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instructors

Carlos Gracie Jr.

9th Degree Red and Black Belt

Master Carlos Gracie Jr. is a man ahead of his time. Son of Grand Carlos Gracie Sr., he has used his unique visionary skills to create two of the worlds largest and most important Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Ulpiano Malachias

4th Degree Black Belt

🥇3 x nation American champ ibjjf
🥈2x Panams silver Ibjjf
🥉2 x bronze panamerican Ibjjf
🥉world NoGi Ibjjf /
🥇Asian champ Ibjjf

Vinicius Draculino Magalhaes

6th Degree Black Belt

Professor Vinicius Draculino Magalhaes is the head instructor of Gracie Barra Texas and Gracie Barra – BH Schools (more info about GBBH at jjbh.com) With more then 17 years of teaching experience

Liván López Azcuy

Wrestling Instructor

Laura Kolm

Black Belt bjj

Servando Almaraz

Team Member Since – 2012

Coach Servando’s Mixed Martial Arts interest began at a young age, as he has been wrestling since age 9. For the past 4 years he’s trained wrestling religiously with Brandon Mullins

Matt Schnell

Muay Thai and Striking Coach

Schnell joined Legacy Fighting Championship in 2012 and went 9–2 in various promotions before joining the cast for The Ultimate Fighter season 24.

Arezou Rastegar

Team Member Since – 2011

Arezou Rastegar began training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in July of 2011 as a student under Professor Ulpiano Malachias at Gracie Barra Westchase along with her (at the time) 10 year old son.

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Gracie Barra Westchase
2610 Fondren Rd, Houston, TX 77063

© 2021 All Rights Reserved Gracie Barra Westchase Houston, TX

Ulpiano Malachias is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt under Carlos Gracie Jr. being also one of the key figures in the Gracie Barra franchise as the proprietor of one of the largest branches of the “Red Shield” academy: The Gracie Barra Westchase in Houston – TX, United States of America. As a competitor Ulpiano earned important medals in the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) having represented a number of important coaches along his path in this martial art, including  Erik Wanderlei and  Bruno de Paula. In 2017 Malachias was interviewed by BJJ Heroes, being recognized as one of the most successful businessmen in our sport.

Ulpiano Malachias Jiu-Jitsu

Full Name: Ulpiano Malachias Neto Lineage: Carlos Gracie > Helio Gracie > Carlos Gracie Junior >  Ulpiano Malachias Main Achievements:
  • 1st Place IBJJF Asian Open (2006)
  • 1st Place IBJJF American Nationals (2004/2005/2008)
  • 2nd Place IBJJF Pan Championship (2010 Master 1)
  • 3rd Place IBJJF Pan Championship (2011 Master 1, 2005/2004)
  • 3rd Place IBJJF World Championship No-Gi (2008)
  • 3rd Place IBJJF European Open (2008)
Weight Division: Ultra Heavy/Pesadíssimo Favourite Technique/Position: Footlocks, Open Guard Team/Association: Gracie Barra

Ulpiano Malachias Biography

Ulpiano Malachias was born in Belo Horizonte, Brazil on the 28th of July, 1979. Ulpiano started practicing Judo at the age of 6 and practiced throughout his childhood and teenage years. When he was 17, he decided to join a Jiu-Jitsu class that was being taught by his good friend Erik Wanderlei, it was Wanderlei that got Malachias hooked to BJJ. Malachias was tutored by Erik Wanderlei for a few years and was graduated both as a blue and purple belt by his friend. In 2001 Malachias was invited to go and teach at a gym in Helsinki, Finland, for a year, an opportunity Ulpiano grabbed with both hands. After this, he returned to Brazil but to a different city, Vitoria (State of Espirito Santo) where he trained under Alliance’s Bruno de Paula, from whom Ulpiano received his brown belt. Ulpiano also spent some time in the United States, his master Carlos Gracie jr was not in the US at the time, so Malachias sought some training with Royce Gracie, coincidently Royce was looking for good sparring partners and took a shine on the talented youngster from Belo Horizonte. He spent the next three years training regularly with the Gracie legend and even accompanied Royce on his trips to Japan to fight. On 2006 Ulpiano received his black belt from the hands of master Carlinhos Gracie, he was helping with the classes at the Gracie Barra academy in Lake Forest and was going to compete within a week at the Asian Open as a brown belt, but his master and Marcio Feitosa surprised him with the responsibility of representing the team as a black belt, Malachias didn’t buckle and brought the gold home with him. After spending some time helping settle the Gracie Barra Head Quarters in the US, Ulpiano Malachias opened his own franchise of the team in Santa Ana (California) with the support of Draculino Magalhaes. He would later open another academy in Westchase. When interviewed for this BJJ Heroes page, Ulpiano thanked his wife and daughter for the support.
Vinicius Magalhaes, commonly known by his nickname Draculino, is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu instructor responsible for raising the games of grapplers such as Romulo Barral, Samuel BragaMarcelo Azevedo, Brandon Mullins among many others, making his BJJ program one of the most successful in the sport. “Draculino” first started teaching his ‘system’ at his school in Belo Horizonte (Minas Gerais, Brazil) which was the first Gracie Barra affiliate outside of Rio de Janeiro. He later moved to the United States, settling in Houston – Texas.

Vinicius Draculino Jiu Jitsu

Full Name: Vinicius Bittencourt Almeida Magalhães. Nickname: Draculino was a joke name given by Vinicius math teacher when he was still a child. It stands for “Little Dracula” due to Vinicius sombre look as a child. Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie Sr. > Carlos Gracie Junior >Vinicius Magalhães “Draculino” Main Achievements:
  • Pan American Champion (Black Belt Division 1995, 1996, 1998)
  • Brazilian National Champion (Black Belt Division 1996)
  • World Silver Medallist (Black Belt Division 1996, 1998)
Weight Division: Pluma (Super Featherweight) 64Kg-141Lbs Association/Team: Gracia-Barra

Draculino Magalhaes Biography

Vinicius Magalhaes was born in Rio de Janeiro on the 30th of July 1971. He started his martial arts career when he was 7 years old through Judo, a sport he perused until he reached his orange belt status. Draculino’s contact with Jiu Jitsu came later in his life (around 1984/85), Vinicius enjoyed surfing around the Quebra-Mar spot in Barra da Tijuca (Rio de Janeiro) where many of his surfing buddies also trained BJJ. One day he decided to take a few classes to try it out and not long after that he was hooked to on to Jiu Jitsu as well. His first teacher was Totila Jordan (commonly known in the Jiu Jitsu circuit by his nickname, ‘Pitoco’), one of Renzo Gracie‘s best friends who would later form the Infight Academy. Draculino stayed with Master Pitoco for 11 months, after which he switched to the Gracie Jiu Jitsu Club (later called Gracie Barra) because of his good friend and neighbour Ralph Gracie. The club’s classes were run by Jean Jacques Machado who was still a purple belt at the time. Vinicius trained at the Gracie Jiu Jitsu club every chance he had, earning his purple belt from Jean Jacques Machado (who was by then a brown belt). Shortly after receiving his purple belt, the head coach,Carlos Gracie Junior took over the academy, calling it Gracie-Barra, this was when Draculino started taking classes from ‘Carlinhos’ Gracie. His following gradings were awarded by the Gracie, including his black belt in 1995. In 1996 Vinicius moved to Belo Horizonte in the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil where he opened the first Gracie Barra academy outside of Rio de Janeiro. Vinicius also has a degree in Law, and worked as a lawyer for a short period, but soon understood that working as a lawyer was not what he wanted to pursue and started dedicating himself fully to Jiu Jitsu. Showing the warrior spirit inside him, Vinicius ventured in the world of MMA in 2003, even though he had been inactive as a competitor for a few years. He defeated Kleber Gaudino in a first round submission by arm triangle. He fought again in 2005, this time finding a much tougher challenge in Brazilian Top Team’s strong man Fabio Mello and was defeated by TKO. After he laid the base for his academy in Belo-Horizonte, he moved to the US to launch another Gracie-Barra base camp in Texas. Today Draculino has awarded over 100 black belts throughout his academies and is one of the best coaches in the business. Draculino vs Fernando Yamasaki (Pan Americans 1995)
Pedro Marinho is one of the main representatives of the Gracie-Barra Academy in jiu-jitsu’s professional circuit, who worked extensively with coaches Ulpiano Malachias, Felipe Pena (Preguiça), and Reinaldo Fernandes. Marinho first made waves in the sport as a purple belt, a time when he beat several top-ranked black belts while competing and winning professional no-gi events such as Elite Grappling and Jitz King. Pedro Marinho Jiu-Jitsu Full Name: Pedro Fillipe Serra Marinho Nickname: N/A Lineage: Carlos Gracie > Helio Gracie > Carlos Gracie Junior >  Ulpiano Malachias > Pedro Marinho Main Achievements (IBJJF / AJP):
  • Who’s #1 Champion – 205 lbs (2022)
  • 1st Place IBJJF World Championship NOGI (2021**)
  • 1st Place IBJJF American Nationals (2021)
  • 2nd Place IBJJF Pan Championship (2021)
  • 3rd Place IBJJF Pan Championship (2022)
Main Achievements (Pro-Circuit):
  • 1st Place Jitz King Tournament (2020)
  • 1st Place Elite Grappling 3 (2019)
  • 3rd Place 3CG Kumite I GP (2020)
  • 3rd Place 3CG Kumite III GP (2020)
Main Achievements (Colored Belts):
