Professor Ralph Gracie has been a champion fighter for over 25 years and has been called one of the best ground fighter in the world. He has fought in major events including Extreme Fighting and Pride Bushido. His grandfather, Carlos Gracie Sr was instrumental in transforming the ancient Japanese samurai martial art into a practical form for self-defense.  Ralph picked up the torch as bein an instrumental contriubtor to bringing BJJ to the Bay Area during a worldwide spread of the gentle art.


Ralph Gracie was born into and has studied Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for over forty five years, starting at just 4.5 years old. Initially, Ralph trained under his dad Robson Gracie and then later under his grandfather, Carlos Sr. Ralph has dedicated his life to teaching the incredible fighting system known today around the world as Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.

Robson, Sr. introduced Brazilian jiu-jitsu to Ralph and his brothers through play as a young child.  When he moved to Rio de Janeiro at age 13, Ralph began taking his family tradition more seroiously, often training twice a day.  His passion grew quickly as jiu-jitsu became the center of life.  

Ralph’s style is described as aggressive pressure through leverage with the goal of submitting opponents, as discussed in this interview.  Here is a video of Ralph teaching lapel choke technique, and here is a video of Ralph rolling with Budo Jake.  This style transferred into an MMA career displaying exciting BJJ as shown in this highlight reel.

He currently has 6 academies in California in which all are run by black belts directly under him. Ralph’s focus on his teachings consist mainly of learning the techniques, executing them correctly and training. He has said more than once, “It’s better to die , than not train.” His fighting style backs this theory as well as his teaching delivery.


Ralph received his black belt at the age of 21 from his uncle Carlos Gracie Jr.  In turn, Carlos Jr. received his black belt from Helio Gracie who received his black belt from Ralph’s grandfather, Carlos Gracie Sr.  Mitsuyo Maeda started the lineage in teaching Carlos Gracie Sr. the Japanese style of the martial art.

Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie Sr. > Helio Gracie > Carlos Gracie Junior > Ralph Gracie


Other Ralph Gracie academies Ralph Gracie academies are located in San Francisco CA, San Jose CA, Berkeley CA, Chino Hills CAWalnut Creek CA, Dublin CA, Bend OR, Modesto CA, Sacramento CA, and Chicago IL.  The historic mother adacemy of Mountain View, now located in San Jose, was his first the United States.

Anthony Bourdain training in Ralph Gracie Jiu Jitsu – San Francisco


Ralph record of official mma bouts amounts to 6-1 over a career of exciting fights including the rematch with Steve Nelson. His aggressive approach earned the nickname “The Pitbull”. There are many other fights not recorded.

EXTERNAL RELATED LINKS – official web site for Ralph Gracie with information about the San Francisco academy

Wikipedia – Ralph Gracie – biographical information

BJJ Heroes biography

Sherdog Profile – fighter profile

Ralph Gracie Berkeley BJJ Academy – Berkeley California location headed by Professor Eduardo Fraga

25 Submissions trailer

Ground Control interview

BJ Penn visit to Mountain View

2006 – On The Mat interview