Learn More About Us

Below you will learn more about our instructors, our locations and our schedules.

About Us

Everyday Is An Opportunity

“To do the right thing at the right time is a great art.”

~Grand Master Helio Gracie~

Kama Jiu-Jitsu is the ONLY Gracie Jiu-Jitsu school in all of Orange County, CA, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Austin TX areas teaching Master Rickson Gracie’s Invisible Jiu-Jitsu to its members.

Kama Jiu-Jitsu’s mission is to share Master Rickson Gracie’s “Invisible Jiu-Jitsu” to all who wish to learn the self-defense system from the traditional Gracie Jiu-Jitsu of the Gracie Family’s “Master of Masters.”

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Learn more about the programs we have to offer

Our Instructors

Below you will find a brief bio of our instructors


Dave Kama has been a student of Jiu Jitsu since the mid 1980s. He was fortunate enough to begin his journey learning in the “Gracie Garage” in Torrance, CA from Grand Master Rorion Gracie, Master Royce Gracie, Master Royler Gracie, Master Carlos Machado, Master Rigan Machado, and of course, Master Rickson Gracie. 

When the Gracie Academy was opened by Rorion Gracie, the original teachers split up. Rorion and Royce ran the Gracie Academy. Rigan and Carlos Machado opened RCJ Machado, Royler returned to Brazil, and Rickson opened his original Pico Blvd studio in West L.A. Dave is one of the very few people to have trained under Master Rickson and have all his belts awarded to him by Rickson, blue belt through black belt. Dave Kama also #2 of the “Dirty Dozen”, a moniker given to the first 12 non-Brazilians to earn the coveted black belt.

Dave received the coveted Black Belt ranking from the “Master of Masters,” Rickson Gracie in 1995. Dave Kama grew to become Master Rickson’s best student (American or Brazilian), dispatching many challengers in place of Rickson himself. Dave also became Rickson’s most trusted understudy and took part in multiple Gracie Challenge matches. Master Rickson also trusts him and his mastery of Master Rickson’s Jiu-Jitsu so much, he still brings Dave along with him on his travels to help with his seminars, which regularly sport attendance numbers greater than 100 attendees.

In 1993, Master Rickson asked Dave to take over as head instructor at the Rickson Gracie Laguna Niguel location. Dave has been running this location ever since. In 2012, upon Master Rickson’s retirement, Dave officially changed the name of the school from Rickson Gracie Laguna Niguel to Kama Jiu-Jitsu, part of the Rickson Gracie Team of Academies.

Current Rank: 6th Degree Black Belt


Professor Fernando Costa was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1963. He has been training as a dedicated student under the Gracie system since 1991. He received his black belt in 2008, and now is a 4th degree black belt under David Kama / Rickson Gracie Jiu Jitsu. He has been teaching and training at the Kama Jiu-Jitsu Laguna Niguel (previously Rickson Gracie Laguna Niguel) for over 22 years.

Excellent Jiu-Jitsu seems to run in Professor Fernando’s blood. He also has two brothers who are black belts. One received his black belt from Rickson Gracie, and the other earned it under Professors Jacare Cavalcanti, Head of Alliance Jiu-Jitsu.

Some of Fernando's Accomplishments:

  • 1998 – Gracie International Championship: 1st place Master Middle Weight division
  • 1998 – Gracie International Championship: 1st place Absolute division
  • 1997 – Pan American Master Champion
  • 1996 – Vice Champion 1996 World Championship


Professor Ryan began his journey under Master Rickson’s older brother, Grand Master Relson Gracie in 1989. Upon moving to California in 1992, he began training at The Gracie Academy in Torrance, where he met Dave Kama.

They immediately became friends due to their common Hawaiian heritage. Ryan made the transition to Master Rickson’s academy shortly after he opened his own academy in West L.A. in 1992.

Unlike Professor Dave and Professor Fernando, Ryan trained at a few academies over the subsequent years. At these other academies (Dirty Dozen member Ken Gabrielson’s Combative Fighting Systems, and Brad Jackson’s Ralph Gracie OC), Ryan met and studied under other prominent black belts such as Rodrigo Gracie, Roger Machado, Mauricio “Tinguinha” Mariano, Renato Migliaccio, and Eduardo Fraga. 

During this time, he spent a significant amount of time learning the competition game until he retired from active competition in 1996. In the mid-2000s, he also studied Judo under Japanese Judo legend Nori Bunasawa (8th Dan Kodokan), until he was sidelined by injury. 

In 2009 he was reunited with and settled in to his ultimate jiu-jitsu home at Professor Dave’s academy where he became an instructor and learned to teach what is called “The Dave Kama Way.” Ryan became “Professor” Ryan in May 2012, when he earned his professor bars on his black belt from Professor Dave Kama.

Prof Dave and Prof Ryan opened KJJ’s first academy outside of California in October 2013, when Kama Jiu-Jitsu Dallas Fort Worth opened its doors in Highland Village, TX. In 2015, Kama Jiu-Jitsu Dallas Fort Worth relocated to its current location in Flower Mound, TX.

Professor Young attained his 3rd degree Black Belt from Master David Kama on July 17, 2021.


Oklahoma born and raised, Prof Zack makes his living as a Division I NCAA Football Sports and Conditioning Coach. Given the stresses as a young college football coach, Zack took up Gracie Jiu-Jitsu as a hobby while coaching at UNC Chapel Hill where he earned his blue belt.

Wanting to be closer to family in Oklahoma, Zack took a promotion to head up the the football as well as the entire university’s Sports and Conditioning Program at UNT in Denton. It was here, that he joined the Kama Jiu-Jitsu team in 2016. Zack quickly fit in and continued his growth as a student. He also offered up his coaching/teaching skills to KJJ and entered our Instructor Training Program (ITP) after mastering our White to Blue Belt Curriculum to begin his teaching journey. In March of 2021, “Instructor” Zack became “Professor” Zack when he earned his Kama Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt - KJJ’s first black belt awarded since 2012!

Professor Zack continues to offer his decades of experience teaching and coaching at the highest levels of sports to current Kama Jiu-Jitsu students both in our group classes as well as in select 1-on-1 sessions.


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