President and Founder of JJGF
Rickson Gracie co-founds the JJGF with a well-respected background in Martial Arts and Jiu-Jitsu. He is an 8th Degree Red & Black Coral Belt in Jiu-Jitsu. Rickson is the 3rd son of Grandmaster Helio Gracie and earned his black belt at 18 years of age. A record that combines jiu-jitsu, freestyle wrestling, vale tudo, challenge and submission matches is 460 x 0, Rickson is known as having the highest expression on Jiu-Jitsu in the world. As a master professor of jiu-jitsu, Rickson has instructed the scope of all types of students including FBI Agents, SWAT Teams, Navy Seals, Military personnel to various styles of martial artists, professional athletes, and actors for over 30 plus years around the world. He continues to inspire generations of jiu-jitsu fighters, practitioners and instructors around the world. Rickson believes that the philosophy acquired by practicing jiu-jitsu gives the practitioner the elements to become a much better person physically, mentally and spiritually.
He is honored as a reference and example this growth through jiu-jitsu.
Carlos Gama co-founds the JJGF with a background in Business, Communication and Jiu-Jitsu. He original started training Martial Arts in Judo as child age 4 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Carlos made the transition to Jiu-Jitsu by joining the Carlson Gracie Team receiving his blue belt from Carlson Gracie. After years of training and competing, Carlos earned his purple belt from Rickson Gracie and the ranks of brown and black belt at Gracie Humaita under Royler Gracie. Carlos has a B.A. in communication from UCSD University of California San Diego and an MBA from The Coppead Graduate School of Business in RJ, Brazil.
Anthony “Tony” J Pacenski Jr. helped co-found JJGF. He has been taught by many of the top Jiu-Jitsu instructors in the United States and Brazil since 1995. Tony has worked as a Jiu-Jitsu instructor since 1996 and spent two years in the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu instructor program in Torrance, California. Tony has worked with a diverse group of students including Military and Law Enforcement, children, women’s self-defense, and general practitioners. Over the years, Tony also received instruction from Grandmaster Helio Gracie, Rorion Gracie, Royce Gracie, Carlos Henrique "Caique" Elias, Steve Maxwell and others. He was promoted to brown belt by Steve Maxwell with the blessing of Saulo and Xande Ribeiro and eventually earned his black belt from Rodrigo Medeiros of the Carlson Gracie/BJJ Revolution Team in 2006.
Tony also holds a Master's Degree in Education in curriculum & instruction from Concordia University of Southern California Irvine. As a 2nd degree black belt, Tony is known for his passion for Jiu-Jitsu and for his detailed and well-organized instruction which are showcased in his instructional videos. He has also been a pivotal influence in the Jiu-Jitsu world by consulting martial arts academy owners in business and marketing through his company Faixa Preta Marketing.