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Meet Matthew Becker of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu La Jolla

Today we’d like to introduce you to Matthew Becker.

Matthew, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I became interested in martial arts at a young age, my grandma had some Judo experience and taught me a few basics including the headlock. I used it successfully on many occasions and my self-image as a martial artist grew from there. I dabbled until 1990 when I took up Korean Karate and did that seriously until 1993 when I became an assistant instructor, and eventually a full-time teacher.

Like many people, I saw UFC 1 in 1992. A seemingly smaller, weaker person defeated all comers in a competition with no rules, to weight classes and no time limits. In 2008 the Gracie Academy out of Torrance CA, started the Gracie Instructor Certification Program. I thought I was going to get certified to teach their white to blue belt program called Gracie Combatives®. The plan was to teach Jiu-jitsu as a small self-defense component of Karate; after the first hour at the Gracie Academy I silently decided to put aside my Karate training, and become a Gracie Jiu-jitsu white belt instructor.

It was only possible because of the proliferation of sport jiu-jitsu. Originally, jiu-jitsu was an effective fighting method. As it grew in popularity it morphed into a more sport driven activity, based on a jiu-jitsu vs. jiu-jitsu mentality where no striking was allowed. It got to the point that virtually no one was teaching basic self-defense based jiu-jitsu; I filled that niche in the market. I am currently a Brown belt under the Gracie Academy in Torrance, CA.

Has it been a smooth road?
Owning a small business, teaching classes seven days a week can sometimes be a struggle. More than anything, I consider myself fortune to teach children and adults and share the art of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Gracie Jiu-Jitsu La Jolla – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
We are home to Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and teach the BullyProof® Program to Children and the Combatives® and Master Cycle® to Adults.


The Gracie’s have divided the 36 Gracie Combatives techniques into 23 one-hour classes so that you can complete the course at your own pace. Designed so each lesson can start at any point in the course. As a result, you can complete the 23 lessons in any order. Upon enrolling, we will issue you a Gracie Combatives® attendance card on which we will track your progress every step of the way.


Once you complete each of the 23 Gracie Combatives lessons twice, you will qualify to participate in the Reflex Development (RD) Classes where you will learn how to combine the 36 techniques to address the most common occurrences in a real fight.


Once you complete each of the Gracie Combatives lessons three times, and you’ve completed at least 12 Reflex Development Classes, you are eligible to test for promotion to Blue Belt! We will administer a 25-minute test to assess your ability to execute the 36 essential techniques individually and in combination. If your performance meets Gracie Academy standards, you will qualify for promotion to blue belt and you will be allowed to attend our advanced Gracie Jiu-Jitsu program, the Master Cycle.

Children learn the world famous Bullyproof® program: The Gracie Bullyproof program prepares your child using a three-pronged approach:

Increased Awareness: Harassment comes in many forms. Sometimes, a victim doesn’t take a stand because they can’t differentiate between “joking” and “bullying.” We teach your child to differentiate between harmless play and harmful harassment so they know precisely when and how to act in each circumstance.

Unshakable Confidence: A confident child is a Bullyproof child. Bullies seek “easy targets” – those who will tolerate their abuse. We arm your child with the tools needed to overcome physical, verbal, and psychological harassment, so they are so confident in themselves that no bully will try to harass them.

Total Responsibility: We prepare your child to deal with bullies without turning them into one. We emphasize discipline, responsibility, and respect throughout the course, and teach five “Rules of Engagement” to ensure they never abuse their power.

Teaching a child jiu-jitsu without teaching them when to use it, is akin to giving someone a gun without teaching them how to use it. Gracie Bullyproof is the only kid’s jiu-jitsu program that actually teaches children precisely when they can, and cannot, use the techniques they are learning. The five “Rules of Engagement” are regularly rehearsed in class so that children will never abuse their power and, equally important, they will not hesitate to take a stand when abused by bullies.

Rule 1: Avoid the fight at all costs.

Rule 2: If physically attacked, defend yourself.

Rule 3: If verbally attacked, follow the Three T-steps (talk, tell, tackle).

Rule 4: Never punch or kick the bully, establish control and negotiate.

Rule 5: When applying submissions use minimal force and negotiate.

Although we discuss the Rules of Engagement in Gracie Bullyproof classes, we strongly encourage you to discuss the Rules at home to assure your child that they have your support in the event that they need to take a stand against bullying.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
The Best – The OCEAN.

The Least – Traffic.


  • Bullyproof® $1,683.00/Annual Membership
  • Gracie Combatives® $1479.00 /Annual Membership
  • Master Cycle® $1683 /Annual Membership

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Gilda Adler Photography:

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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