Ronn started training and competing directly under Relson Gracie in the mid 90's when his childhood friend Marcus Otsuji invited him to his first class held at the University of Hawaii.
In 1998, as a second degree Blue Belt, Ronn moved to Utah to attend BYU. Believing his Jiu-Jitsu training was over, Marcus again made another important invitation to enter an in-house tournament at the Pedro Sauer Salt Lake City Academy. After winning his matches, Ronn resumed his Jiu-Jitsu training and spent two full years learning directly under Rickson Gracie’s Black Belt, Pedro Sauer.
While competing and teaching on the Mainland for two years, Ronn was awarded his Purple Belt from Master Sauer. Out of respect for Relson, when Ronn graduated and moved back to Oahu, he immediately asked Relson if getting his Purple Belt from Pedro was okay and Relson approved the promotion one hundred percent.
Today, Ronn's Jiu-Jitsu and teachings strive to emulate Relson’s aggressive, tight approach combined with Pedro’s (Rickson’s) fluid and movement-based style. A combination of approaches that compliment each other for a complete game.
When Ronn was a second degree Purple Belt, he sat down with Relson in his office to seek his blessing in opening an association school in Kaneohe. Without hesitation, Relson gave his full blessing and Ronn soon thereafter opened a full-time school in 2002 under the Relson flag. While attending graduate school and building a Jiu-Jitsu presence in Kaneohe, Ronn continued his apprenticeship by taking classes at the Association Headquarters also referred to as the "Main Academy" which was a block from his apartment in Honolulu.
It was during this time that he had the rare opportunity to continue to learn straight from Relson himself and train with top Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners of different lineages and skill levels from around the world (including Brazil, Japan and the mainland U.S.) many of which intentionally traveled to Hawaii to train with the legendary Relson.
It was in this constant testing environment tied with Relson’s daily teachings that Ronn’s experience and “straight from the source” approach to instruction and sparring informs his practice and pedagogy. He was also known as one of the few gatekeepers at the time, training with anyone who entered the dojo.
One of Ronn’s more poignant experiences was training in Rio de Janeiro with some amazing practitioners from Leblon, São Paulo and other parts of Brazil. It was there he was able to test the effectiveness of his Relson Gracie skill-set while sparring with other instructors and seasoned competitors from the mother land. Although, competing and training in the U.S. were important experiences for Ronn up to this point, it was there in Brazil where his gratitude and confidence in the effectiveness of Relson’s unique Jiu-Jitsu methodology solidified.
Meaning and purpose for Ronn is found through fulfilling his mission to mold teachable students into able martial artists. He also finds satisfaction through the creation and nurturing of lasting friendships with honorable people who demonstrate true integrity and understand the concept of loyalty.
Combining the empirical and experiential aspects of this immensely complex art, Ronn Shiraki possesses a unique blend of academic and hands on experience to formulating the necessary academy culture and a systematic approach to creating great practitioners.
Ronn is grateful for the opportunity to have personally cornered hundreds of his students during competitions. He values the joyful as well as challenging moments with his students and holds the memories and life lessons close to his heart.
Below are Black Belts awarded within the Ronn Shiraki Academy with names of some of the most reputable practitioners and teachers in the State.
Ronn holds a Bachelor's in Human Development from Brigham Young University in Utah and a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from Argosy University in Hawaii. His master’s thesis, “Elite Athletes Experiencing Flow: From Construct Development to Outcomes and Challenges,” examined peak performance in professional athletes.
Ronn is happily married and has two children.
Relson Gracie > Ronn Shiraki
Go to Testimonials
RSA Black Belts Awarded
Ronn has been with my father ever since I can remember. He is a great example of Jiu-Jitsu. A very disciplined and dedicated man. He helped me a lot in my growth with Jiu-Jitsu and is one of my father's best representatives not just on the mat; but off the mat as well."
Ronn Shiraki was tough in my Academy in Orem, Utah for a couple years. His skills as teacher and practitioner is the best as they came, his competition level is the best too. Anyone is lucky to have Ronn Shiraki as teacher and friend. I recommend Ronn for anyone. He is the nicest person you'll ever meet in your life."
For the last 20 years teaching daily as Gracie school owner and instructor, belt ranks and trophies have never been my focus. It has always been about learning and growing in the art and witnessing the technical transformation of each and every student.