6.26.2011

BANGKOK BJJ AFFILIATES WITH THE RALPH GRACIE TEAM


It is with great pleasure that I announce Bangkok BJJ's affiliation with the Ralph Gracie Team under the direction of Prof Eduardo Fraga. With over 16 years experience as a BJJ black-belt, Prof Fraga heads the Ralph Gracie Berkeley Academy and will now lead Ralph Gracie Thailand.

(l t r) Luke Chaya & Prof Eduardo Fraga @ RG Berkeley Academy

My personal history with the Ralph Gracie team starts as early as 2006 when I first started to visit San Francisco to see my then girlfriend, now wife. I got to experience training at the original Valencia academy under Kurt Osiander, the head instructor of the SF academy. Later making friends with Luke Stewart who at the time was a brown-belt and would later host in Bangkok for a BJJ seminar. Since then, I've always made it a point to train with the Ralph Gracie Team and their alumni students during my annual visits to the Bay Area. Members of the team have also made a number of visits to Asia, especially for the Thailand Open. Black-belt Pete Doyle, brown-belt  Ben Weinstein, purple-belts Mike Webber and Michael Grossman have all made it over, volunteered and competed with us.

It's in my recent time here that I've been training exclusively with Prof Fraga and the Berkeley team. The aim of this partnership is to strengthen the BJJ program in Bangkok and help promote BJJ in Thailand through the standards/certification set by Ralph Gracie.

This is just the beginning to more positive things to come for the Thailand scene but as always, political neutrality is key for any community to grow while still maintaining a healthy competitive spirit. I am truly honored to have the trust of Mestre Ralph Gracie and Prof Eduardo Fraga and to be accepted as a part of their team and family. I'd like to also thank Dave Clahan, Pete Doyle, James Valentine, Newton Casemiro and most especially Mike Webber. To all my new friends and teammates, thank you and hope to see you in Bangkok. 

Luke