Ralph Gracie black belt Kurt Osiander teaching jiu-jitsu class in Northern California.
The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Pan-Ams. The BJJ World Championships. For years these heavyweight jiu-jitsu tournaments have taken place in Southern California. As the seeds of Brazilian jiu-jitsu were already planted in Los Angeles by Helio Gracie’s sons, Carley Gracie, Cesar Gracie, and Ralph Gracie decided to cultivate their family’s martial art in Northern California.
With such a vibrant and active jiu-jitsu community in Southern California, sometimes Northern California’s contribution to BJJ in the United States is overlooked. Today on our humble BJJ Radio show, we explore the early days in Northern California and the contributions made by NorCal BJJ folks. Not only do early students of “the gentle art” in the California’s Bay Area include names like BJ Penn and Dave Camarillo, but we cannot forget that influential platforms for BJJ online like onthemat.com and BJJ.org (no longer in operation) began in NorCal.
The Mighty 600,000 receive their education on the Northern California jiu-jitsu scene from two Ralph Gracie black belts, Kurt Osiander and Alan “Gumby” Marques, co-owner of onthemat.com.