7th Degree Red and Black Belt
Master Carlos Gracie Jr. is a man ahead of his time. Son of Grand Carlos Gracie Sr., he has used his unique visionary skills to create two of the world’s largest and most important Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Organizations: the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) and Gracie Barra. As founder and current Chairman of both institutions, he has channeled his entrepreneurship to take our sport to the next level allowing thousands of individuals across the five continents to experience the ‘Gentle Art’ as students, instructors, or competitors.
After working for many years as an instructor at his Uncle Helio and then his brother Rolls school, Carlos wanted to pursue the dream of having his own school. But it was not until 1986 that Gracie Barra was officially founded – on the same building that it stands today. He envisioned Jiu-Jitsu as a tool to support any person individual on the quest to achieve his or her potential. He believed teaching in such a way, the most talented and dedicated people would naturally develop to become great athletes. It worked. On Gracie Barra mats, some of the toughest Jiu-Jitsu champions were made and countless doctors, engineers, lawyers, and all kids of people from different ages and background found a positive learning environment they could learn exceptional Jiu-Jitsu techniques and be inspired by Master Carlos Gracie Jr.’s ideals of healthy leaving, good diet, and great friends.
4th Degree Black Belt
Professor Vinicius Draculino Magalhaes is the head instructor of Gracie Barra Texas and Gracie Barra – BH Schools (more info about GBBH at www.jjbh.com). With more than 20 years of teaching experience, he is a primary example of a man who is fully dedicating his life to his Children (Jade and Igor), his wife (Monica), Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Gracie Barra and its members. Prof. Draculino‘s personality, enthusiasm, integrity, charisma and leadership make the essence of GB Texas and GBBH and touch all those around him. A great competition background in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Submission Wrestling and MMA qualifies him as one of the best featherweight competitors in BJJ history. He holds many titles such as: a 4-time Pan American Champion, 1 time no gi pan American champion- 2008, 2 Times Brazilian national champion, 2 Times Silver medalist at the world BJJ championships, MMA lightweight champion in Brazil, Strike Force Feather weight Winner and Abu-Dhabi veteran. Besides these titles held as a competitor and fighter, Professor Vinicius is considered one of the best instructors in the BJJ world. Among his students, you will find world champions, Pan Ams, national BJJ champions, more than 100 Black Belts, MMA and Grappling champions spread all over the World. Professor Vinicius is also a Lawyer in Brazil and graduated from the UFRJ (Federal University of Rio De Janeiro) which is one of the top three Law schools in the country. Recently, Professor Draculino launched a BJJ training website with online classes where people can access great techniques and class schedules for any computer or IPhone. www.draculinobjjtraining.com
Professor Leo Cantu is the first Gracie Barra Black Belt in Corpus Christi. His journey began back in 1993 after he saw the first Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). He watched Royce Gracie win the first UFC despite being the smallest competitor by using leverage and technique rather than strength. Amazed and very intrigued by the art, he knew then that he wanted to practice the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ). Leo started to take classes under Carley Gracie while attending Art College in San Francisco, CA. After achieving his blue belt, Leo moved back to Texas only to continue training BJJ and he attended seminars as often as possible and also traveled back and forth to California to study the art of submission. After a short period in Texas, Leo was invited by a friend to stay in Brazil for a month in the city of Belo Horizonte (BH). It was here that he had the opportunity to meet and train with an icon in the sport, Vinicius Draculino Magalhaes. From then on, Leo became a dedicated and loyal student of Draculino and Leo would spend up to 3 months at a time in Belo Horizonte training at Gracie Barra BH and would compete there in Brazil . He also continued his training when he was in the states with Alberto Crane who is a BJJ World Champion and a Draculino Black Belt. “I am grateful for all the opportunities I had while achieving my Black Belt; I learned most of my knowledge at Gracie Barra BH but now chose to make my home here in Corpus Christi. I show my students and academy the same dedication I showed through out the years of achieving my Black Belt and I will continue to share my knowledge of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu through my teachings here at Gracie Barra Corpus Christi. ” (Professor Leo Cantu)