Among the first of the top-notch Brazilians to make the move to America, were the renowned Brazilian fighting family, the Machado brothers. Through the help of martial arts legend Chuck Norris, himself a Machado student, the brothers relocated from Rio de Janeiro to the United States during the late 80’s and early 90’s.
Before setting up their Academies in Los Angeles, each of the five brothers held Brazil National Jiu Jitsu titles in each of their respective weight divisions. A unique accomplishment in a highly competitive arena.
The five brothers, Carlos, Rigan, Jean Jacques, John and Roger were all brought up on a diet of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu; spending most of their childhood years on the mat, and competing in innumerable local, state and national tournaments. Related to the Gracie family by marriage, the Machado’s have always been regarded as part of the inner circle of the authentic Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tradition.
My personal introduction to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu took place in the late 80’s. Prior to that, I had spent fifteen years training in a variety of combative systems throughout Indonesia, India, Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan and the U.S.A. My penchant for training in, teaching and writing about the martial arts eventually led me to give the publication business a try. And so it was, that as owner/editor of the Australian Martial Arts Magazine – ‘Blitz’, I had my first sobering experience on a BJJ mat. Through circumstance and good fortune, I had my first extended training trip to Brazil in 1989. Rigan Machado was to accompany me there; and through his efforts, I was able to train with a healthy cross-section of the more renowned of the BJJ community.
The decade to follow afforded me some of the most exciting and stimulating learning I have ever undergone. The concepts, principles, mechanics and techniques of this rich and fascinating art as taught by the Machado family, were to me, like ingots of gold. Each, hard earned, but all the more valuable for it. Progress through the ranks of blue, purple and brown to the level of BJJ black belt is a slow and painstaking one; but the effort pails to that of the rewards to be gained. Upon being awarded the rank of black belt by Rigan Machado in 1998, I became Australia’s official Machado representative and immediately founded BJJ Australia – the Machado face in the Australasian region.
John Will and Machado’s on the matTheir competition portfolio includes a plethora of Brazilian and American National BJJ titles; Sambo titles, Greco-Roman wrestling and World Submission Grappling titles. They are among the most sought after BJJ coaches on the international circuit; and to date are proud to count an impressive list of martial arts celebrities and fighters as part of their student body.
Through their coaching efforts, the Machado’s have produced National champions in both Brazil and the U.S.A. Following their move to the U.S.A they have produced a number of fully qualified black belt instructors, who in turn, have begun producing champions of their own.