Jean Jacques Machado was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and suffered birth defects resulting from amniotic band syndrome, which left him with only the thumb and the little finger on his left hand.

Despite this congenital problem, which directly affects the skill of gripping, he began his Jiu-Jitsu training over thirty years ago and dominated the competitive arena of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in his native country, capturing every major title and competition award from 1982 through 1992.

Jean Jacques is related to the Gracie family through his mother, who is the sister of Lair (Carlos Gracie Junior’s mother). The Machado’s are not Gracie’s by blood, but they are first degree cousins of a Gracie.

Regarded as one of Carlos Gracie Junior’s top students in the 1980’s, a status cemented with his wins over several important grapplers of his generation.  In 1992, Machado arrived in the United States to continue his competitive success.

The Machado brothers started training with their cousin, Carlinhos Gracie  while Carlos was an assistant coach at Rolls Gracie‘s academy (an academy shared with Carlson Gracie), they would accompany their cousin when he moved to Barra da Tijuca to form Gracie Barra, where Jean Jacques became the main coach (though supervised by Carlos), coaching many men who would later become legends themselves, men such as: Helio ‘Soneca’”, ‘Soca‘, ‘Gordo‘ and many others.

In America Jean Jacques and his brothers created a new trend by giving instruction to the “Gringos” (Americans). In Brazil showing foreigners Gracie jiu jitsu techniques was still seen as a Taboo and something that was frowned upon.

On June 6, 2011 in a private ceremony held at the Rickson Gracie Academy in West Los Angeles, Machado was promoted to a 7th degree red-and-black belt.

This prestigious promotion is in recognition of Machado’s 25 years as a black belt instructor, competitor and champion.

Aside from being one of the best BJJ coaches in the world and a legend of the ADCC organization, Jean Jaques Machado and his brothers were also part of over 20 episodes of Chuck Norris’s Walker Texas Ranger and had their own film called ‘Bad Boys from Brazil’.