The Premier Brazilian Jiu Jitsu School in Encinitas, CA

Gracie Barra Encinitas (GBE) offers world-class level Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instruction for adults and children.  And our students represent virtually every industry and profession you including school faculty, law enforcement, medical staff, active/inactive military, finance, law, service industry, and more.  We strive to exemplify the highest ideals for fitness, character development, self-defense, martial arts and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training for the communities of Encinitas, Rancho Santa Fe, Solana Beach, Cardiff and La Costa.

GBE classes are aligned with the Gracie Barra Program Structure developed by Master Carlos Gracie Jr. to meet specific learning needs for people of varying ages, gender and levels. Our clean, friendly, safe, and progress-oriented environment allows students to have a challenging, inspiring, and friendly learning experience that is ingratiating and welcoming.

Our History of BJJ Instruction

GBE was founded in 2005 by Master Nelson Monteiro, a 6th Degree Black Belt and Prof. Rafael Ramos, a 4th Degree Black Belt.  Both Nelson and Rafael earned their Black Belts under Master Carlos Gracie Jr. GBE was the first ever Jiu Jitsu School in San Diego. Our founders have extensive tournament experience including over 40 championship tournament wins between them, including World Masters Championships. Their imprint on the Jiu Jitsu community is well recognized and significant, including establishment of the most prestigious Jiu Jitsu Tournament in the world today, ADCC, Abu Dhabi Combat Club.  Today, we are proud to be the largest provider of Self Defense and core-value education in Encinitas and the greater San Diego area.

BJJ for All

Gracie Barra is for all people who strive to improve discipline, wellness, respect, and a well-balanced life-style. We serve all members of our community, from beginners to advanced participants. People with no training experience who want to lose weight and learn self-defense; busy executives and professionals that are looking for a stress relieving activity; parents that are searching to provide their children with the gift of self-confidence, self-defense and self-respect; as well as experienced martial artists that aim to further enhance their martial arts skills. Everyone is welcome.

We welcome visitors and we are confident that you will find our school an exciting, challenging, and encouraging place to help you reach your individual learning and fitness goals.

Jiu Jitsu for Everyone!

We want to do for others, what Jiu Jitsu has done for us.



Organized like a team, fighting like a family!

Nelson Monteiro

Professor Nelson Monteiro was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, the birthplace of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He started training when he was 13 years old under the direct tutelage of Master Carlos Gracie Jr. at the world-renowned Gracie Barra Academy. With unrivalled dedication, Professor Monteiro trained diligently until he was awarded the black belt in 1989; and in the same year, he received a bachelorʼs degree in physical education from Gama Filho University.

Rafael Ramos

Professor Rafael started training at the age of 13 , under legendary Master Carlos Gracie Jr. at the original Gracie Barra School in Rio de Janeiro , Brazil. Under Master Carlos tutelage Rafaelʼs extensive knowledge of the “gentle art” was formed at the same mats of the best BJJ instructors and fighters ever known. As a competitor Rafael won and placed in the biggest events, including  multiple Brazilian Nationals, Rio de Janeiro State Championship, Brazilian Team, Pan American.

Matt Smith

 Professor Matt Smith has headed GB Encinitas’ Children’s Program and taught the Adult Fundamentals Programs since 2007. A lifelong martial artist, Professor Matt has taught children and adults for over 25 years.

Dave Dayan

 Following 25 years in a corporate environment, Professor Dave was looking to transition his time to a rewarding community cause. It was during his 8 years of training Jiu Jitsu under Master Nelson and Professors Rafa, that he began volunteering and sharing his experience with the school he now considered family.

Jiu Jitsu for Everyone!

We want to do for others, what Jiu Jitsu has done for us.