  • 1st Place IBJJF World Championship NOGI (2018 purple, 2019 brown)
  • 1st Place IBJJF Pan Championship NOGI (2019* brown)
  • 1st Place CBJJ Brazilian Nationals (2018 purple)
  • 1st place CBJJ Brazilian Nationals NOGI (2015 blue, 2017**/2018** purple)
  • 2nd Place IBJJF Pan Championship NOGI (2019 brown)
  • 3rd Place IBJJF World Championship NOGI (2017/2018* purple)
* Absolute ** Weight and Absolute Favorite Position/Technique: Guillotine Weight Division: Meio Pesado (88,45 kg / 195.0 lbs) Team/Association: Gracie Barra Pedro Marinho Biography Pedro Marinho was born on October 09, 1996, in Angra dos Reis, a famous municipality located in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. An extremely active child while growing up, Marinho went through an array of sports while growing up. From more traditional activities such as soccer, skating, and surfing, to martial arts and combat sports. A fascination for mixed martial arts (MMA) led Pedro to martial arts, with his first combat-sport experience being capoeira, a relationship that started when the Buzios native was only 7 years old. From capoeira, Pedro went on to practice Thai boxing and Western boxing during his teenage years, finding jiu-jitsu shortly after his 17th birthday. Master Reinaldo Fernandes of the Brazilian Top Team (BTT) started Marinho on his jiu-jitsu path, guiding the talented prospect for nearly 4 years. In 2017 Pedro heard of a new project set by Felipe Pena named FP Golden Team. The idea behind FPGT was to select a few of the most talented emerging athletes in Brazil and give them a full scholarship at Pena’s training center in Belo Horizonte (BH), Minas Gerais, Brazil. The FP Golden Team selection process followed a series of steps, including a 2-day internship in BH where Marinho had to face other scholarship candidates. In the end, out of over 1000 applicants, Pedro stood out and joined the program with the full support of Master Fernandes. Felipe Pena and the FP Team were also linked with the Gracie Barra team franchise, and it was through this GB network that Pedro Marinho met Ulpiano Malachias, one of the “Red Shield” team’s top instructors. Ulpiano appreciated Marinho’s work and invited him to come and train at his gym in Houston, Texas, USA. Seeking more exposure for his booming career, Marinho joined Ulpiano in November 2018, later earning his brown belt from both Pena and Malachias. On March 13, 2021, Pedro Marinho was promoted to black belt by coach Ulpiano Malachias. PedroMarinhoGuillotine.jpg NOTE REGARDING PEDRO MARINHO’S RECORD Traditionally BJJ Heroes has only accounted for black belt records as they signify an athlete’s entry into our sport’s elite ranks, the professional division. Pedro, however, is a special case in our sport as he’s been competing in the pro-grappling circuit since his purple-belt days, beating some of the sport’s top-ranked athletes. This left BJJ Heroes with a delicate predicament of defining when to start accounting for the young prodigy’s match records, as these wins should be noted for the importance they had on Marinho’s career. To capture Marinho’s full progress in our sport, we have decided to include his matches in the pro circuit, prior to his black belt. Readers should keep in mind he was still a brown and purple belt throughout his 2019 and 2020 campaigns. Marinho’s last match as a brown belt in the pro-circuit was a win over Matheus Luna, at Fight 2 Win (F2W) 163, in April 2021. PEDRO MARINHO GRAPPLING RECORD 49 WINS
  • BY POINTS 15 (31%)
  • BY ADVANTAGES 1 (2%)
  • BY SUBMISSION 26 (53%)
  • BY DECISION 7 (14%)
  • BY PENALTIES 0 (0%)
  • BY DQ 0 (0%)
26 SUBMISSIONS WINS 26 (100%)SUBMISSIONS
  • 12 (46%) GUILLOTINE
  • 5 (19%) RNC
  • 3 (12%) KNEEBAR
  • 2 (8%) INSIDE HEEL HOOK
  • 1 (4%) OUTSIDE HEEL HOOK
  • 1 (4%) BOTINHA
  • 1 (4%) CHOKE FROM BACK
  • 1 (4%) SHORT CHOKE
21 LOSSES
  • BY POINTS 7 (33%)
  • BY ADVANTAGES 1 (5%)
  • BY SUBMISSION 9 (43%)
  • BY DECISION 3 (14%)
  • BY PENALTIES 0 (0%)
  • BY EBI/OT 1 (5%)
9 SUBMISSIONS LOSSES 9 (100%) SUBMISSIONS
  • 2 (22%) ARMLOCK
  • 2 (22%) ARMBAR
  • 1 (11%) OUTSIDE HEEL HOOK
  • 1 (11%) BOTINHA
  • 1 (11%) KATAGATAME
  • 1 (11%) RNC
  • 1 (11%) ARM IN RNC

