Below is a list of internationally recognised and respected Brazilian jiu-jitsu instructors that I’ve had the privelidge of training with, listed in the order I met them.
I first trained with John Will towards the end of 2005. I’ve since trained with him about half a dozen times.
John is Adam’s (my instructor) coach and comes to the West every 3-4 months. John used to present the coloured belts to students that Adam had graded in the previous week, but since Adam’s achieved his black belt he’s been presenting coloured belts himself.
I like how John spends a fair amount of time talking about psychology and learning strategies. I always get a new perspective on life that I’m able to apply outside BJJ when I train with John.
I first trained with Rigan Machado at Dominance in Melbourne, Victoria after my first BJJ national competition. This was around September 2006. We were fortunate enough to have Rigan come to Western Australia the following weekend, and I got to train with him then too. Twice in one week!
Rigan’s style is very laid back, even for a Brazilian. I learnt about him more as a person when some of the guys from the club and I took him out to dinner. I’d like to train with Rigan again.
Rigan has a website.
Elvis Sinosic owns and operates a jiu-jitsu school in Sydney, New South Wales with Anthony Perosh. I trained with Elvis when I was in Sydney for a Linux conference at the beginning of 2007.
Considering his vast achievements in the world of mixed martial arts, I was very pleasantly surprised with how approachable Elvis is. I specifically remember him teaching a variation on the double-hooking sweep that I still use to this day.
Elvis has a website.
Royce Gracie is possibly the most recognizable martial artist in the modern era. He was single-handedly responsible for bringing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to the forefront of American (and consequentially international) culture with his dominating performances at the original no-holds-barred UFC tournaments.
He was the first BJJ role-model I had, and I suspect many other people would say the same thing.
The opportunity to train with one of Brazilian jiu-jitsu’s most revered competitors was incredible. I trained with him in February 2008.
The insights he gave into BJJ beyond the mat were as inspiring as the stories of his battles with Sakuraba.
Royce has a website.
Royler Gracie wasn’t about fancy moves or unreachable positions. He added some very simple compliments to the bread-and-butter positions and movements that I use daily.
I appreciated the discussion about his views towards training and the melding of BJJ and everyday life.
I trained with Royler in August 2008.
Royler has a website.
Robert Drysdale conducted a 3 hour seminar towards the end of January 2010. He’s had a very impressive competitive career so far, and continues to do well in top-level competitions. He was a very approachable instructor, and focussed on tips and tweaks to common moves that he found useful. The invitation to train in Las Vegas with him at his gym, whilst not uncommon, seemed very genuine.