Our Instructors

Each certified instructor is an extension of the Gracie Family and a representative of Gracie University. Certified instructors have all been law enforcement background checked. All Instructors must personify discipline, integrity, and honor. They must be healthy in mind and body, and, most importantly, they must have a passion for empowering others. WARNING: Not all Jiu-Jitsu is the same. If you are looking for authentic Gracie Jiu-Jitsu you have come to the right place. Professor Tony Debelak has learned to perform the techniques of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu against uncooperative, fully resisting opponents and proven it multiple times.
Tony Debelak
Professor, GJJ Black Belt – Head Instructor Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Aurora
Professor Tony Debelak
Professor Tony Debelak is a black belt and head instructor at GJJA

Prof. Tony’s Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Story

Tony began his journey in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu in November 1993 after watching Royce Gracie in UFC 1 defeat all opponents in various fighting disciplines using only Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Witnessing the results, Tony began training with his dad and fellow wrestlers in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. When he was not in wrestling season during high school and college, he was learning Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.

After college he entered the US Army. Tony was eager to learn Army Combatives since it was derived from Gracie Jiu-Jitsu with a collaboration of the Gracie Academy and the US Army Rangers. As an enlisted Infantryman Tony learned Army Combatives and later showed his newly acquired skills while at Officer Candidate School during unit competition. After becoming a Commissioned Officer 2003, he continued pursuing the knowledge and became a US Army Combatives Instructor while stationed at FT Benning, GA. During his time in the US Army he pursued competing in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).

During his time coming up through the ranks Tony had the opportunity to train directly with members of the Gracie family such as Rorion, Royce, Ralek and Rylan Gracie. After his military career he continued his study of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and took many trips to the Gracie Academy Headquarters in Torrance, California and eventually became a certified Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Instructor. Tony is now a Black Belt in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu under Master Ryron Gracie, and Master Rener Gracie, the grandsons of the Grandmaster and creator of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu – Helio Gracie.

He received his Black Belt December 2018. Tony completed the Gracie Academy Instructor Certification Program (ICP) 2014, Gracie Women Empowered ICP 2015, Gracie Survival Tactics (GST) Level I 2015 for military and law enforcement, GST Level II 2017 for military and law enforcement, Women Empowered Pink Belt, BBS 1 – 4 Qualified.

Tony holds a Bachelor of Science from Adams State University (class of 2001) and a Master of Science from American Military University (class of 2010). Additionally, Tony earned a Black Belt in ITF Tae Kwon Do in 2011.

He is first and foremost dedicated to teaching GJJ as a complete self-defense system. Tony has competed in many sport BJJ tournaments under many organizations and has competed professionally under Metamoris and Fight 2 Win Pro. Here are some of Tony’s highest sport accomplishments in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Lineage:

Helio Gracie : Rorion Gracie : Ryron and Rener Gracie : Tony Debelak

Sport Achievements:

2019 SJJIF World Championship NOGI Black Belt Super Heavy Bronze Medalist

2018 Gracie Worlds Submission Only NOGI Silver Medalist

2018 NAGA Denver NOGI Silver Medalist

2017 IBJJF World Championship NOGI Silver Medalist

2017 Grappling Industries Denver NOGI Silver Medalist

2017 Grappling Industries Denver GI Silver Medalist

2016 SJJIF World Championship NOGI Gold Medalist

2016 SJJIF World Championship GI Gold Medalist

2016 Fight 2 Win Colorado State Championship NOGI Bronze Medalist

2015 Fight 2 Win Colorado State Championship NOGI Gold Medalist

2015 Fight 2 Win Colorado State Championship GI Bronze Medalist

2014 IBJJF World Championship NOGI Bronze Medalist

2014 Fight 2 Win Colorado State Championship NOGI Silver Medalist

2014 Fight 2 Win Colorado State Championship GI Silver Medalist

2013 Fight 2 Win Colorado State Championship NOGI Bronze Medalist

2012 IBJJF World Championship NOGI Bronze Medalist

2012 United Grappling Federation NM State Championship GI Gold Medalist

2012 United Grappling Federation NM State Championship NOGI Gold Medalist

2012 United Grappling Federation NM State Championship NOGI Absolute Silver Medalist

2011 Fight 2 Win Colorado State Championship NOGI Bronze Medalist

Photos of Prof. Tony Debelak:

Ben Rhoton
GJJ Purple Belt (PBS2) – Assistant Head Instructor Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Aurora
Coach Ben Rhoton
Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Instructor, Ben Rhoton, is a purple belt
Coach Ben’s Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Story

Born and raised in Aurora, Colorado, Ben first witnessed Gracie Jiu-Jitsu through its applications in Mixed Martial Arts fighting at the age of 12. After seeing its effectiveness, he soon began training in the art and excelled. He trained for three years consistently and achieved all the belts in the kids’ system. It was also during this time that he achieved multiple state championships as a competitor.

