Kurt Osiander– Black Belt BJJ Trainer
By Elite Sports on
By Elite Sports on
Table of Contents
- 1. Kurt Osiander’s Details
- 2. Kurt Osiander’s Biography
- 2.1 Kurt Osiander’s Early Life
- 2.2 Kurt Osiander’s Pro BJJ Journey
- 2.3 Journey to a Renowned BJJ Trainer
- 2.4 Low Career Points
- 3. Kurt Osiander’s Championships and Accomplishments
- 4. Kurt Osiander’s Main Achievements
- 5. Kurt Osiander’s Professional Record Breakdown
- 6. Kurt Osiander’s Fight History
1. Kurt Osiander’s Details
|Name||Kurt Johann Osiander|
|Pro MMA Record||4-1-0 (Win-Loss-Draw)|
|Date of Birth||16-12-1966|
|Last Fight||Nov 21, 2008, in Strikeforce Events|
|Career Disclosed Earning||$9000|
|Fought out of||San Francisco|
|Lineage||Mitsuyo Maeda – Carlos Gracie Sr. – Helio Gracie– Carlos Gracie Junior – Kurt Osiander|
|Team Association||Ralph Gracie/ Gracie Elite|
|Favorite Position/Technique||Guard Passing|
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.
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.
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.
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
|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|
6. Kurt Osiander’s Fight History
|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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