Kurt Osiander– Black Belt BJJ Trainer

Kurt Osiander– Black Belt BJJ Trainer

1. Kurt Osiander’s Details

Kurt Osiander’s Details
Name Kurt Johann Osiander
Pro MMA Record 4-1-0 (Win-Loss-Draw)
Nickname The Rhino
Date of Birth 16-12-1966
Age 55
Height NA
Weight NA
Born California, USA
Nationality American
Last Fight Nov 21, 2008, in Strikeforce Events
Weight Division Middleweight
Career Disclosed Earning  $9000
Fought out of San Francisco
Foundation Style NA
Lineage Mitsuyo Maeda – Carlos Gracie Sr. – Helio Gracie– Carlos Gracie Junior – Kurt Osiander
Team Association Ralph Gracie/ Gracie Elite
Favorite Position/Technique Guard Passing
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2. Kurt Osiander’s Biography

Kurt Osiander is a black belt Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu trainer and athlete who trained under Ralph Gracie. He was given the nickname “The Rhino '' due to his aggressive attitude and pressure games while fighting.

Kurt has been an active BJJ fighter since the mid-1990s and is considered one of the cult heroes in the BJJ Community.

He has a straightforward personality and is famous for his witty comments and remarks. He's known for his wildly popular YouTube Move of the Week segments, as well as his numerous amusing podcast appearances.

Kurt has been practicing  and teaching jiu-jitsu for about 25 years now. His online course, “Move of the Weeks,” and his unfiltered well recognized phrases like “shut up and train” and “you fucked up a long time ago” have made him the most beloved individual in the BJJ world.

2.1 Kurt Osiander’s Early Life

Born in 1996, Kurt Osiander grew up in the San Francisco Bay area. During his early life there, he had the chance to meet and befriend Cesar Gracie (a well-known member of the Gracie family). Cesar joined the Marines after finishing high school.

Soon after completing his marine training, Cesar Gracie told Kurt about his plan to return to Brazil in order to learn his family’s jiu-jitsu. This was the first time when Kurt heard of BJJ.

Cesar then moved to Brazil and came back to the US in the early 1990s. He stayed at the Gracie Academy in Torrence with his cousins until 1992, when he moved to San Francisco to be reunited with his old pal Kurt.

Commencing Jiu-Jitsu

Cesar Gracie discussed jiu-jitsu with Kurt and how he was planning to start a gym in the region to teach grappling. Kurt, intrigued by the martial arts, asked Cesar to demonstrate a technique to  him. Cesar performed the Mata Leo technique and Osiander was so taken aback by how powerful the posture was that he decided to enroll in the Gracie Academy to take jiu-jitsu sessions.

2.2 Kurt Osiander’s Pro BJJ Journey

Training at Ralph Gracie’s Academy

When Kurt joined the Gracie Academy, Ralph Gracie came to the United States around the same time to team up with his cousin Cesar and become the head coach at Gracie academy. Kurt began his training under "The Pitbull" and based his grappling style on the Gracie Champion, Ralph Gracie.

Promotion to Black Belt

From then on, Kurt remained loyal to his Gracie coach and began fighting as a white belt. Even in his 30s, he remained a competitor throughout his career, but his ambition to enhance his BJJ skills drove him to go from a casual BJJ student to a full-fledged BJJ junkie, learning several times a day throughout the week. Finally, his dedication and perseverance paid off when he earned a black belt at the age of 37 in 2003.

Pan American Championship 2003-2013

Kurt came in the early times of BJJ when competitions were not as widespread as they are currently. His career in MMA picked up for a short duration in the mid-2000s when he participated in the Pan American Championship and won seven gold medals along with various other titles in Strike Force and Gladiator Challenges.

2.3 Journey to a Renowned BJJ Trainer

Becoming Head Instructor at Ralph’s Academy

Kurt continued fighting until his 40’s. Later on, he was offered the position of a coach at the Ralph Gracie Academy where he started his teaching career and played a  role in improving the grappling techniques of many BJJ champions.

Being famous for his hard work, Kurt soon became distinguished among other trainers and was appointed the head instructor at the Ralph Academy for many years.

“Move of the Week”

Osiander’s fame mainly stemmed from his work as a respected instructor at the Ralph Gracie Academy, as well as his YouTube series, “Move of the Week” started in 2006 in which Kurt's meticulous attention to detail and no-nonsense or BS approach got  the interest of tens of thousands of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fans.

Moreover, he also featured in an episode of Parts Unknown along with Anthony Bourdain which focused on San Francisco and highlighted Anthony’s own love for the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Quitting Ralph’s Academy

Kurt left his two-decade job at the Ralph Academy in 2018. There is a heated controversy over whether Kurt left the academy himself or was fired by Ralph Gracie.

According to Kurt, he was fired by the Ralph Gracie Academy. But Ralph Gracie said Kurt himself decided to leave the academy.

  • “They wanted me to stop playing with heavy metals and remove my shirt,” said Kurt.
  • “I thought Curt was my brother. I thought he was a part of my family. But he decided to do his own thing. That’s oK,” said Ralph Gracie.

