4th degree BJJ Black Braulio Estima, Multiple BJJ World Champion and current ADCC Champion is the owner of Gracie Barra Birmingham, England. One of the most successful BJJ/ Mixed Martial Arts Academies in the UK and is located in the centre of the city.
Braulio stumbled across BJJ accidently, from the age of 10 he did Judo for 2 years, up until the sad death of his instructor, which hit him hard and his interest in Judo waned. Later on a friend and former training partner from Judo recommended he tried BJJ as it was similar to Judo. He did it to help improve his Judo but ultimately he fell in love with BJJ and his journey began. Braulio’s instructor and loyal, lifetime friend Ze Radiola proved to be the most influential person in his career.
Braulio’s progression to each belt level was incredible. He progressed from a white belt to a blue belt in 10 months, blue to purple in 2 years 4 months and purple to brown in 2 years 8 months,
In December 2002 Braulio came to England as a brown belt to teach BJJ and compete. On 4th January 2004,Carlos Gracie Junior awarded Braulio his Brazilian Jiu-jitsu black belt in Birmingham, England, where Braulio had established roots after meeting Roger Gracie.
Braulio set up home in England, and remains here with his beautiful family, wife and two young sons.
As a young boy growing up in Brazil, Brazillian Jiu-jitsu saved and changed Braulio’s life, it gave him goals. As a young man the sport helped him loose his ultra hard ego and he quickly learnt that BJJ was something that he was very good at. Suddenly his whole life and attitude towards life changed as well as his mentality and health. BJJ made him the man, the champion he is today. Without it he would be lost, it has taught him many things, developed his respect, self discipline, his outlook on life, generally everything. Most importantly it taught him the importance of perseverance and to never lose faith,
As his name and achievements spread worldwide his popularity and fans continue to grow. He is in demand nationally and internationally and constantly receives emails from different countries from men, women and children telling him that he inspired them, that he was their role model. It gives him a great sense of pride and achievement as he built his fame and success from nothing.
Braulio’s life journey hasn’t been a smooth one, often faced with ups and downs but he is never discouraged. 2011 was a rollercoaster year for the great champion. Sadly he lost his best friend Steve Fan to cancer at the early part of the year and the loss affected him terribly. At last minute Braulio decided to compete in the IBJJF European Championships and win gold in honour of his friend, and that is exactly what he did, it was a very humble and emotional occasion. On returning from Lisbon he immediately then underwent surgery on his neck which saw him out of action for a few months. But more determined than ever he bounced back and after vigorous physio, training, strength and conditioning his fitness level was the best it had ever been as he prepared for his ADCC Superfight against Jacre. Ultimately he won and was ADCC Champion 2011. Weeks later following this success Braulio was inducted into Combat Magazine Martial Arts Hall Of Fame Awards 2011 at a ceremony held in the UK and televised worldwide.
From having nothing to becoming the greatest grappler in the world amongst other great things and other great titles is an amazing achievement. A loveable friendly rogue with a big heart, big smile and great courage. A role model to all men, women, young and old.
A Focussed, motivated competitive and ambitious person Braulio remains very much a very humble and down to earth character. He is determined to expand Gracie Barra in Europe but is lifetime objective is to contribute as much as he possibly can to the development of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and make his name in the MMA world.
With the great continued support from his family, wife, brother, in laws, students, instructors and loyal friends who have accompanied him on this great journey, he continues to be thrive successfully.
Rob Staples - Head Instructor
Rob Staples is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu 2nd degree black belt under Braulio Estima.
Rob is the head Brazilian Jiu Jitsu instructor at Gracie Barra Channel Islands and teaches all of the BJJ classes in Jersey, along with the help of some of the higher graded students.
Rob is a very thorough instructor and ensures that all the students learn all the tiny details in the various techniques.
Along with the regular BJJ classes, Rob also teaches private lessons in Gi and or no gi.
Use the contact form in the menu bar if you would like to find out more regarding private lessons.
Matt Norris - Black Belt & Instructor
Matt Norris is a 1st degree black belt under Braulio Estima.
