INSTRUCTORS

Instructors at Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Martial Art Shool in Upland, San Bernardino County

Gracie Barra has many Instructors that teach classes and others that take key roles that are essential to the success of our organization. To insure our students understand the titles, we have listed the hierarchy and responsibilities associated with them. Click here to find out more.

Ana Laura Cordeiro

Black Belt 2nd Degree

As one of the worlds top ranked female jiu-jitsu athletes, Ana has an illustrious list of accomplishments within the sport. Not only does she have a World Championship at ever belt level, she is a 3-time Black Belt World Champion, 3-time Pan-Am Black Belt champion, and an ADCC World Champion. Although she’s been training since she was 16 years old, she still enjoys training everyday she can. As a teacher she enjoys seeing how jiu-jitsu has improved the lives of so many of her students. Outside of jiu-jitsu she enjoys spending time with her family and trying out new recipes in the kitchen. She will continue to represent her school in competitions to come.

Rafael Novais

Black Belt 2nd Degree

Professor Rafael Novais' passion for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu emerged early on in his life. At the age of 17, he began training at Gracie Barra Brasilia under the guidance of Professor Eliezer Dutra, a 4th degree black belt. His initial interests were in self defense and fitness, but he quickly developed the desire to compete. Professor Rafael dreamed of opening his own school and so he moved to the U.S. in 2008 from Unai, Minas Gerais, Brazil. While leaving his family was the hardest decision of his life, their support encouraged him to pursue his dreams. Just two years later, in 2010, Professor Rafael's dream of owning his own school became a reality and he, along with his wife Ana Laura, opened GB Upland. In 2011 he earned his black belt under Master Carlos Gracie Jr. Professor Rafael has gone on to win..... Professor Rafael is dedicated to teaching his students BJJ techniques and philosophies. He strives to nurture their love of the sport and to make it a way of life. He particularly enjoys teaching the children's classes. Watching them develop into confident, disciplined individuals is what he says BJJ is all about.

Fred Ayala

Coach
Training in jiu-jitsu now since 2010, his favorite aspect of the sport is how it can translate into life. As a family man, Fred’s time outside of jiu-jitsu revolves around spending time with his loved ones.

Kevin O'Donnell

Coach
Kevin has been practicing jiu-jitsu since 2011. He is currently an active competitor winning a spots on the podium on multiple occasions. Although jiu-jitsu never really gets boring for Kevin, he enjoys other hobbies such as mountain biking, weight lifting, and traveling.

Nicholas Steslicki

Coach

Age: 11 Nicholas started jiu-jitsu at 9 years old. He loves coaching the kid’s class as he sees a lot of himself in the kids he helps. He enjoys teaching them new techniques and helping them grow at Gracie Barra Upland. He also has aspirations to become a world champion and even owning his own Gracie Barra School one day.

Jake Gomez

Coach
Age: 11
Jiu-jitsu has been a part of Jake’s life since he was 4 years old and trains every chance he gets. Jiu-jitsu has taught him the value of hard work, respect, and the meaning of dedication. He has lots of fun making new friends in the sport and one day hopes to earn a red belt with an academy of his own.

Brent Bunch

Age: 16
Two years ago when Brent started jiu-jitsu at age 14 Brent was the victim of bullying. Now training 6 days a week, bulling is no longer a problem, and is more confident than ever. He has dreams of owning his own jiu-jitsu school one day.

Jason Dowser

Age: 15
Jason started training jiu-jitsu a little after his 11th birthday. Like most students he started by training 1-3 times a week. That quickly grew to 8 or more training sessions a week. Until he started coaching, Jason never considered a future in jiu-jitsu. Now he’s excited to face future challenges and to see how far he can go with jiu-jitsu.