After achieving his final kids’ belt, the academy he was training at closed. However, this provided the impetus for Ben to pursue his goals in the sport of wrestling. As a high school 5A division wrestler, Ben worked with NCAA Division 1 wrestlers, had All-American teammates, and competed against national champions. During this time, he qualified for the Colorado State Championship twice in addition to placing at the State Championship as a Senior. Shortly after graduating high school, Ben felt the need to begin training Gracie Jiu-Jitsu once again. He soon found the amazing instruction at Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Aurora and has been a constant presence on its mats ever since.

Given his experience he was able to quickly achieve his blue belt and now continues to progress through the curriculum. He has also been an avid competitor since his return and has earned many medals from organizations such as IBJJF, NAGA, Fight 2 Win, Grappling Industries, and Submission Challenge. Ben also continued his journey as an instructor when he completed the Gracie Academy Instructor Certification Program (ICP) in January of 2019. With regards to teaching, Ben is first and foremost dedicated to teaching Gracie Jiu-Jitsu as a complete self-defense system. Outside of Jiu-Jitsu, Ben enjoys fitness, nutrition, and living a healthy life style. He is also currently a student at the University of Colorado Denver. In addition to everything above, Ben has earned a great number of achievements competing in the sport of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Ben is a Purple Belt in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu under Professor Tony Debelak, Master Ryron Gracie, and Master Rener Gracie, the grandsons of the Grandmaster and creator of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu – Helio Gracie. Ben completed the Gracie Academy Instructor Certification Program (ICP) 2019, Women Empowered Pink Belt, BBS 1 – 4 Qualified.

Lineage:

Helio Gracie : Rorion Gracie : Ryron and Rener Gracie : Tony Debelak : Ben Rhoton

Sport Achievements:

2020 Fight 2 Win Pro 137 Winner by Decision over Dale Bonnell

2019 IBJJF PAN NOGI Championship NYC Silver Medalist

2019 Grappling Industries July Denver NOGI 145lb Advanced Gold Medalist

2019 Grappling Industries July Denver Purple Belt GI 155lb Silver Medalist

2019 Fight 2 Win Colorado State Championship Purple Belt GI Gold Medalist

2019 Fight 2 Win Colorado State Championship NOGI Advanced Bronze Medalist

2019 Fight 2 Win Tournament of Champions 22 NOGI Advanced Gold Medalist

2019 Fight 2 Win Tournament of Champions 22 GI Adult Blue Belt Gold Medalist

2018 Gracie Worlds Submission Only NOGI Gold Medalist

2018 Fight 2 Win National GI Gold Medalist

2018 Fight 2 Win National NOGI Gold Medalist

2018 IBJJF Denver Open GI Gold Medalist

2017 Grappling Industries Denver NOGI Gold Medalist

2016 Fight 2 Win Nationals NOGI Silver Medalist

2015 Fight 2 Win Colorado State Championship Gold Medalist

2014 Fight 2 Win Colorado Open Gold Medalist

2013 Fight 2 Win Colorado State Championship Gi Gold Medalist

2013 Fight 2 Win Colorado State Championship NOGI Gold Medalist

2012 NAGA Denver GI Gold Medalist

Photos of Coach Ben Rhoton:

Ethan Debelak
GJJ Purple Belt – Assistant Kids Instructor Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Aurora
Coach Ethan Debelak
Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Coach Ethan Debelak
Coach Ethan’s Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Story
Ethan has been doing Gracie Jiu-Jitsu since he was born. He excelled through the children’s program learning the Gracie games in the Gracie Bully Proof program and the Junior Combatives program. By the time Ethan turned 14 he achieved his Green Belt and passed the Adult Gracie Combatives test. He has been working his way through all the Gracie University stripe courses as they have been released with his father, Head Instructor Tony Debelak.

He enjoys teaching, coaching and training Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and has made it a way of life. Ethan is first and foremost dedicated to teaching GJJ as a complete self-defense system. Ethan has competed in many sport BJJ tournaments under many organizations.

Ethan is a Blue Belt in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu under Professor Tony Debelak, Master Ryron Gracie, and Master Rener Gracie, the grandsons of the Grandmaster and creator of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu – Helio Gracie. Women Empowered Pink Belt, BBS 1 – 4 Qualified.