It is still not clear what the matter was. This may be due to the differences in personalities and styles of jiu-jitsu. While Kurt considers his independence as a natural outgrowth of BJJ, Gracie believes it’s disrespectful.

Hence, Kurt left the Gracie Academy along with his few loyal students and a business partner, Jake Scovel.

Establishing Empire Jiu-Jitsu

After leaving Gracie’s Academy in July 2018, Kurt established his own BJJ academy, “Empire Jiu-Jitsu” along with Jake Scovel as a partner and his students. It is located at 2356 Mission St. between 19th and 20th streets and has won a five-star rating on Yelp.

The academy offers three classes per day from Monday to Saturday. They offer a 10 class pack or monthly membership along with private sessions with Jake Scovel and Kurt Osiander.

2.3.5 Kurt Osiander DVD

Kurt also created a series called “Kurt Osiander DVD – Fundamentals of a Jiu-Jitsu Renegade” where he demonstrated various techniques, including escapes, sweeps, attacks, and guard passes with his no-BS  style of teaching.

Famous Moves


Kurt has a no-nonsense approach to BJJ which is all about torturous effectiveness. This black belt mastermind has invented many painful BJJ moves, one of the most famous being The Sole Crusher.

It is a side control move that is somewhere in between a pressure position, a pin, and a submission. The goal of this move is to trap both arms of the opponent by placing your elbows in the competitor’s armpits.

Other famous moves include ArmBar Escape, Two Loop Chokes, and Knee Slide Pass.

Kurt Osiander Move of the Week - Half Guard Pass

Kurt Osiander Move of the Week - Paulista Pass

Kurt Osiander Move of the Week - Escape from Side Control

2.4 Low Career Points

Financial and Health Crisis

The last couple of years proved to be very tough on Kurt. The Covid Pandemic severely impacted his studio, Empire Jiu-Jitsu as it barely saw any business. The financial crisis enhanced as the bills continued to stack up.

The situation was further worsened by his rising health issues in the previous months. He was diagnosed with Diabetes Type 2 after he fell into a diabetic shock alone at his home. For almost a week, he was alone at home trying to survive by drinking water out of the faucet and eating small amounts of food he was able to grab.

When he regained consciousness, he was able to call someone for help and was lucky enough to survive this difficult condition.

When he reached the hospital, he was diagnosed with high blood pressure along with Diabetes. After only a few weeks, he had to go to the hospital again. This time, it was due to an abscess on his kidney which needed to be removed surgically. The doctors had to install a catheter but soon after installation, the catheter caused an infection, making his body septic. Hence, he was rushed to the hospital and stabilized eventually.

Stealing of Possessions

But the story does not end here. While Kurt was in the hospital, his house was robbed by thieves who stole Kurt’s antique prized sword collection along with thousands of dollars.


In the middle of 2019, Kurt went into rehab to get rid of his alcohol addiction. Kurt described the rehab as a forced summer camp. The rehab camp was an easy-going closed environment where Kurt had to take classes eight hours per day.

During this period, Kurt was also overcoming his breakup with Ralph Gracie gyms. In fact, the tragic split was the main factor that made Kurt end up in rehab. Kurt says that

 “I don’t really like talking about the break up with my academy. I did everything I could for my students and when I finally couldn’t take it anymore I snapped and thought it would be better if I left. It was literally the worst day and the hardest decision of my life. I don’t know if it was right, but you have to live with it, so fuck it.”

Kurt Osiander Medical Recovery Fund

Kurt is still not cleared medically to resume his teaching career which is his main source of income. Hence, a fund namely “Kurt Osiander Medical Recovery Fund” was created by Ryan for helping Kurt survive through these difficult times.

3. Kurt Osiander’s Championships and Accomplishments

  • Pan American Championship
  • Move of the Week (DVD Series)

4. Kurt Osiander’s Main Achievements

Position Event Year
Senior 3 Pan American 2012 & 2013
Champion Pan American (Weight and Absolute) 2011
Silver Medalist Pan American 2009
Senior 1 Pan American 2009
Bronze Medalist Pan American 2006
Champion Pan American (Master) 2005
Champion Pan American (Absolute) 2003

5. Kurt Osiander’s Professional Record Breakdown

5 Matches 4 Wins 1 Loss
TKO 1 0
By Submission 2 0
By Decision 0 0
KO Punch 1 1

6. Kurt Osiander’s Fight History

Year Event Opponent W/L/D Method Stage Weight Class
2008 Strikeforce Josh Neal W KO Punches R1 Middleweight
2008 GC 80 – Summer Showdown Nate Moore L KO Punches R1 Middleweight
2007 GC 72 – Seasons Beatings Cryillo Padilha Neto W TKO R1 Middleweight
2007 GC 66 – Battle Ground Jeff Morris W Submission (Rear Naked Choke) R1 Middleweight
2007 WNO 6 Luiz Sanchez W Submission (Rear Naked Choke) R1  Middleweight

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