BJJ

Carlos Machado - 8th-Degree Red & White Coral Belt

Carlos Machado - 8th-Degree Red & White Coral Belt

1. Carlos Machado’s Details

Carlos Machado’s Details
Name Carlos Machado
Nickname “Soneca”
Born Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Date of Birth 09 November, 1963
Age 59 Years
Nationality Brazilian
College/University N/A
Weight Class Peso Leve (76 Kg / 161 lbs)
Peso Medio (82 Kg / 181 lbs)
Weight 82 Kg / 181 lbs
Height N/A
Career Disclosed Earning Approximately $8 Million
Foundational Style Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Favorite Technique N/A
BJJ Rank 8th-Degree Red & White Coral Belt
BJJ Black Belt Awarded by Carlos Gracie Junior
BJJ Lineage Mitsuyo Maeda -> Carlos Gracie Sr. -> Helio Gracie -> Carlos Gracie Junior -> Carlos Machado
BJJ Team Association Machado Jiu-Jitsu

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2. Carlos Machado’s Biography

Carlos Machado is one of the top advocates and propagators of BJJ in the US. He is 8th-degree Red and White Coral Belt under the legend, Master Carlos Gracie Junior. He became one of the pioneers of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in the US after he moved to the United States in the 1990s. Machado Family is of the leading families who have brought fame to the gentle art.

2.1. Carlos Machado’s Early Life

Carlos Machado was born on 9 November 1963 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Carlos Machado is the eldest of the Machado Brothers, Roger, Rigan, Jean Jacques and John.

2.2. Relation with the Gracies

The Machado family has a direct relation to the Gracies. Carlos Machado’s aunt, Layr Machado, was married to Carlos Gracie. This direct link is credited to Machado’s training with the Gracies. His childhood was spent playing with the Gracies.

2.3. Trained under Helio and Rolls Gracie

Training under the Gracies influenced Machado to a great extent. His training regime was very much similar to the Gracies. He started training at the Gracie Academy under Helio Graice in Rio de Janeiro.


After some time, Carlos Machado moved to Copacabana, where he trained under Rolls Gracie. Machado was influenced by BJJ since he was a child. Watching the Gracies train, developed a strong sense of admiration in him towards the gentle art. So when he got a chance to train under the Gracie legends, he did not refuse the offer.

2.4. The Death of Rolls Gracie

The sudden death of Rolls Gracie in 1982, shocked the whole BJJ community. His death, which happened due to an unfortunate hand-gliding accident, was an utter shock for his students, especially Carlos Machado, who used to look up to his master for every query. He was a Blue Belt in 1982 and had a long way to achieve his Black Belt. That is when Carlos Gracie Junior stepped into the scene and impacted Machado’s skills.

2.5. Impact of Carlos Gracie Junior on Carlos Machado

Carlos Gracie was a leading coach at that time. He took some of the Rolls Gracie’s students among which Carlos Machado was also included. Carlos Machado’s dedication made him one of the most admired students of Carlos Gracie Junior. Later, Machado even helped Carlos Gracie Junior in the formation of Gracie Barra in Barra da Tijuca.


Other than Carlos Gracie, Crolin Gracie is another major person who has an effect on Carlos Machado’s personal as well as BJJ life.

2.6. Studied Law

Carlos Machado was a lawyer and just like every father he wanted his son to follow his steps. In 1982, Machado decided to obtain his Law Degree just like his father. Meanwhile, he lived with Carlos Gracie Senior because he had easy access to his University from Carlos Gracie’s house. Machado lived there for almost 5 years and meanwhile, he did not abandon BJJ, rather he benefited from the teachings of the Father of BJJ.

“Even after going to law school, following the footsteps of my father (an accomplished lawyer and judge at the time); I realized that the suit would never replace the kimono!”

(Carlos Machado)

2.7. Moved to the United States

1988 was a revolutionary year for Carlos Machado, when his brother Rigan moved to the US to officially start his coaching career. Carlos Machado himself thought about doing the same while practicing BJJ at the same time in Brazil. Finally, in 1990, Carlos Machado moved to the US.


The main reason behind moving to the US was the establishment of an academy where the head instructors were going to be Rickson and Rorion Gracies. However, when all the Machado brothers gathered in the US, they decided to build their own academy and leave the Gracie banner. All of them especially, Carlos Machado, had great respect for the Gracies. But according to the Machado brothers, it was the right time to build their own legacy. It was then that they decided to move to Redondo.

3. Role of Chuck Norris in Building Machado’s Legacy

After moving to Redondo, the Machado brothers only had one aim, to build their own academy. But they had limited resources, so all of them started giving private teaching lessons. This was the time when a famous Hollywood actor and Mixed Martial Artist, Chuck Norris came to Carlos Machado to learn BJJ.


Chuck Norris is famous for his acting in The Expendables, Walker, Texas Ranger, The Delta Force, and The Way of Dragon. He had an immense love for martial arts. Upon hearing that the Machado brothers are up for tutoring BJJ, he became Carlos Machado’s student. Despite working as the lead role in the movie, Walker: Texas Ranger, Chuck Norris spared time for his Jiu-Jitsu practice. Chuck Norris became so fascinated by Carlos Machado that he even helped the Machado brothers in building their dream institute.


During this instructor-student relationship, Carlos Machado and Chuck Norris became good friends and that is the reason Norris helped Machado brothers without charging them any money. He gave his own place to the Machado brothers so that they could build an academy and took nothing from them in return.