Lineage:

Helio Gracie : Rorion Gracie : Ryron and Rener Gracie : Tony Debelak : Ethan Debelak

Sport Achievements:

2019 SJJIF World Championship NOGI Blue Belt Juvenile Medium Bronze Medalist

2019 Fight 2 Win Tournament of Champions 22 GI Teen Green Belt Gold Medalist

2018 Fight 2 Win Colorado State Championship NOGI Silver Medalist Men’s Blue Belt 18-30 years old at 15 years old

2018 Fight 2 Win Colorado State Championship GI Silver Medalist Men’s Blue Belt 18-30 years old at 15 years old

2016 SJJIF World Championship GI Silver Medalist

2016 SJJIF World Championship NOGI Bronze Medalist

2016 Fight 2 Win Colorado State Championship NOGI Gold Medalist

2015 Fight 2 Win Colorado State Championship NOGI Gold Medalist

2012 United Grappling Federation NM State Championship NOGI Gold Medalist

2012 United Grappling Federation NM State Championship GI Gold Medalist

Photos of Coach Ethan:

Francis Hauris
GJJ Blue Belt (BBS3) – Assistant Instructor Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Aurora
Coach Francis Hauris
Gracie Jiu-jitsu instructor Francis Hauris
Coach Francis’s Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Story
gracie jiu jitsu aurora instructors

Francis has been training Gracie Jiu-Jitsu under Tony Debelak at GJJ Aurora. Francis also holds a Black Belt in Japanese Jiu-Jitsu and in Taekwondo. Francis enjoys teaching, coaching and training Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and has made it a way of life by dedicating himself to life-long self-improvement in all areas of life. Francis is first and foremost dedicated to teaching GJJ as a complete self-defense system.

Francis has been training Gracie Jiu-Jitsu under Tony Debelak at GJJ Aurora. Francis also holds a Black Belt in Japanese Jiu-Jitsu and in Taekwondo. Francis enjoys teaching, coaching and training Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and has made it a way of life by dedicating himself to life-long self-improvement in all areas of life. Francis is first and foremost dedicated to teaching GJJ as a complete self-defense system.

Lineage:

Helio Gracie : Rorion Gracie : Ryron and Rener Gracie : Tony Debelak : Francis Hauris

Photos of Coach Francis:

Cora Howell
GJJ Blue Belt (BBS4) – Assistant Instructor Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Aurora
Coach Cora Howell
Coach Cora’s Gracie Jiu Jitsu Story

Cora became interested in the women’s self-defense program and empowering other women through Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Though she has two years of experience in karate, she wanted to be able to defend herself from someone that is larger and stronger. Cora is focused on self-defense first and empowering others. Cora earned her GJJ Blue Belt in November 2018.

She enjoys teaching, coaching and and training Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and has made it her way of life. Cora is first and foremost dedicated to teaching GJJ as a complete self-defense system. Additionally, is a student at Colorado Early Colleges and is a member of the National Honors Society.

Lineage:

Helio Gracie : Rorion Gracie : Ryron and Rener Gracie : Tony Debelak : Cora Howell

Photos of Coach Cora:

Tanya Debelak
GJJ Blue Belt (BBS3) – Assistant Instructor Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Aurora
Coach Tanya Debelak
Coach Tanya’s Gracie Jiu Jitsu Story

Tanya is our Women Empowered Coach. She completed the Gracie Academy Women Empowered Instructor Certification Program (ICP) in 2017. She works alongside Professor Tony to Empower Ladies and has helped multiple ladies achieve their Pink Belt in this program. Although Women Empowered is her specialty, she has continued to progress in her Jiu-Jitsu journey and is now a Blue Belt. She has also worked closely with our Bully Proof kids and manages all of the Administrative Operations for Gracie Jiu Jitsu Colorado.

Tanya also holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Texas A&M University (class of 2007) and a Certificate of Business Management from Pueblo Community College (class of 2003). She is Blue Belt Stripe 2, and BBS1 Qualified.

Lineage:

Helio Gracie : Rorion Gracie : Ryron and Rener Gracie : Tony Debelak : Tanya Debelak


Nate Amado
GJJ Blue Belt (BBS3) – Assistant Instructor Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Aurora
Coach Nate Amado
Coach Nate's Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Story

In addition to being a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Purple Belt and certified Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Instructor, Coach Nate also enjoys being a MovNat Master Trainer, a Primal Health Coach, a MeatRx Animal-Based Nutrition Coach, and a Scout of The Human Path. In his practice he integrates what he’s learned from years of studying and practicing Art Du Déplacement/Parkour, the Wim Hof Method, Nutritious Movement, Invisible & Hidden Jiu-Jitsu, Wrestling, Muy Thai, Boxing, MMA, Capoeira, Qi Gong, Tai Chi, and meditation.


linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram