Robert's Jiu-Jitsu Beginning
In 1996, Robert began training jiu-jitsu at Apollo's karate. Over the next few years, he trained at various places including Calvin Metz's Warrior Way, and Lovato's in Oklahoma City.
Furthering Robert’s Training
With the lack of formal Gracie Brazilian jiu-jitsu instructors in the area, Robert attended multiple seminars across the country to further his knowledge of jiu-jitsu, by training with Carlos & Rigan Machado, Royce Gracie, Rafael Lovato Jr. & Sr., Saulo & Xande Ribeiro, and many more.
Robert & Marty Meet
Both in search of training partners, Marty and Robert connected online through Gracie University's student portal. Shortly after, they began training on a 64 square foot mat in Robert's living room.
Jenks Gracie Garage
Wanting to help others on their jiu-jitsu paths, Robert's garage became the first official location in the area for adults and kids to train Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. For two years, his garage was open morning, afternoon, and evening for anyone to train.
In 2008, the Gracie Academy announced the creation of the Instructor Certification Program (ICP) which, upon graduating, certifies you to teach Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and open your own certified training center (CTC). This being the next step to further their training, Robert & Marty attended and graduated from the July 2011 ICP.
Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Tulsa
After months of planning and preperation, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Tulsa first opened its doors as a Certiifed Training Center on June 2nd, 2012.
Robert's Black Belt
In 2018, Robert was invited by the Gracie's to participate in their first formal Black Belt test at Gracie University in Torrence, CA. This consisted of a grueling 2-day evaluation process which tested everything from their understanding of Gracie philosophy, lifestyle and history to their technical proficiency while standing, on the ground, gi, no-gi, with and without strikes. Following this exam, Robert was awarded his black belt on December 17th, 2018 at the Winter Belt Ceremony.
More Classes, Students, & Instructors
From 2012 to 2019, Gracie Tulsa helped certify seven more students as official instructors and help over 80 students pass the Combatives test, with many continuing on to the Master Cycle program. With class sizes continually growing, making the 1001 square foot mat feel smaller and smaller, Robert began the process of creating the future home for Gracie Tulsa.
7 years to the date of our first opening, Gracie Jiu-jitsu Tulsa opened its doors to our brand new facility, designed to provide the optimal training environment and experience for our students. With over 2400 square feet of training space, large padded bleachers for spectating, and locker rooms, we hope it will be the home for many to continue on their jiu-jitsu path.