BJJ History: Chuck Norris Builds the First JJ Machado Academy in the USA

It’s something that Chuck Norris hasn’t ever spoken about openly but it’s well-known that he was awarded his third degree black belt back in 2015 and has trained under Jean-Jacques Machado since the early days of the Machado brothers living in the US.

Just last week, Machado paid a visit to Joe Rogan and opened up on his podcast about his relationship with Norris and how they came to meet. “We used to teach in our garage in Redondo Beach and we opened the door, suddenly looked, it’s like, man that guy looks like Chuck Norris!” At this point, Norris was already a black belt in Judo and Machado explained that he’d even spent some time training with other members of the Gracie family previously.

Machado went on to explain that this wasn’t just a student-teacher relationship but that they were genuinely friends as well: “Long story short he started training for us, when he started training for us we became very good friends. It was amazing like… right away he invited us to his house. Amazing person, we started hanging out!” Joe Rogan, who’s also met Chuck Norris, agreed excitedly that he is genuinely a really nice guy.

But that wasn’t all, Machado went on to say that “One day, after a few months of training with us he invited us to the valley where he used to live in Encino and said “look, I have a surprise for you guys.” Then he took us to a shopping center right up in the boulevard and he shows us one of the units, there’s mats, it’s like a school and he says “this is for you guys, this is your school.”

It turns out that Norris already owned the unit he showed Machado and his brothers, he was happy to offer them the building in order for them to start their club somewhere better equipped than the garage they were currently training in. Not just that, but it also meant that he would no longer have to drive along the I 405 to make training and for someone in the height of his fame on such a busy schedule, that would’ve been far more convenient for him too.

It’s no surprise after hearing this that Norris chose to continue training in BJJ and stayed under the Machado brothers. Machado no doubt owes a small part of his success to Norris’ involvement in the early days and his ability to fund his very first official school.

To find out about Steve Irwin’s BJJ history click here.

Alex Lindsey

Alex Lindsey is the managing editor here at Grappling Insider. Originally starting training in MMA in 2008, injuries and university slowed progress until he decided to put on a gi for the first time back in 2015. Residing in Newport, South Wales, he trains at Newport MMA and competes as much as possible but still prefers no gi. Follow him on twitter: @alexlindsey92

2 thoughts on “BJJ History: Chuck Norris Builds the First JJ Machado Academy in the USA

  • August 12, 2019 at 6:57 pm

    Chuck is a great guy and very genuine person.

  • August 13, 2019 at 10:55 pm

    I am so excited to hear this. Chuck Norris is like family to us. Our son was able to meet him and have his picture taken with him while he was in the army overseas, of course I always wanted to meet him but seeing our son meet him was a dream come true. My son didn’t have a hero when he was young so chuck Norris got him in kaa rate and enlisting when he turned 18. Knowing he is having this school is a blessing to help others and just maybe change things in themselves. Knowing that you all are doing this is truly a blessing.

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