Our Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Lineage
Grandmaster Helio Gracie (b.1913 – d.2009) was a 9th Degree Red Belt, and one of the most important figures in Jiu-Jitsu history. His lineage is among the strongest in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Helio Gracie is regarded as a father of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, having refined the art with older brother Carlos Gracie (Sr.) who received his instruction from Mitsuyo Maeda.
Grandmaster Francisco Mansor is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Red Belt (9th Degree), respected vale tudo fighter, and the creator of The Kioto Academy. He is one of only six men outside the Gracie family to receive the BJJ rank of Red Belt from Helio Gracie.
Master Claudio França pioneered the teaching of BJJ in California, and holds a 6th degree Black Belt from Grandmaster Francisco Mansor. Master França has also earned his black belt in Judo from Gama Filho University in Rio de Janeiro.
Professor John Villarruel is the head instructor at Black Diamond Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and a second-degree black belt under Claudio Franca. He also holds black belts from American Self Defense Academy under Master Mark Daniels, and Kuk Sul Do under Grandmaster Yang.
Reno Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Instructors
Helio Gracie > Francisco Mansur > Claudio França > John Villarruel
John “Magoo” Villarruel is our Head Instructor, and second-degree BJJ black belt.
Carlos Gracie Sr. > Robson Gracie > Charles Gracie > Olin Coles
Olin Coles is our daytime adult training instructor, and first-degree Gracie BJJ black belt.
Helio Gracie > Francisco Mansur > Claudio França > John Villarruel > Ryan Jennerjohn
Ryan Jennerjohn is our lead instructor, and accomplished BJJ black belt.