Rapha began his martial arts career with Judo at just 7 years old, continuing on to Muay Thai as a teenager. Looking to expand his martial arts knowledge, he began training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in 1998 with Master Roberto Tozi, (Godoi/Macaco Team) a Brazil’s top competition team.
In 2004, he moved to Los Angeles as a Purple Belt and continued his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu education under The Machado Brothers John, Rigan & Jean Jacques Machado where Raphael achieved his black belt at the end of 2008 from Master Rigan Machado.
Raphael took his career and experience further in 2012 where he began a professional MMA fight career representing the Nogueira/Black House Team, winning his first fight in less than 2 minutes via TKO.
Raphael brings his long history of marital arts training and multiple years of competition experience in both BJJ and MMA to the Los Angeles community where he owns and teaches at his school in Eagle Rock, CA. He continues to stay active both as a student and Jiu Jitsu competitor, training at Prof. Rubens Charles Maciel AKA Cobrinha Academy and competing under Alliance Los Angeles.
IBJJF / NABJJF parcial results:
Gold Medal 2019 NABJJF World Championship
Bronze Medal 2018 NABJJF world championship
Silver medal 2010 IBJJF World Jiu Jitsu NO GI Championship
Gold medal IBJJF 2006 Panamerican Jiu Jitsu Championship - Purple belt
James is an active practitioner and competitor in both Judo and Jiu Jitsu.
He started BJJ in 2003, training under Professor Roger Machado. In 2005, James started to cross training in Judo under Sensei Mike Verdugo. By 2007, it was all in. James dedicated himself to Judo (the gentle way) and Jiu Jitsu (the gentle art) using the ideals of both arts to govern his life . James is a Brown Belt in Judo and Black belt in Jiu Jitsu.