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Kurt Osiander

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Kurt Osiander is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt, a grade he achieved training under Ralph Gracie‘s tutelage. Osiander is one of the cult heroes in BJJ’s community,  having been an active competitor since the mid 1990’s. Kurt Osiander’s straight forward personality and witty comments expressed in his video blog (Kurt Osiander’s Move of the Week) have given us well recognized phrases such as “shut up and train” and “you f****d up a long time ago”, which turned the Ralph Gracie Academy head instructor into one of the most beloved personalities in the sport especially within the YouTube generation.

Kurt Osiander Jiu Jitsu

Full Name: Kurt Johann Osiander

Nickname: The Rhino, nicknamed at the gym for his pressure game and aggressive attitude when sparring/Fighting.

Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie Sr. > Helio Gracie > Carlos Gracie Junior > Kurt Osiander

Main Achievements:

  • Pan American Champion (2003 absolute & 2005 Master, 2009 Senior 1, 2011 weight & absolute, 2012 & 2013 Senior 3)
  • Pan American Silver Medallist (2009 absolute Master)
  • Pan American Bronze Medallist (2006 Master)

Favourite Technique/Position: Guard Passing

Weight Division: Peso Pesado (94kg/207lbs)

Team/Association: Ralph Gracie/Gracie Elite

Kurt Osiander Biography

Kurt Osiander was born in 1966, growing up in the San Francisco Bay area where he met and befriended one of the Gracie family members, Cesar Gracie. After high school Cesar joined the Marines and shortly after he finished his Marines training the Gracie spoke to Kurt Osiander about how he would be returning to Brazil to learn his family’s trade, Jiu Jitsu, this was the first time Kurt heard of BJJ.

Cesar Gracie Went to Brazil and returned to the United States in the early 1990’s, initially staying in with his cousins at the Gracie Academy in Torrence and later moving to the San Francisco area, in around 1992, the time when he rejoined his old buddy Kurt Osiander. Cesar spoke of Gracie Jiu Jitsu and how he was opening a gym in the area to teach grappling. Kurt was intrigued about the martial art and asked Cesar to perform a technique on him, the Mata Leão was the chosen technique and Osiander was so amazed by how powerful the position was that he decided to give these Gracie Jiu Jitsu classes a try.

Around the same time as Kurt Osiander joined the Gracie Jiu Jitsu academy, Ralph Gracie moved to the United States to team up with his cousin Cesar and become the head coach at the academy, Kurt started learning under “The Pitbull” and remained faithful to his Gracie coach from their on, basing his style of Grappling on the Gracie champion, Ralph Gracie.

Kurt Osiander started competing as a white belt and remained a competitor throughout his career, even when well passed his 30’s. Osiander’s drive to improve his Jiu Jitsu skills led him from a standard BJJ student, doing thee classes a week, to a full on Brazilian Jiu Jitsu addict, learning every day of the week, several times per day. The hard work led to the coveted black belt in 2003, Kurt was 37 years of age.

Being one of Ralph Gracie’s most dedicated and most loyal students, he was offered a position as a coach at Ralph Gracie’s Academy, a position Kurt Osiander embraced with honour and dedication. From the academy, Osiander has been involved with improving the grappling games of several BJJ champions. Kurt Osiander also picked up a short but successful career in MMA in the mid 2000’s.

Osiander’s notoriety came from his role as a respected instructor of the Ralph Gracie Academy as well as from a YouTube series named: Kurt Osiander’s Move of the Week, where Kurt’s attention to detail and no “BS” approach captured the interest of thousands of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fans.

Kurt Osiander’s Move of the Week: Half Guard Pass

Kurt Osiander’s Move of the Week: Knee Slide Pass

Kurt Osiander’s Move of the Week: Escapde from Side Control (You F—d up a Long Time Ago)

John Danaher BJJ Escapes


  • mandla says:

    I love my Jitz – thanks for the videos.

  • Jason says:

    Great article. One thing I want to mention is regarding his nickname. When Kurt and Ralph Gracie appeared on Budo Video's weekly youtube show, Budo Jake asked him where he got his nickname. He said he got it when he went down to Brazil in 1997 to train at the main Gracie Barra school. Apparently he had some deformity that resembled horns (underneath his hair) at the time, and one of the main guys down there gave him the nickname. He didn't seem like he was serious and joking around when he said it, so it could be true.

  • David Tice says:

    I have his instructionals and they are very good.

    Funny interesting guy. Uses colorful language.

    Excuse his French.

  • Petros Kostianis says:

    Kurt is the man! Learned a lot from his videos m.

  • Jose says:

    Met him at the 2015 U.S.Open in Santa Cruz. My son (6 years old) loves his videos he laughs at the "French" that slips me (I preview the videos).
    So, my son saw him at the U.S.Open and goes up to him and says "Mr. Osiander" he turns around and tells my son in his raspy voice, "Mr. Osiander??? Mr. Osiander is my dad! Then starts talking with my son and joking with him.
    For the rest of the tournament, when my son would see him, my son would go up to him and every time Kurt would happily saw "what's up" and give him a high five. He then told him to meet him after his (Kurt's) fight at the top of the bleachers and he gave my son a Kurt Osiander patch, which my son put up on his door. Super cool person!

  • Shawn says:

    You are one of the best fucking structure and professor BJJ…oss bro so much love . I love ur videos. I would love to come and meet you in person and learn more.oss

  • David Wisniewski says:

    Met Kurt at a seminar I was a little leary but ended up very pleased with his personal attention to each person. Nice guy learned a lot and wanted to have sushi with us.

  • Mike S says:

    I trained with Kurt in the late 90’s early 2000s in SF on Valencia street from the first day the academy opened. He was always a great instructor and big brother figure to many of us in the gym. That gym was tough as nails. We competed every chance we got and loved it. I have many fond and wild memories of that place. Miss the guys from that era. You know who you are. The blue bet I got from Kurt as one of his first, is the martial arts rank I’m most proud of. Kurt was a pivotal figure in my life, and I’m sure for lots of the guys from the early Valencia St era. Now I’m in my 50s and ready to get my kids into the art but it’s hard to find a school that measures up to what we had back in the day.


    Really enjoyed reading about Kurt Osiander’s journey to becoming a BJJ world champion. His humility and dedication to the sport are truly inspiring.

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