Rigan Machado

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Rigan Machado
Born (1966-07-02) July 2, 1966 (age 57)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, US
StyleBrazilian Jiu Jitsu, Sambo
Teacher(s)Helio Gracie, Rolls Gracie, Carlos Gracie Jr.
Rank8th deg. BJJ coral belt
Notable relativesMachado family
Gracie Family
Notable studentsDan Inosanto, Erik Paulson, Chuck Norris, John Will, Chris Haueter, Rick Minter, Cindy Omatsu, Damone Revere, Rodney King
Medal record
Representing  Brazil
Men's Sambo
Pan American Championships
Silver medal – second place 1993 Chula Vista -90 kg
Bronze medal – third place 1993 Chula Vista Open class
Pan American Jiu-Jitsu Championship
Gold medal – first place 1996 Absolute kg
Gold medal – first place 1997 +100 kg
Gold medal – first place 1997 Open class
ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship
Bronze medal – third place 2000 Kerava, Finland +99kg

Rigan Machado (born 2 July 1966) is an 8th degree red and White belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, earning his rank under Carlos Gracie, Jr. He is a former Pan American Champion (1996, 1997 weight and absolute) and a veteran medalist of the ADCC.[1] Machado currently teaches out of his Beverly Hills, California academy and is instructor to several Los Angeles–based celebrity students.


Machado was born in Rio de Janeiro, and is one of five brothers in the Machado family. He began training at the age of five with his cousins, "The Gracie Family". In an interview, when asked about his exact relationship with the Gracies, he said: "My mother's sister married the founder of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Carlos Gracie."

Machado was awarded the first black belt under Gracie Barra founder Carlos Gracie Jr.[2] and is one of the original teachers who taught in the garage of Rorion Gracie in the early days of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in America.[3] He also trained with his other cousins such Rickson Gracie, Rorion Gracie, Rillion Gracie, his uncle Carlos Gracie Sr, and his brothers. At one point in 1986, he even publicly competed against Rickson Gracie at a Jiu-Jitsu competition in one of the earliest public matches between members of the family.[4]

He is widely regarded as one of the top competitors in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu history. He also competed and won many tournaments in judo, sambo, and wrestling. In Sambo he was placed second at the 198 lbs division, and third at the open class of the 1993 Pan American Sambo Championships in Chula Vista;[5] and at some point between 1990 and 1994, he was seen submitting several Judo black belts in at least one Judo competition at the West Covina Dojo.[6]

Instructor lineage[edit]

Kanō JigorōTomita TsunejirōMitsuyo "Count Koma" MaedaHélio GracieRolls Gracie & Carlos "Carlinhos" Gracie Jr → Rigan Machado

As an instructor[edit]

Machado currently teaches at his school, "The Academy Beverly Hills", located in Beverly Hills, California. He is also the commissioner of Jiu Jitsu World League. Due to the location of his gym, many students of his gym are celebrities such as Ashton Kutcher,[7] Vin Diesel, Wiz Khalifa,[8] Wagner Moura,[9] Bryan Callen, and Charlie Hunnam.[10]

Machado will serve as a coach alongside Roger Gracie, Jean Jacques Machado, and Dean Lister on season 6 of the Professional Grappling Federation on April 21 to 26, 2024.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Rigan Machado". BJJ Heroes BJJ Fighter Database. March 26, 2015. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  2. ^ "Rigan Machado". BJJ Heroes BJJ Fighter Database. March 26, 2015. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  3. ^ "MMA Origins: Erik Paulson, Shooto's Forgotten Champion". Bloody Elbow. February 20, 2013. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  4. ^ "Throwback: Watch Rickson Gracie v Rigan Machado in 1986". 19 March 2022.
  5. ^ Meeting of the minds boosts Gutscher to title By Phillip Brents, The Star-News, Chula Vista, California, April 28, 1993, Page B2.
  6. ^ "Throwback: Watch Rigan Machado Submitting Judo Black Belts in Competition". 7 May 2022.
  7. ^ "Ashton Kutcher's Jiu Jitsu Workout". Men's Health Magazine. March 26, 2015. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  8. ^ Blackett, Todd. "Wiz Khalifa Set For First BJJ Match". Jitsmagazine. Retrieved 9 April 2024.
  9. ^ Blackett, Todd. "Narcos Star Wagner Moura Promoted To Brown Belt In BJJ". Jitsmagazine. Retrieved 9 April 2024.
  10. ^ "Rigan Machado Designs Jiu Jitsu System Without Sparring for Celebrities". Eastern Europe BJJ. March 21, 2015. Retrieved March 21, 2015.
  11. ^ de Souza, Diogo. "Four BJJ Legends Confirmed As PGF Season 6 Coaches Lineup Finalized". Jitsmagazine. Retrieved 9 April 2024.

External links[edit]