Meet Our Wrestling Instructor:

Liván López Azcuy

We are excited to introduce our highly skilled and accomplished wrestling instructor, Liván López Azcuy. With a remarkable career in the sport, Liván brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our training program.

Born and raised in Cuba, Liván is a male freestyle wrestler who specializes in the 66 kg category. His remarkable achievements include a gold medal at the Pan American Games in 2011 and a bronze medal at the 2011 World Wrestling Championships. The following year, Liván brought home another bronze medal from the prestigious 2012 Summer Olympics.

Liván’s dedication to his craft and commitment to excellence are evident in his coaching style. As an instructor, he focuses on providing comprehensive and individualized training to each student, ensuring their growth and development in the sport.

Whether you’re a beginner looking to learn the fundamentals or an experienced wrestler aiming to enhance your skills, Liván is here to guide you every step of the way. His knowledge of various techniques, strategies, and training methods will undoubtedly help you reach your full potential in wrestling.

Liván not only excels in the technical aspects of wrestling but also emphasizes the importance of mental resilience and self-discipline. Through his mentorship, he instills a strong work ethic and fosters a supportive and motivating environment for all our students.

Join us in learning from one of the best in the wrestling community. Liván López Azcuy is ready to share his expertise and guide you toward success on the mat. Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to train with a true champion!

Contact us now to sign up for classes or to schedule a personal training session with Liván. Start your wrestling journey today and experience the transformative power of this incredible sport under the guidance of an Olympic medalist.

Certainly! Here’s a bio for NJHIC coach Laura Kolm:

Laura Kolm is a highly accomplished Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner and instructor, currently holding the rank of Purple Belt. With an impressive competition record, Laura has secured the title of 2-time World Champion, 2-time European Champion, and 2-time Pan American Champion. Her dedication and expertise in the sport have made her a respected figure in the BJJ community.

Currently, Laura serves as a dedicated instructor at Gracie Barra River Oaks and Gracie Barra Westchase, where she shares her knowledge and passion for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with her students. Known for her technical proficiency and competitive spirit, Laura is committed to helping her students develop their skills and achieve their full potential in the sport.

Off the mats, Laura is known for her humility and dedication to her craft, embodying the values of respect, perseverance, and sportsmanship. With her wealth of experience and success in the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Laura Kolm continues to inspire and mentor the next generation of grapplers.