Meet the Gracie
Find out about who and what makes us a great team!
If you’re looking to get into the best shape of your life, come join first degree black belt and active UFC fighter, Alex Morono and his team of
Mixed Martial Arts, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu,
Muay Thai Kickboxing and
We have been operating in The Woodlands for 10 years and have changed and impacted many lives. We truly feel that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and our comprehensive martial arts training programs are the best in the business. We strive to provide training in a safe and clean environment that promotes a lifestyle of balance, friendship and commitment to personal growth through martial arts. Our programs have a structure and a purpose to supply you with the foundation and a plan for you to reach your personal goals, obtain a black belt or reach the level of a professional fighter.
While we do have members that focus on competition in BJJ and MMA the majority of our students train for all the great benefits that our programs create such as fitness, weight loss, self defense, new friends and belonging to a respected martial arts team.
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"There is no losing in Jiu-Jitsu. You either win or you learn."
Carlos Gracie, SR.
We are a team.
We are highly respected in the Houston area for our coaches, training style, & our successful MMA and BJJ competition teams.
Safe. Friendly. No Egos.
Great Customer Service
Safety is our number one priority! Our students have jobs, school and families and can’t afford to be injured. Our mission is to make sure everyone can learn and train while protecting themselves and their training partners.
Our goal is to go above and beyond what you would expect from us. We are always looking for new ways to please our students and we really respect your feedback.
We are open 6 days a week and offer over 50 classes in BJJ, Muay Thai, Kids, Cardio Fitness, MMA, Yoga, and Boxing. In addition to our large schedule feel free to train anytime our doors are open.
A typical Gracie Barra student starts with an introductory class, where he or she will learn the overall self-defense strategy of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and afterwards enroll in the Gracie Barra Fundamentals Program.
Gracie Barra Method
After four (4) months of training and learning all the techniques comprising the Fundamental’s curriculum, the student will be recommended to join the Gracie Barra Advanced Program. With eight (8) months of training and experience, the student will have the maturity level and enough knowledge to enroll on the Gracie Barra Black Belt Program.
It is in the Gracie Barra Black Belt Program where he or she will be exposed to all kinds of training dynamics, including MMA, BJJ No-Gi and high level BJJ-Gi, so that the student develops his or her own Jiu-Jitsu game, strategy and technique(s).
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a beautiful art and everyone is capable of learning it and enjoying its many benefits. Gracie Barra Programs reflect more than thirty (30) years of Master Carlos Gracie ‘s teaching experience and have succeeded in improving the life quality, self-esteem, discipline and health of thousands of individuals around the world, as well as building some of the best BJJ fighters ever known.
Gracie Barra programs are composed of
Set of coordinated techniques organized in the best possible way to facilitate students’ learning processes. All Gracie Barra curriculums are 16 weeks.
Pre-requisite: The minimum level a student must possess or have accomplished in order to enroll in a specific program
Minimum attendance required from the student so he or she can progress and be updated with the GB Curriculums.
Specific drills and training practices designed to convert the knowledge represented in the curricula and taught by the instructor into knowledge and skills, insuring that the student is able to apply their knowledge and techniques under real circumstances (or under authentic conditions).
The defined period of time during which the student learns the techniques that comprise the curricula using different training methods or appropriate instructional techniques.
Hierarchical rank structure designed to represent students’ progress, according to their own potential. The International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) ranking system is used for all Gracie Barra Programs.
All Gracie Barra students have the dream of becoming a black belt. However, this is not an easy goal and a lot of consistency and dedication is required. To fulfill the promise of facilitating students’ learning, Gracie Barra Programs are structured logically to keep students motivated to learn, practice and perform.
GB Instructors shall lead by example, kindness and care. The formal authority shall always and ever be supported by their moral authority built upon a positive, cooperative, and constructive attitude towards the students and other instructors.
GB Instructors shall reinforce that students must act with warmth and equally toward one another, regardless of their differences in race, creed, gender, nationality, etc. The belt ranks hierarchy must be respected and the authority of the black belt sincerely recognized.
GB Instructors shall teach a class as a privilege and never take it as a burden. Each class is the realization of a dream, the instructor life’s work. They must enjoy every minute of it and teach like it was going to be their last opportunity to change students lives for better.
GB Instructors shall reinforce that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a life long journey with no ending point. Students must perceive the Black Belt as their minimum goal and that their progress represents an increasing commitment to their growth as BJJ practitioners and human beings.
