New IAMA Jiu Jitsu Instructor Gary Padilla

IAMA New JJ Macahdo Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Class Instructor
Gary Padilla
Inosanto Academy Of Martial Arts Jean Jacques Machado Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Class Instructor

Gary was born in 1958 at Fort Smith, Arkansas. He’s the eldest of five children. He was raised in Southern California. Had a normal childhood. Worked for 25 years with MTA. Is now retired, which freed him up to fully invest his free time into his favorite past time. Martial Arts, BBJ. His interest in Martial Arts didn’t start until a few stints with boxing, wrestling and karate. But those Arts didn’t seem to stick. Then in 1987 after seeing shoot fighting tapes, from Japan, his interest began to peak. He started to train off and on, with wrestling and boxing. Then in 1997, he walked into the doors of Jean-Jaques Machado’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy and so began his path with BJJ. He’d like to think he was a natural, but he admits that he’d be lying. He fell in love with the Art, even with the great frustrations of learning a new discipline. But it’s always brought great joy and reward training with Jean-Jaque. And he will always be grateful.

Competition and Progression:

Gary began competing as a blue belt, and performed well in Gi and No Gi tournaments. As he reached Purple, he really began to find his “game”. At this point in his BJJ career he opened “Empire Training Center” with his cousins, Joe and Paul Herrera. He got the “okay” from Jean-Jaque to teach basic BJJ. At this point he began a clear and comprehensive study of BJJ. Books, Tapes, Private training and then some. He stayed in the tutelage of Jean-Jaque learning how to teach BJJ. Staying sometimes well after class. Once he received his Brown Belt, Jean-Jaque made his school, Empire Training Center, and official affiliate.

Black Belt, May 2008. He was grateful and humbled to receive his Black Belt from Jean-Jacques.
As a Black Belt instructor, many of his students have won several, and placed in many more tournaments.


  • Black Belt, BJJ.
  • Full Instructor under Jean-Jacques Machado
  • Chief Instructor at Empire Training Center –
  • Chief Instructor at Dan Inosanto Academy
  • Assistant Instructor with Jean-Jacques at many seminars
  • Guest Instructor at many schools in the western US.

Personal Note from Gary:

In closing, I would like to share this with you. Jean-Jacques told me when I started teaching; it was going to be great and good. He spoke of all the good things that would happen at my school. He was very supportive. I though I was just teaching BJJ. But, as he told me in our talks, “Class starts after the training is over”. I have seen people that have come into my school and get off drugs, alcohol, go back to school and get healthy. I’m just now seeing how Jiu-Jitsu is such a gift, to empower people’s lives. I’m grateful for all the people I’ve met and the friends that I have made. God Bless, and See you on the mat!!!!

From friends:

“To Gary, An awesome Black Belt and Great friend, All the best” – Jay Zaballos, BJJ Black Belt.
“Gary, True friend and fantastic Black Belt” – Jean-Jacques Machado