Rigan Machado

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Rigan Machado
Born (1966-07-02) July 2, 1966 (age 53)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, US
StyleRCJ Machado Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Teacher(s)Helio Gracie, Rolls Gracie, Carlos Gracie Jr.
Rank         8th Degree Coral Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Notable relativesMachado family
Gracie Family
Notable studentsDan Inosanto, Erik Paulson, Chuck Norris, John Will, Bob Bass, Chris Haueter, Rick Minter, Cindy Omatsu

Rigan Machado (born 2 July 1966 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) is an 8th degree red and black 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 is one of five brothers of 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." Like all children he took it more as a game than as something he wanted to do for the rest of his life. He started to take training and competing more seriously at the age of 14. This is the time where he would start to train every day on the mat. From the age of 14 through 21, he won the Brazilian National Championships every year and every belt division. He amassed a record of 365 wins and 0 losses in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competition. He also created a record by having 19 matches in one day and finishing all of them by submission. He remains unbeaten in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in more than 13 years of competition. His training sessions were all very technical and intensive under the eye of his two instructors Rolls Gracie and Carlos Gracie Jr.

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.

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.[4]

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,[5] Vin Diesel, Wiz Khalifa, Bryan Callen, and Charlie Hunnam.[6]

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. ^ Meeting of the minds boosts Gutscher to title By Phillip Brents, The Star-News, Chula Vista, California, April 28, 1993, Page B2.
  5. ^ "Ashton Kutcher's Jiu Jitsu Workout". Men's Health Magazine. March 26, 2015. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  6. ^ "Rigan Machado Designs Jiu Jitsu System Without Sparring for Celebrities". Eastern Europe BJJ. March 21, 2015. Retrieved March 21, 2015.

External links[edit]