GB Instructors shall constantly discipline the students and never punish them. They must make students understand that without discipline there is no mastery, neither in jiu-jitsu nor in life, and that without the willingness to sacrifice, excellence is just not possible.
GB Instructors shall understand their importance on student’s lives as role models, as well as their responsibility in bringing out the best each person has within.
GB Instructors shall nurture and reinforce a cooperative environment inside and outside the dojo. They must ensure that the competitive realm is restricted to tournaments as well as the competitor attitude. They must make the students understand that progress is not reflected on their ability to overcome a training partner or a competitive opponent, but rather reflected on their capacity to engage on a cooperative training experience where the winner is whoever learns more.
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Etiquette & Dress Code
The Gracie Barra Method
Professor - Head Instructor
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu/Muay Thai / MMA
Alex Morono is our Head Instructor at Gracie Barra The Woodlands and is a 1st Degree BJJ Black Belt under Professor Alex Gotay. He has been training with over 10 years and is a mixed martial artist with Professional experience in MMA, kickboxing, and submission grappling.
Professor Morono won his UFC debut, with 11 days notice in 2016 against UFC veteran, Kyle Noke by decision. Alex is in the gym everyday teaching techniques and coaching our students who compete. He is always looking to make training at GBTW fun for everyone.
Accolades and Credentials:
Bio coming soon!
Raul Cepeda is a Black belt under Professor Alex Gotay and has been training with Gracie Barra The Woodlands for over 10 years. He was an active BJJ competitor earlier in his BJJ journey, and now focuses on teaching and coaching during the day. His two children train and compete as well. Off the mats, he and his wife own a family business.
Accolades and Credentials:
Bio coming soon!
Muay Thai / MMA
Coach Matt has been a member of the Gracie Barra family for nearly a decade and holds nearly 20 Years in martial arts training. He runs our kids and adults kickboxing program and adults MMA program along with Alex Morono. He has blended his years of traditional martial arts training with the teachings of coaches Daniel Kim and Michael ‘Chase’ Corley to create a unique and effective striking style. He thrives in teaching effectiveness, consistency, and excitement along with catering his style to each individual student.
Matt serves as the striking coach for Alex Morono, Jake Heffernan, Todd Moore, Jared Chaffee, and the entire Woodlands MMA and Kickboxing competition team. He has cornered for Legacy, Fury, Strikeforce, WSOF, Bellator, Shark Fights, and the UFC. He has also cornered and coached for professional/amateur boxing, Kickboxing, Muay Thai, and MMA. Matt is experienced in training youth, fitness, competition, and every day students.
Off the mats, Matt enjoys spending time with his wife Brittany, their son Daniel, and is currently completing his Masters Degree in Communication Studies.
Accolades and Credentials:
Coach Erik Dobson began his BJJ journey in 2009 and is currently a brown belt under Professor Alex Morono. He is an eager student of the sport and coaches with a friendly disposition for anyone who is willing to come in and train. His philosophy is that attention to detail with a keen eye for the big picture is crucial in BJJ, but also pertinent to our lives outside the gym. A full-time practitioner and occasional competitor, Erik plans to utilize the BJJ platform to provide encouragement, promote camaraderie, and pursue a healthy lifestyle. He is willing and happy to help others solve any problems, on or off the mats, and wants to ensure that each individual who walks into the gym feels welcomed and valued.
Off the mats, coach Erik works a full time job and spends time with his wife and two kids. His son and daughter both train BJJ as well.
Bio coming soon!
Coach Joel Heinen is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Brown Belt and experienced competitor. A big believer that anyone under any circumstance can achieve great things beyond their belief if they consistently put forth effort and practice discipline. These traits can be learned. Seeing a positive transformation in health, confidence, and skill in his students & teammates is Joel’s greatest enjoyment in Jiu-Jitsu.
Joel is a husband and father of two boys who works a Corporate job full-time. He enjoys studying and watching Jiu-Jitsu in his free time as well as spending time with family and friends watching MMA. Balancing it all is a challenge he appreciates.
Accolades and Credentials: *Gold/victor
Coach Janice DeLeon has been training BJJ since 2014 and earned her purple belt under Professor Alex Morono in January 2018. She is an active competitor, and when not training with the adults, she is on the mats teaching the kids. She is certified in Functional Fitness Instruction, Strength and Conditioning, and Personal Training. Her son and daughter have been training at GBTW since 2013. Off the GB mats, they like to spend family time at home.
Bio coming soon!