Black belt under Carlson Gracie Jr. Alex got his start in Brazilian jiu-jitsu through MMA. He trained MMA from 2009-2012 taking an amateur fight in 2011 and winning by first round submission. After deciding to no longer pursue MMA Alex started competing and training almost exclusively in BJJ at the end of 2011. While still an active competitor on the local and biggest circuits Alex has also been teaching BJJ since 2014. Training directly under Carlson Gracie Jr. Alex received his black belt in December of 2021 after 10 years of training jiu-jitsu. Alex is hoping now to pass on his love and dedication for jiu-jitsu and the Carlson Gracie team to the next generation of students and competitors.


Coach LJ is a seasoned martial artist with a rich history spanning over two decades. Beginning with boxing in 2000, he expanded his arsenal, diving into MMA, Muay Thai, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in 2013 and earning is blue belt in early 2017. As a Pro MMA fighter and dedicated BJJ competitor, LJ boasts notable achievements like clinching the silver at the 2018 Arnold Classic. Beyond his personal endeavors, he’s shared his knowledge with the younger generation, coaching kids since 2016. LJ’s expertise is not just confined to the mats of Carlson Gracie Grand Rapids, having trained under legends like Carlson Gracie black belts, John Jacques Machado, and Dan Inosanto. His dedication to the sport is evident in his international travels, where he’s studied diverse martial arts and learned from experts around the globe.




Coach Hannah, an accomplished martial artist, began her journey with amateur boxing at Eastern Michigan’s club team in 2013, graduating from Eastern in 2017 with a degree in Sports Performance and Fitness Entrepreneurship. Post her commendable 5-4 boxing record, Hannah delved into jiu-jitsu and wrestling at 10th Planet in Livonia, receiving her blue belt in 2018. Her relentless pursuit led her to Final Round Ann Arbor where she honed skills in wrestling, Muay Thai, and jiu-jitsu. Hannah marked her MMA debut in 2019 with a unanimous decision victory. Relocating to Grand Rapids in 2020, she expanded her jiu-jitsu proficiency in the Gi and celebrated her purple belt promotion in 2022. Currently standing at an impressive 4-1 MMA record and boasting an amateur title from Made Men Promotions, Hannah aspires to make her mark as a pro MMA fighter in 2024. In parallel, she’s been imparting her expertise as a personal trainer since 2014, teaching at premier fitness boxing and MMA gyms.


Ramon embarked on his martial arts journey with a foundation in wrestling during his middle and high school years. Inspired by his brother, he embraced the art of jiu-jitsu a year post-graduation, balancing his training with college commitments for four years. Showcasing his skills, Ramon consistently landed in the top 3 at esteemed tournaments like NAGA, New Breed, and FUJI. His dedication and combination of wrestling with jiu-jitsu prowess led him to earn his BJJ Blue Belt in March 2017 and later achieved his Purple Belt in August of 2022. In addition to his martial arts accolades, Ramon is also CPR certified until 2025 which helps us ensure safety and professionalism in our high energy gym. At Carlson Gracie Grand Rapids, Ramon shines as an instructor for the kids and youth classes. He's deeply passionate about imparting the values of discipline, determination, and self-defense to the next generation. As he continually refines his own skills, Ramon is committed to sharing his ever-growing knowledge with both his peers and pupils.




Troy White began training jiu jitsu 12 years ago and is currently a black belt under Carlson Gracie Jr. Prior to discovering jiu jitsu he became a Marine and joined the infantry, eventually attaining the rank of Sergeant. He completed two combat tours to Iraq, once as a fire team leader and once as a squad leader. After returning home he attended college and earned his degree in criminal justice. After graduating from the police academy in 2010 he worked for several departments before eventually settling in Grand Rapids and working for the Kent County Sheriff’s Department. He is currently assigned as a road patrol deputy and is a member of the tactical team. He is also a defensive tactics instructor and is certified as an instructor in the Gracie Survival Tactics program which focuses heavily on grappling for law enforcement situations.


John "Jack" Verville is a dedicated martial artist with a remarkable journey of over a decade in Jiu-Jitsu and a vibrant 15-year career in professional wrestling. Jack's grappling credentials are impressive, boasting gold medals in Grappling Games, Grappling Industries, and NAGA events, and his prowess was recognized with the prestigious black belt under Carlson Gracie Jr. in February 2023. In the world of pro wrestling, he's a decorated champion, having clinched titles across various leagues including MCPW Heavyweight Champion and the Chainsaw Cup Winner, among others. Off the mats, Jack brings the same level of commitment to his personal life as a proud husband and father. His interests extend into skateboarding and video games, balancing the physical intensity of combat sports with the creativity and fun of his hobbies. Professionally, he exhibits excellence as a bank branch manager, demonstrating the discipline and leadership skills that he imparts to his students in Jiu-Jitsu. Having started his Jiu-Jitsu training in January 2007 and wrestling in September 2008, Jack's extensive experience makes him a highly esteemed coach at Carlson Gracie Grand Rapids.