Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a martial art focusing largely on grappling and ground fighting. It utilizes natural body leverage and proper technique to obtain dominant control on the ground and, as a result, provides a greater position for striking or submission holds.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has been proven, when used properly, to be an effective method for dealing with bigger and stronger opponents and has become increasingly popular due in part to its great success in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. It can be trained for self-defense, competition grappling (gi and no-gi) and mixed martial arts competition and has found its way into the training regiment of nearly every successful martial artist worldwide.

Translated as “gentle art” Brazilian Jiu Jitsu focuses on using strength and technique in the most efficient way possible to control and overcome opponents of greater size, strength, and aggression.

KMAA's BJJ Lineage: A Non-Gracie BJJ School

At KMAA, our Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu program stands distinct in the vast landscape of martial arts schools, proudly tracing its lineage through a unique path that diverges from the conventional Gracie family line. Unlike the majority of BJJ academies, our heritage is rooted in one of the esteemed non-Gracie BJJ lineages, offering our students a rare and rich perspective on the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This lineage not only reflects our commitment to preserving and celebrating the diversity within BJJ but also underscores our dedication to providing a comprehensive understanding of its techniques, philosophies, and history. As you embark on your journey with us, you're not just learning a martial art; you're becoming part of a legacy that honors the depth and breadth of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu's global impact.

Jigoro Kano

Jigoro Kano (1860-1938) is revered as the founder of Judo, a martial art that became the genesis for many modern grappling arts, including Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Born in Japan, Kano was a man of small stature who faced bullying in his youth, which led him to the study of jujutsu. In the book “Judo Memoirs of Jigoro Kano” by Brian N. Watson, Kano's memoirs describe training in two specific Ju Jutsu styles: Tenjin Shinyo Ryu under Hachinosuke Fukuda and Masatomo Iso and Kito Ryu under Tsunetoshi Iikubo. Of these two styles, Kano remarked:
“the Kito style was very different from the Tenjin Shinyo style jujutsu to which I had by then become well-accustomed. In Tenjin Shinyo, there are a range of strangulation techniques and groundwork hold-downs. On the other hand, the Kito style, rather than hold-downs, comprises a wide range of effective throwing techniques. There are a number of sacrifice throws together with several foot and several hip throws I had never seen before.”
Dissatisfied with the jujutsu schools of his time, he developed his own system, emphasizing efficiency, safety, and the principle of "maximum efficiency, minimum effort." Kano's Judo was not only a martial art but also a philosophy, promoting personal development, respect, and mutual welfare. In 1882, he established the Kodokan Judo Institute in Tokyo, laying the groundwork for Judo's global spread. Kano's innovations and his role in making Judo an Olympic sport have left a lasting impact on martial arts worldwide.

Mitsuyo Maeda

Mitsuyo Maeda (1878-1941), also known as "Count Koma," played a pivotal role in the international spread of Judo and the development of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. A direct student of Jigoro Kano, Maeda was among the first to demonstrate Judo outside Japan, traveling across the Americas, Europe, and Cuba. His arrival in Brazil in 1914 marked the beginning of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Maeda's teachings were adapted and evolved, blending with local fighting techniques. Carlos Gracie, one of Maeda's students, along with his family, would further develop these techniques into what is now known as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, emphasizing ground fighting and submission holds. While Carlos Gracie’s BJJ has become instrumental in shaping modern Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as the world knows it, KMAA’s lineage stands outside the Gracie lineage that almost all BJJ schools trace their roots to.

Luiz França

Luiz França Filho was a pivotal figure in the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu landscape, a direct link in the lineage outside the more famous Gracie family. A student of Mitsuyo Maeda, França's contributions to BJJ were instrumental in fostering the art's development through an alternative lineage. He taught and promoted Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, focusing on its practical aspects and accessibility. His legacy is carried on by his students, who continued to refine and spread BJJ across Brazil and beyond, ensuring the diversity and richness of the art's evolution.

Oswaldo Fadda

Oswaldo Fadda (1921-2005) is a notable figure in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu history, renowned for promoting the art among the poorer communities in Brazil and for his contributions to the development of non-Gracie BJJ lineages. A student of Luiz França, Fadda's teachings emphasized the importance of footlocks and opened the door to the widespread acceptance of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu across all social classes. In 1951, his students triumphed over the Gracie Academy in a highly publicized challenge match, proving the effectiveness of Fadda's techniques and promoting the idea that BJJ was for everyone, not just the elite.