3.1. Tarzana Academy

Carlos Machado along with his brothers opened his first BJJ academy in Tarzana in a shopping center and its owner was none other than Chuck Norris. The building of Tarzana Academy was a success. Many BJJ enthusiasts enrolled in it to train under the legendary Machado brothers.

3.2. Redondo Beach Academy

Due to a massive influx of students at the Tarzana Academy, Carlos Machado decided to open another academy at Redondo Beach. As it was difficult for the Machado brothers to manage two academies, they decided to split the responsibilities of academies.


Carlos, Roger and Rigan Machado decided to manage the Redondo Beach Academy while John and Jean Jacques Machado took care of the Tarzana Academy.

4. Moved to Texas & Appeared on Television

With the help of Chuck Norris, Carlos Machado’s number one pupil, Carlos Machado shifted to Texas in 1995. Settling in a new place was going to be difficult for Carlos Machado but Chuck Norris made it a lot easier for his master. In the start, Machado began tutoring BJJ from the studio where Chuck Norris’ filmed “Walker: Texas Ranger”.


It was Norris’ idea to cast Machado in the TV series which Machado did not refuse.


Machado is not just a man who teaches his students for the mere sake of teaching them BJJ techniques. Rather, he gives all his attention and focus to his students aiming to bring them to the top charters of the BJJ community.

5. Godfather of BJJ in Texas

Due to Machado’s successful endeavors in the US, he is termed as the “Godfather of Jiu-Jitsu” in Texas as well as in the southwest region of the US. Before Machado, there wasn’t much BJJ in the southwest area of the US. It was Carlos Machado who started the BJJ trend and today his academy is one of the flourishing academies in Texas.

6. RCJ Machado BJJ Academy

The RCJ Machado BJJ academy is situated in Texas, US. The RCJ stands for “R” for Roger and Rigan, “C” for Carlos and “J” for John. It was a joint endeavor by the Machado Brothers.

7. Carrollton Kids Martial Arts

Carlos Machado is the founder of Carrollton Kids Martial Arts  located in Texas. He felt a dire need of an academy that particularly focused on young BJJ practitioners. And it was then that he founded this academy. Its headquarters are located in Carrollton, Texas.

8. Carlos Machado’s BJJ Combats

8.1. Pan American Championship

Despite being busy as an instructor Carlos Machado actively competed in BJJ competitions. He became the Pan American Champion twice, in 1997 and 1998.

8.2. US Open Fights

In the US Open Superfights, Machado made history by becoming US Open Champion in 1998 and 1999.

8.3. Rickson Gracie Invitational Champion

Carlos Machado won the Rickson Gracie Invitational Championship in 2001.

8.4. Fastest Submission Award

At the 1998 ADCC World Championship, Carlos Machado competed despite having a foot injury. He won the fight via submission and was even awarded with the Fastest Submission award.

8.5. World Master Championship

After winning the World Master Championship, Campeonato Internacional de Masters e Seniors in two different weight divisions in 2000, Carlos Machado retired from his competitive career.

9. Carlos Machado’s Historic Fights

9.1. Carlos Machado Vs. Arystos Aleksandridi

At the start of the fight, Arystos went for the single-leg takedown but Machado swiftly escaped his takedown. He then restricted Arystos’ neck in a triangle made using his legs. Within seconds, Machado applied the Arm Triangle position. He then started putting pressure on Arystos’ hand and neck. At one point, Arystos lifted Machado off the ground but Machado balanced himself. Machado applied more pressure and got the submission. He submitted Arystos via Arm Triangle Choke and won the Elimination round.


Year Event Opponent W/L/D Method Stage Weight Class Location
2001 ADCC World Championship Arystos Aleksandridi Win Submission By Arm Triangle Choke Elimination Round N/A Abu Dhabi

9.2. Carlos Machado Vs. Eduardo Mano

Due to the strong grips of Machado, he was able to overcome the initiated takedowns of Mano. He then took Mano from the standing position to the ground position and gained the dominant position. Mano was able to lock Machado’s legs to stop him from movements but Machado inverted the position and went on top of Eduardo Mano. Machado had the cross collar grip ready for submission but Eduardo Mano was not an easy fighter to take down. In the end, Carlos Machado won the fight via points despite his efforts to attempt the submission.


Year Event Opponent W/L/D Method Stage Weight Class Location
1997 Rickson Gracie Invitational Eduardo Mano Win Points N/A N/A N/A

10. Carlos Machado’s Students

10.1. Rafael Lovato Jr.

Rafael Lovato Jr. is a 4th-degree BJJ Black Belt under Carlos Machado. He is the first American BJJ Black Belt with huge records.

  • IBJJF World Champion (2007)
  • IBJJF World Champion No-Gi (2010)
  • 2 Times CBJJ Brazilian National (2007, 2013)

10.2. Travis Lutter

Travis Lutter is a 4th-degree BJJ Black Belt under the legend, Carlos Machado. He is a former MMA fighter who competed in the UFC Middleweight Division.

  • 2 Times ADCC US Trials Champion (2000, 2001)
  • Ultimate Submission Showdown Champion (2000)
  • World Silver Medallist (1998)

11. Carlos Machado Top Fights

Classic Fights: Carlos Machado vs Eduardo Mano Gracie Humaita 1997 - Rickson Gracie Invitational

Classic Fights: Carlos Machado vs Arystos Aleksandridi - 2001 ADCC


Photo Credit: @carlosmachadojiujitsu

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