Matt is one of GBCI’s top competitors winning medals in region, National and European competitions in BJJ.
Matt also has a 1-0 semi-pro MMA record.
Matt has been at Gracie Barra Channel Islands for around 10 years and is one of the longer serving students.
Matt helps Rob with the Junior students and will also hold the classes for the adults if Rob is unavailable.
Chris Goldsbrough - Black Belt & Head Instructor at GBCI Guernsey
Chris is a black belt in Sport Jiu Jitsu and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Chris is a black belt under Braulio Estima. He is also the only BJJ black belt in Guernsey, and one of only four black belts in the whole of the Channel Islands.
Chris is the head instructor at Gracie Barra Channel Islands Guernsey and has a well established and always growing accademy.
Chris and several of his students travel regularly to Jersey to train with the other GBCI students.
Paul Gomes - Black Belt & Instructor
Paul is a black belt in two different martial arts. He started training in Taekwondo in 1989, gaining his black belt under Grand Master Hee II Cho in September 2000.
Paul then started training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in 2006. He started teaching the kid’s classes once he reached purple belt before moving onto teaching fundamental classes for adults and is now a Gracie Barra Channel Islands Jersey team coach and Advanced Class instructor.
Paul received his black belt in BJJ from Braulio Estima in July 2016, making him one of only three black belts in Jersey.
Paul’s young 10 year old daughter is now following in her dad’s footsteps and has a blue belt in Taekwondo and is now starting her journey in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Paul (Howster) How
Paul How – Black Belt – Competitor / Instructor.
Since 2009, Paul How (Howster) has proudly flown the Gracie Barra flag and represented GBCI on the national and international stage.
He has come up through the ranks at GBCI from white belt in 2009 to Black Belt in January 2019.
All Paul’s belts have been personally awarded to him by Professor Braulio Estima.
Paul is an active competitor and has achieved the highest levels of success at every stage of his BJJ career in both GI and NoGi.
Paul is police checked, Gracie Barra ICP certified and First aid trained. He has also undergone full adult and child Safeguarding training.
Paul is available for private lessons in BJJ, self defence and competition preparation.
Favourite BJJ Legend:
The big man, Braulio Estima
To represent GBCI and nurture the future talent
Austin (Stig) Dix
Austin (The Stig) is a BJJ Black Belt belt under Braulio Estima.
He has been at Gracie Barra Channel Islands for over 10 years and is among a group of the longer serving students.
Austin has won multiple medals in National competitions in BJJ, Including Gold in the British Open.
With a passion for travel you’ll see him popping up around gyms all around the world.
Monika Markowska - Strength & Conditioning
Monika is the Gracie Barra Channel Islands strength & conditioning coach. She has an amazing martial arts history and is extrmemely dedicated to her sport and helping others.
Monika is the first female Full Contact fighter, ever to win a World Title for Great Britain under WAKO (World Association of Kickboxing Organisations)
She is a 4th Degree black belt in Taekwondo & Head Coach of Jersey Taekwondo Club
Monika started her Taekwondo journey at the age of 12, adding kickboxing (full contact and K1 ) and boxing disciplines in later years
She is a licensed A.B.A English boxer since September 2018
Monika was fighting in Polish National Taekwondo Team from 16-24 years old
She has been representing Great Britain in WAKO kickboxing national team since 2011-present
Since 2011 till present ranked number 1 in GB in full contact -52kg
From 2011 -2017 Monika has ranked in places 1-3 in WAKO kickboxing world record
Monika has now started her bjj journey as of 2018
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Rob Hansen is Brown Belt under Braulio Estima. (New Image to follow)
Rob has a background in Surfing and Skateboarding, growing up in St Ouens.
Rob has competed for the island in surfing and has traveled extensively round the world searching for waves.
Rob now has the same passion for Jiu Jitsu and he is currently teaching and coaching the younger students at the academy.
Sean is a BJJ Purple belt coach under Braulio Estima.
He has an MMA record 2-0
Sean teaches the lunchtimes BJJ Fundamentals classes & assistant coach for the No-Gi classes.