Bob Bass is a 5th degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu earning his rank under Master Rigan Machado who earned his rank under Carlos Gracie Jr. Bob is the first American to receive his black belt under the legendary Machado Brothers. He is the first American to win the 1st ever Pan American Championships in 1995 beating Brazil’s previously undefeated Márcio Feitosa, making him a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu World Champion. At that time the Mundials did not yet exist. Bob was a lightweight at the time weighing 159lbs.

Here is the Gold Medal Bob Bass received for winning 1st Place in the first ever Pan American Championships in 1995.

First Pan-American Jiu-jitsu championship First Place Gold Medal awarded to Bob Bass in 1995

The very First Pan-American Jiu-Jitsu Championship took place in 1995 in Irvine, CA. This 1st Place Gold Medal shown above was awarded to Bob Bass for his win over Marcio Feitosa (previously undefeated Black Belt from Brazil.) Bob was a Brown Belt at the time and was awarded his Black Belt from Rigan Machado right after for his notable win!

Bob Bass is currently the owner and head instructor of South Bay Jiu Jitsu in Hermosa Beach, California.  South Bay Jiu Jitsu originally opened in Manhattan Beach in 1996 and it was the first non-Brazilian owned Jiu Jitsu school to open in America. His school later moved to Hermosa Beach in 2001 where it currently resides on Pacific Coast Highway.

Instructors at South Bay Jiu Jitsu include notable black belts and members of the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu “Dirty Dozen” – Bob Bass and Rick Williams. Other notable instructors include UFC fighter  Sean “The Destroyer” Loeffler and World Professional Jiu Jitsu Cup medalist (Abu Dhabi) / World No Gi Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Champion / Pan American Jiu Jitsu Champion / UFC Fighter Gabriel Vella. 4th Degree Black Belt Casey Olsen is also known to come in and teach a few new techniques every month.

Bob Bass continues to teach Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and No Gi grappling 5 days a week. Some notable people he’s trained in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu/Submission wrestling include BJ Penn, Chuck Norris, Dan Inosanto, Eddie Bravo, Erik Paulson, and Sean “The Destroyer” Loeffler, who just recently signed with UFC.

Sr. Mitsuyo “Count Koma” Maeda → Carlos Gracie Sr.Carlos “Carlinhos” Gracie Jr. →  Master Rigan Machado and the Machado Brothers → Bob Bass


Click here to read the GracieMag article about the forgotten Pan Ams of 1995 and 1996 translated from Portuguese to English.


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