Gracie Barra St PetersGracie Barra St Peters

Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone

Inside the Lions Den – Gracie Barra Australia

If you know a little bit about Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ), you probably know that Gracie Barra is one of the most widely recognized teams in BJJ, who have by far the most affiliate academies throughout the world with over 600 registered black belts, having set the standards for organization in the BJJ fight scene.

But did you know that the same is true in Australia?

We have 12 Premium Schools in NSW with more than 20 registered black belts. Our instructors and students are amongst the best in the country and are constantly competing in the world stage.

To give you an insight on the strength and experience of our team, we decided to put together a brief profile of each head instructor of our Premium schools.



Marcelo Rezende (Gracie Barra HQ Brookvale)


Marcelo Rezende is the Head of Gracie Barra in Oceania and a black belt (2001) under Carlos Gracie Jr.

He began his path to the black belt among the best, studying at the multi world champion Gracie Barra Gym; home to Brazil’s greatest BJJ fighters. Marcelo has also taught grappling techniques to top rugby teams like the Sydney Roosters and ACT Brumbies. Currently he has been training the Manly Sea Eagles Rugby League for 7 years and helped them to win the Premiership 2008 by adapting Jiu Jitsu techniques to the game of rugby.

Marcelo is also the founder and director of the NSW Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation and coach for many champions in Jiu Jitsu, Submission Wrestling and Mixed Martial Arts at International standard. One of his students is the famous fighter Mark Hunt, the K1 Kickboxing Grand Prix Champion who also fought in Mixed Martial Arts with Pride FC in Japan including victories over super stars such as Wanderlei Silva and Mirko Crocop.

 Fabio Bertolli (Gracie Barra St Peters) 


Fabio began his Brazilian jiu-jitsu journey at Ryan Gracie’s academy in São Paulo, Brazil. While training jiu-jitsu, Fabio developed a passion for sports and fitness and acquired a degree in Physical Education at one of the country’s most prestigious educational institutions, the University of São Paulo (USP). Fabio has worked with several Brazilian jiu-jitsu and MMA fighters in Brazil and was the personal trainer of one of the first female Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt.

After a few years training with Ryan Gracie and other renowned Brazilian jiu-jitsu teachers, Fabio decided to move to Australia and teach BJJ.  He then joined Gracie Barra Brookvale and received his black belt from Marcelo Rezende, a student of Carlos Gracie Jr.

 Pedro Dornelles (Gracie Barra Bondi)


Pedro Dornelles is a black Belt under Marcelo Rezende and has been training Brazilian jiu-jitsu for almost 20 years. Pedro grew up in South Brazil where he started his jiu-jitsu career training amongst experienced and well-known instructors in the jiu jitsu community. He came to Australia 13 years ago and works hard to spread the jiu-jitsu life style at the Eastern Suburbs.

 Bruno Alves (Gracie Barra Crows Nest)


Bruno Almeida Alves is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under Zé Radiola from Gracie Barra Pernambuco. Bruno piled up medals in some of the toughest BJJ tournaments in the world at the middleweight division, such as the Mundial (World Championship), the European, the Pan American, amongst many others.

In 2014, Bruno competed in the Abu Dhabi World Championship where he won Gold on his division.

 Marcio Lemos (Gracie Barra Hornsby and Pymble)


Marcio Lemos is a Brazilian Jiu-jitsu practitioner and a black belt under Marcelo Rezende. Marcio migrated to New Zealand in 2004 where he taught Brazilian Jiu-jitsu for two years in Queenstown. In 2006 he moved to Australia and in 2010, together with Pedro Dornelles (GB Bondi) he founded Gracie Barra Hornsby. Marcio is a very skilled grappler and Mixed Martial Artist who is passionate about spreading jiu-jitsu in Australia. Marcio is now in the final steps of opening his second school (Gracie Barra Pymble).

 Julio Guerra  (Gracie Barra West Ryde)


Julio Guerra is a heavy weight black belt under Marcelo Rezende and the Head Instructor at Gracie Barra West Ryde. He is a very experienced instructor who holds a degree in Physical Education and is passionate about teaching the jiu-jitsu lifestyle.

Guerra is trained in Judo and is also a very successful competitor. He won the Abu Dhabi Australian trials in 2013 and earned the opportunity to fight against the world’s best, where he lost to World Champion Keenan Cornelius.

Fred Carvalho (Gracie Barra Caringbah)


Professor Fred Carvalho is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner and the head instructor of Gracie Barra Caringbah. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has been a life-long passion for Fred who has dedicated the past 20 years to this art, training and competing in Brazil. As a competitor he has achieved many titles fighting in both the State and National Brazilian Championships. Fred believes that our body and mind grow stronger with encouragement from great masters. He is an example of this, attributing his confidence, self-esteem and positive attitude to the influence Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has had on his life. During times of great personal tragedy and loss, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu along with his friends have helped him to overcome and triumph through adversity. Fred has great passion for BJJ and with no doubt in his mind claims this martial art is influential for all human beings in the world to live with more joy and inner peace.

 Danillo Coltro (Gracie Barra Central Coast)


Danillo Coltro is a black belt Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner and the Head Instructor at Gracie Barra Central Coast.  Danillo started his jiu-jitsu career back in 1999 when he decided to join the Ryan Gracie Academy in Sao Paulo. Danillo trained with some of the best instructors in Brazil and was awarded his black belt in Australia by Marcelo Rezende. In addition to many titles won in Brazil, Danillo also won 3 NSW state titles and 1 Australian national title.

 Chris Sales (Gracie Barra Blacktown)


Chris Sales is a black belt Brazilian Jiu-jitsu instructor and the owner of Gracie Barra Blacktown. Sales is an active competitor and has won numerous BJJ titles in Australia and overseas.  Coach Chris has guided many State and National Champions and he believes that the success of Gracie Barra and its students is a result from hard work, dedication and guidance passed on from Gracie Barra Leaders to students.

 Gene DeCrewis (Gracie Barra Hunter Valley)


Gene is a Brazilian Jiu-jitsu black belt under Marcelo Rezende and is the Head Coach of Gracie Barra Hunter Valley. Gene began training in the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in 2003 with Gracie Barra Newcastle. At the time he was very unfit and unhappy with his lifestyle choices. Gracie Barra Newcastle and the BJJ training lifestyle changed his life for the greater. It helped him become a better husband, father, friend and mentor. His mission is to teach Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to the people of the Hunter Valley and keep Master Carlos Gracie Jr’s legacy alive by spreading his words about JIU JITSU FOR EVERYONE!

Gustavo Pinto (Gracie Barra Newcastle)


Gustavo Pinto was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil and started training jiu-jitsu in 1993 at master’s Sergio Lisboa academy in Brazil.  Prof. Gustavo arrived in Australia in 2003 and remained undefeated in his weight division for 7 years,  winning 2 pan Pacific’s (2005/2006) and competing in Abu Dhabi for the World Professional Jiu-jitsu cup in 2009/2013 sponsored by the Sheik Mohamed Bin Zayed. He also participated twice at the world championships in 2003/2006 as a Black Belt.  In conjunction with Prof. Marcelo Rezende developed and adapted jiu-jitsu techniques into the rugby game, working with the Manly Sea Eagles team.


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