I am sure at this point they get tired of being compared to the Gracies, kind of like being so-and-so’s little brother, so if you didn’t know the other notable family of Jiu Jitsu, they are the Machado’s.
In the Machado family there are five brothers, Carlos Machado, Roger Machado, Rigan Machado, Jean Jacques Machado, and John Machado. They rank (BJJ black belt wise) 8th, 7th, 7th, 6th and 5th respectively. To put this in perspective, Royce Gracie is only 6th degree! This high powered BJJ family learned their skills from the founders themselves (Carlos and Helio) due to the fact that their mother’s sister (their aunt) married Carlos Gracie! Talk about a break. I’ve been trying to get someone in my family to marry into the Gracie family, but so far no takers.
Anyway the whole Machado fighting family moved up to the USA and kind of spread out. It is a natural law that awesomeness attracts, and in 1990, Carlos moved to LA and met Chuck Norris. After the city was rebuilt from the resulting shockwave of awesome, Norris invited Carlos to start teaching out the same building he was filming Walker Texas Ranger in Dallas Texas. Chuck Norris became a loud advocate of BJJ and the Machado family and started training with them. Eventually Carlos gave Chuck Norris the only thing he didn’t have, a BJJ Black bel, which disproved the long held scientific theory that once Chuck Norris achieved everything in life that the world would end.
Also notable among the Machado family students, they have also trained to a black belt level, defacto head of Jeet Kune do Dan Inosanto, and Tenth Planet Jiu Jitsu founder Eddie Bravo. My brother is the owner of one of their hats which he got for free at a grappling tournament in Georgia back in 1996! Which is about as close to training with them as we are likely to get.
So it is true, if you meet a guy who says he’s 3rd degree or higher BJJ black belt or higher, and he isn’t related to the Gracies, chances are, he’s lying.