Instructors

Relson Gracie

The second oldest son of Grandmaster Helio Gracie(bio), the man who is credited
as the innovator of what we now know as Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Relson was born into a
legendary fighting family and started training at the tender age of two under Helio,
he was a successful competitior since the age of 10. He began his career as a
competitor at ten years old during the world’s first Gracie Jiu-Jitsu tournament in
Gurilandia CLube, Botafogo. He reigned champion both in his weight class, and
overall for an unprecedented 22 consecutive years. His record and domination of
Gracie Jiu-Jitsu earned him the name “Campeao,” Portuguese for Champion.

Relson, along with his brothers continued to defend and maintain Gracie Jiu-Jitsu’s
superior dominace, in the cage and the dangerous streets of Rio De Janero, and
proved that Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is the most effective style of fighting.

Today Relson’s world-renowned, submission-based style of Jiu-Jitsu is best suited
for self-defense, and is a main staple of professional martial artist’s worldwide.

Phil Cardella

Phil started Martial Arts at age 12 in South Houston where having a humble good nature
and the warrior spirit was first and foremost. He first achieved rank in Tae Kwon Do and
Hapkido under Master Chad Glisson. Master Chad Glisson also exposed Phil and his
brothers to Shodo Kan Karate, Akido, Ryku Kenpo, Dillman theory pressure points,
Small circle Jiu-Jitsu, Hapkido, Thai boxing, Jeet Kun Do, Kali, Judo, and whatever else

he could. Chad Glisson was the first to tell The Cardella brothers about the Gracie
Family and their system of fighting.
Phil started offically training Relson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu at the Aiea assocation of Relson’s
Ran by Sam Mahi, Chris & Mike Onzuka and their assistant instructors. He started
competing while in the Marine Corps and met Master Relson Gracie and has been a
Champion on Master Relson’s competition team since 1997.

He has been lucky enough to train with some of the best fighters in the World & at some
of the best schools on the planet. He is a full time fighter & Martial Artist. The best way
to judge his skill is to look at the achievements of his students in tournaments, they are
beating Black Belt Champions and winning the highest level of competition in the world.
They are also in great shape and able to easily defend themselves. His Bio shows his
current record. He is still a active competitor in order to strive to find and battle test the
most effective, current & usable techniques.

Having represented the family name & heritage in battle, he has fought in the largest
arenas in the nation. With over 13 years in MMA competition Phil has fought in open
weight tournaments in Vegas, the Nationwide Arena, the Honolulu Convention Center,
and more. As a seasoned veteran, Phil, has also coached fighters to victory in the UFC,
StrikeForce, WEC, GFC & more.

John-Michael “Hawk”

While enlisted in the United States Coast Guard John-Michael “Hawk” was introduced
to Relson Gracie jiu jitsu in 1996 when he was stationed in Hawaii.
Since then he has excelled as both a competitor and instructor in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, he
has even been given the honor to teach at Relson Gracie’s main academy.
Relson took John-Michael under his wing and even into his home for many years.

John-Michael was fortunate to befriend and train with some of the best practitioners in
the world both in the United States and in Brazil. Thisincludedseveral members of the

Gracie family.

 

Carlos Varona 

Carlos is a 3rd Degree Black Belt World Champion under Edson Diniz.  He started training Jiu-Jitsu in 2005 in Rota, Spain and with his hard work ethic and determination received his black belt in 6 1/2 years!

You might see him instructing at Combat Athletix, Bulldog Boxing, or at Relson Gracie St.Augustine.  He has extensive tournament experience in GI and NOGI, and has even competed throughout Europe and East coast USA.  He is also a fitness and nutrition personal trainer and is fluent in English, Spanish, and Italian.