Sebastião Ricardo

Sebastião Ricardo is a less well-known figure in the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) community compared to other luminaries on your list. Due to the nature of BJJ's oral and practical transmission, many practitioners who played significant roles in its development and spread are not as widely recognized in historical accounts or popular media. However, individuals like Sebastião Ricardo have contributed to the rich tapestry of BJJ through their dedication to teaching, competing, and furthering the martial art within their communities and networks. As a practitioner and instructor, his contributions to the art have been significant, though details about his life and career are less widely known compared to other luminaries in BJJ history. Ricardo represents an important link in the transmission of BJJ knowledge and techniques, embodying the spirit of resilience and adaptability that characterizes Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Wendell Alexander

Wendell Alexander, a co-founder of Nova União (New Union) along with André Pederneiras, is one of the most influential figures in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. His academy has produced some of the finest competitors and champions in the sport's history. Alexander's teaching philosophy emphasizes technique, discipline, and the mental aspects of competition, contributing to the development of a distinctive style that has been successful both in sport BJJ and in mixed martial arts. His leadership in Nova União has not only propelled the team to international prominence but also fostered a sense of community and mutual growth among its members.

Rafaello Oliveira

Rafaello Oliveira, an accomplished MMA athlete and a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitor, is a significant figure in the lineage of the Knoxville Martial Arts Academy. Known for his technical prowess and dedication, Oliveira has competed at the highest levels of mixed martial arts, including stints in the UFC. As Professor Eric Turner's BJJ coach, Oliveira has imparted his deep knowledge of BJJ, blending the rigors of competitive fighting with the art's traditional values.

Eric Turner

Eric Turner is the MMA coach and head Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor at the Knoxville Martial Arts Academy (KMAA). With a profound understanding of martial arts, Prof. Turner has developed a comprehensive training program that emphasizes skill, strategy, and personal growth. Under his guidance, KMAA has become a nurturing ground for both competitive fighters and individuals seeking self-improvement through martial arts. Over his 25 years as the head coach of KMAA he has produced multiple UFC fighters and a staggering number of athletes who have competed for this biggest MMA shows in the world such as Bellator, Invicta FC, PFL, etc. His approach to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, as it is with all combat arts, is one of making aggressive, calculated attacks and counter attacking techniques instead of defending positions.


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Participating in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu learn how to set goals, the knowledge necessary, and to do the work needed to achieve them. BJJ is a structured program with belts and patches acknowledging personal achievement.

Belts display both effort, time, and experience in training. Each belt has tested requirements (skills/knowledge/experience) in order to be promoted to the next belt level. You become aware of the requirements and are encouraged to set goals, and work toward their achievement.


Training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu improves the confidence of people that will carry over into all venues of their lives. Through a series of challenges learn how to approach new situations and successfully navigate them. Challenges are progressive, and graduated, becoming more challenging at each step of the program. This format produces a foundation of self-trust and a willingness to approach challenges. The success which develops produces the confidence needed to achieve more challenging goals in the future as well.


Participating in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu will improve the overall fitness level of people who attend class regularly. People engage in a series of conditioning, stretching and strengthening exercises as part of their regular training. The program is designed to be progressive so each student progresses at their own speed. Consistent training produces better muscle tone, strength, and flexibility. Benefits derived from training include a lower percentage of body fat, increased energy, and enthusiasm for physical activity.


People develop enhanced self-esteem as an outcome of consistent training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The success that one experience as part of their training builds a self-respect that translates into self-esteem. They learn to trust, respect, and like themselves for who they are. The self-esteem they develop is strong and durable because it is based on achievement. Enhanced self-esteem will impact positively on how they relate to others, authority, and themselves. One of the most consistent improvement for somebody training in BJJ is the development of positive self-esteem.


Brazilian Jiu Jitsu contains a progressive series of movements that improves the coordination of participants. Training in BJJ requires learning grappling techniques and putting them together in a string of movement. This combination develops both specific and sequential improvement in the coordination of the body. Through repetition, people practice single movements as well as combination’s, subsequently enhancing coordination through the development of mental pathways and muscle memory.


Although most students of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu do it for the sport, most learn valuable self-defense skills as well. People training in BJJ not only learn how to defend themselves in various situations but develop the confidence that helps them to avoid many of the bully traps. People trained in the grappling arts learn how to avoid, evade, and escape from many physical confrontations so common. Self-defense is only one of the many benefits of BJJ, but it is a valuable benefit none the less.



MMAX BJJ is KMAA’s unique brand of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fundamentals. In this class we take you from white belt to blue belt without throwing you into the deep waters of having to wrestle / roll with a lot of higher belts. This class is the perfect class for someone who is looking to get started training, but not interested in being a “grappling dummy” for the more advanced students.




Coach Eric is a first degree blackbelt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Professor Rafaello Oliveira.
He is also a 2nd Degree Blackbelt in Judo (USJA)

Dr. David Ogle


Dr. Ogle (EdD in Education) is a blackbelt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Prof. Turner.

Dr. TIM Jackson


Dr. Jackson (PhD in Nuclear Engineering) is a blackbelt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Prof. Turner.

James Adcock


Coach James is a blackbelt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Prof. Turner.

DRE Miley


Coach Dre is a is a blackbelt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Prof. Turner.
He is also the assistant wrestling coach for Bearden High School.

Jason King


Coach Jason is a blackbelt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Prof. Turner.