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Jiu-Jitsu Instructors

Relson Gracie


Relson Gracie, the 2nd oldest son of Helio Gracie, moved to Hawaii in 1988. He began learning Gracie Jiu-Jitsu at 2 and entered his first competition at the age of 10. He was the Brazilian National Champion for 22 years straight, and during this period went undefeated. He became so popular that he attained the nickname "Campeao" or "Champion" among his friends and fans.

Upon his arrival to Honolulu, it was with great pleasure that Relson introduced the art of Gracie Jiu-jitsu to the Aloha State. Relson along with his brothers Rorion, Rickson, Royler, and Rolker help prepare their younger brother Royce for the first several Ultimate Fighting Championships. This no-holds-barred competition was formed by Rorion Gracie to showcase the brilliant fighting and self-defense style of Gracie jiu-jitsu to the world. What had already been developed and tested in real life competition and fighting since the 1920’s in Brazil has now changed main stream martial arts in the U.S. and the rest of the world forever.

Relson Gracie in his early years was known for his many street fights and the brutal and unpredictable style in which he engaged those fights. Now many years retired from competition Relson’s philosophy reflects his father’s, which is to train for self defense and personal advancement. Relson currently holds the rank of 8th degree red and black belt under Helio Gracie. Relson enjoys teaching classes in Hawaii and has become quite fond of the island life. Relson travels to Gracie Combat academy in Ashburn, VA regularly to conduct group seminars, demonstrations and private classes.

People familiar with the early days of MMA can see Relson Gracie on TV as one of the instructors coaching Hoyce Gracie at the first series of MMA fights run by the UFC.

Dave Patton


Dave is a second degree Black Belt in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu under Relson Gracie. Dave has been one of Relson Gracie's instructors for over 10 years and has worked closely with the other instructors here at the academy for several years. He is an advocate for Jiu-Jitsu competitions. In 2003, Mr. Patton took Gold at the Gracie Nationals. In 2004, took Gold in at the Gracie Arnold World Submission Championships and the Copa Atlantica Jiu-Jitsu Championships. In 2005, Mr. Patton again won Gold at the Gracie Nationals and Gold in multiple divisions at the Gracie Arnold Worlds. Before finding Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Dave was a professional Arm Wrestler and won 35 World Championships before an injury side lined him from active Arm Wrestling competitions.​

Matt Almborg


Matt earned his Black Belt in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu under Relson Gracie. Matt was a Jiu-Jitsu instructor at the Relson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Maryland Training Academy / Calvert MMA Academy and a long time instructor at Fightworks in Sterling VA. Matt began studying Gracie Jiu-Jitsu in early 2000 and was promoted to a brown belt in spring of 2009. In addition to Jiu-Jitsu, Matt also has a strong Judo and Wrestling background. Matt believes in competing to maintain his skills and has been a competitor in many grappling arenas. Matt routinely competes in Gi and No-Gi tournaments along with Judo competitions in an effort to keep his skills sharp. Some of Matt's accomplishments include winning 3 divisions at the Copa Nova. Matt won the Advanced No-Gi, Advanced Masters No-Gi, and the purple belt Gi division. Matt won all but one of those matches by submission. As a blue belt Matt won the Gi division of the Gracie Worlds. As a white belt Matt placed second in the 50 man white belt absolute tournament, which was one of the first Absolute Gi divisions held by grapplers quest.​

Eric Olson


Eric has been practicing martial arts in one form or another for over 30 years.  He is currently a 4th degree brown belt in his 13th year studying Gracie Jiu Jitsu with Dave Patton under Grandmaster Relson Gracie. 


He has also studied a wide range of traditional arts, including Shotokan (Japanese) karate, Arnis and small-circle jiu jitsu. He currently holds a brown belt in Isshin Ryu (Okinawan) karate, a black belt in American Karate, and a black belt or equivalent rank in a variety of classical weapons systems including Jodo (Japanese staff), Iaido (Japanese Sword) and Manriki (weighted chain).

Patrick Gaul


Patrick is a 3rd degree Brown Belt under Relson Gracie.  He began his martial arts career in the Marine Corps.  In 2006 he had his first training session with Relson Gracie.  After that, he was hooked on Jiu-Jitsu and has not looked back since.  Patrick has competed in many tournaments in both Jiu Jitsu and Judo.  He has been an instructor for several years and has received his instructor’s certification from Relson Gracie. He enjoys teaching adults, kids, and teens. Patrick is always striving to improve his knowledge of Graice Jiu-Jitsu and Relson Gracie Self Defense.

Chris Valentine


Chris Valentine - a former Head Instructor of both the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes, as well as the Submission Grappling classes at a reputable Mixed Martial Arts Academy. He is currently a 4 stripe BROWN BELT under Relson Gracie awarded in March 2012. He has trained Jiu-Jitsu with numerous local talents over the years at many academies and worldwide grappling stars such as Relson, Ryron, and Rhalan Gracie, Daniel Moraes, Pedro Sauer, and Andre Galvao to name a few. Coach Chris has been focusing his time primarily on No-Gi grappling and its application towards MMA purposes and self-defense. Along with Jiu-Jitsu, Coach Chris had actively trained in Muay Thai and cornered numerous Mixed Martial Arts fighters from amateur all the way to multiple UFC's around the country. With his vast grappling knowledge Coach Chris also has experience with refereeing local Jiu-Jitsu tournaments and judging Mixed Martial Arts events around the DC area.

Noam Oz


Noam Oz - Noam has over 25 years of martial arts and self-defense experience. In addition to his brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, he holds a 4th Degree Junior Master Black Belt in Chung Do Kwan and a 1st Degree Black Belt in Olympic Style Tae Kwon Do.  Noam also has training in Krav Maga (the self-defense method of the Israel Defense Forces), Wrestling, Hapkido, and Kickboxing. He has been instructing martial arts and self-defense for more than 15 years.  Noam’s passion for martial arts and practical self-defense is fueled by his genuine desire to see everyone he knows learn how to effectively defend her/himself.

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