hard to master the powerfully effective teaching methods developed by his ancestors.

In 2002, Grand Master Helio Gracie awarded Ryron his black belt in recognition of his mastery of the family’s techniques and his commitment to preserving the unique Gracie teaching methodologies.

Today, the demand for Gracie Jiu-Jitsu instruction is growing at an unprecedented rate based on the art’s proven effectiveness and simplicity. Unfortunately, many self-proclaimed instructors are teaching variations of the art without regard to the founding principles of street applicability, energy efficiency, and natural body movements. That has caused deterioration at the base of what once was a solid teaching program.

Rorion, whose high technical standards earned him the blessing from the Grand Master to certify instructors, saw in Ryron and his brother Rener the unparalleled determination to preserve the techniques and the teaching methods in their purest and most effective form. As a result, Rorion decided to entrust them with the monumental mission of launching the Gracie Global Training Program. Through the Global Training Program’s comprehensive instructional DVDs, interactive online video courses, and network of certified training centers, the brothers are determined to make the complete Gracie Jiu-Jitsu curriculum, once found only at the Gracie Academy, available to students around the world.

Ryron has a busy schedule teaching at the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Torrance California, and also travels regularly to teach seminars. In November 2008, the U.S. Army invited Ryron to teach over 500 U.S. Army soldiers stationed at Camp Victory in Bagdad in recognition of his superb teaching skills.

Rener Gracie

Rener Gracie is the second eldest grandson of Grand Master Helio Gracie, the creator of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. His father is Rorion Gracie, the world’s foremost expert in self-defense. Rorion introduced his sons to the art’s basic movements as soon as they could walk. As a child, Rener like his brothers spent the majority of his time watching his father teach private classes in their garage in Southern California. But it wasn’t until he observed his father and uncles – Royce, Rickson, and Royler – easily winning “no-holds-barred” challenge matches that he began to fully comprehend the effectiveness of his family’s art.

More importantly, Rener understood the tremendous benefits Gracie Jiu-Jitsu had on all those who studied it. Having witnessed the life changing transformations experienced by Gracie Academy students motivated him to become a teacher of the art.

While constantly perfecting the techniques of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, he worked equally hard to master the powerfully effective teaching methods developed by his ancestors. In 2002, Grand Master Helio Gracie awarded Rener his black belt in recognition of his mastery of his unique techniques and teaching methodologies.

Today, the demand for Gracie Jiu-Jitsu instruction is growing at an unprecedented rate based on the art’s proven effectiveness and simplicity. Unfortunately, many self-proclaimed instructors are teaching variations of the art without regard to the founding principles of street applicability, energy efficiency, and natural body movements. That has caused erosion at the base of what once was a solid teaching program.

Rorion, whose high technical standards earned him the blessing from the Grand Master to certify instructors, saw in Rener and his brother Ryron the unparalleled determination to preserve the techniques and the teaching methods in their purest and most effective form. As a result, Rorion decided to entrust them with the monumental mission of launching the Gracie Global Training Program. Through the Global Training Program’s comprehensive instructional DVDs, interactive online video courses, and network of certified training centers, the brothers are determined to make the complete Gracie Jiu-Jitsu curriculum, once found only at the Gracie Academy, available to students around the world.

Rhalan Gracie

Rhalan Gracie is Relson Gracie’s only son. His father started teaching him Jiu-Jitsu at very early age. Having competed and won in various sport jiu-jitsu tournaments, Rhalan decided to enter his first no-holds-barred match while still a teenager. He was awarded a black belt in 2011; he is one of the head instructors of his father’s academy and regularly travels to teach seminars. He is based out of Honolulu, Hawaii.