Crossroads BJJ is proud to be continuing the Machado Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Lineage.
Carlos Gracie Sr.
Carlos Gracie Sr.Carlos Gracie’s Father happened to be friends with Mitsuyo Maeda through business, so Carlos began learning the gentle art. According to Renzo Gracie’s Book “Master Jiujitsu” Maeda not only taught Carlos the gentle art of Judo but also his particular philosophy’s on the nature of combat based on his extensive travels and challenge matches against catch-wrestlers, boxers, and various other martial arts styles. Count Koma’s philosophy on combat was a driving force on Carlos’s approach to combat. For the frail Carlos Gracie the “gentle art” became not just a system of fighting but a way of life. Carlos’s family moved to Rio de Janeiro when he was 19 and it was there he began teaching his brothers the lessons he had learned from Mitsuyo Maeda.
It was in Rio where Carlos opened his first school “Academia Gracie de Jiu-Jitsu” In the tradition of Count Koma, Carlos would accept challenge matches in order to prove the superiority of Jiu-jitsu. Both he and his brothers began to gain a recognition and prestige by fighting and defeating opponents 50-60 pounds larger. Carlos and brothers worked diligently to evolve the ground fighting techniques taught to Carlos. By adapting the techniques through experimentation in street fights and challenge matches eventually the Gracie Brothers changed and adapted the techniques to the point that they changed the international Jiu-jitsu principles. The techniques and positional strategy created by the Gracie Brothers became so distinct to the Gracie Family that an international sport was created and practiced worldwide.
Carlos Gracie Jr.
Although he was the son of Gracie jiu jitsu founder Carlos Gracie (senior), he was partially raised by his uncle Helio Gracie as well as trained under Helio’s supervision from when he was a toddler in the family’s martial art style. From an early age “Carlinhos” started following much of his older brother Rolls‘s views on jiu jitsu and cross training, often venturing with Rolls, to sambo and wrestling competitions.
In 1992, with the help of José Leao Teixeira, and Jean Jacques Machado, Carlinhos Gracie forms the “Associação de Jiu Jitsu da Barra”, a federation that would grow fast organizing a series of successful competitions, set on the Veiga de Almeida campus in Barra da Tijuca. The success of this small association combined with the fact that different jiu jitsu academies were starting to open all around Rio de Janeiro would set the ground for the creation of the Confederação Brasileira de Jiu Jitsu (CBJJ) which later resulted in the IBJJF.
Several Generations of the Gracie family learned Jiu-jitsu at the Academia Gracie de Jiu-Jitsu and other schools taught by different members of the Gracie Family. One of these students was the nephew of Carlos Gracie, Carlos Machado. Carlos Machado was taught by several members of the Gracie Jiu-jitsu family including the family champions Rolls and Carlson Gracie, as well as by son of the founder of Gracie Jiu-jitsu Carlos Gracie jr whom he received his black belt from. Carlos Machado is the eldest of the five Machado Brothers, Roger, Rigan, Jean Jaques and John. Carlos began learning BJJ at 4 years old and throughout his career was able to win several major tournaments as well as become one of the best instructors in the world.
In the early 1990’s Carlos gave up a career in law to travel to the US in order to teach jiu-jitsu alongside his brothers. Over the past 20 years Carlos has worked to grow the RCJ Machado network of schools. One of Carlos Machado’s first American black belts is Tim Burrill, receiving his Black Belt in 2002. Prior to discovering BJJ, Tim earned a black belt from Sifu Rick Fowler in Kenpo Karate and experimented with many different styles of Martial Arts – Kali, Tai Chi, Shotokan, and Wrestling. Tim Burrill has gone on to spread BJJ throughout the state of RI and Massachusetts spreading his unique style and philosophy of jiu-jitsu. Tim has also been BJJ coach to UFC fighters such as Tom Lawlor and Jorge Rivera. Tim’s philosophy, as is the Machado Brothers, is not to prove or impose our system on other styles of martial arts, but to share what we have with open minds.
In September of 2010 Dustin Rhodes opened Crossroads Brazilian Jiu-jitsu as a Brown Belt with the goal of continuing the Tim Burrill Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu approach and methodology in Connecticut. In April 2012 Dustin was promoted to Black Belt by Tim along with long time training Partners Jimmy Conners and Jorge Rivera. Crossroads continues to help people experience the highest level of Jiu-jitsu both mentally and physically, while creating students who have a deep understanding of the Martial art and are able to apply their technique under both the pressure of a tournament situation or if they were ever to need it, in a Self Defense situation. Dustin feels that everybody has the ability to become an amazing Martial Artist using the tools Brazilian Jiu-jitsu provides and teaches every class with a “hold no information back” approach, always striving to help everybody in the training room get the most out of every class.