Your source for jiu jitsu, grappling, MMA and more.

About Shawn

Shawn Williams is considered one of the top instructors in the brazilian jiu jitsu and martial arts community due to his very detailed and thorough instruction style and depth of knowledge in BJJ, grappling, and the striking arts. Shawn began his marital arts journey over 35 years ago near his home town of Bluffton, IN at the age of 12. In 1996, he relocated to New York City to train under the multiple-time brazilian jiu jitsu world champion and MMA pioneer, Renzo Gracie of the legendary Gracie family. While in NYC, Shawn became one of the main instructors under Renzo, earning his black belt in 2002.  In 2005, Shawn relocated to the Los Angeles area to spread the Renzo Gracie brand, coaching both brazilian jiu jitsu and MMA. In 2010, He established 5 Star Martial Arts/ Renzo Gracie Los Angeles. The academy grew into one of the largest jiu jitsu and martial arts academies in Southern California. He now resides in Nashville and teaching everyday at his new academy, Renzo Gracie Nashville.


5th degree Renzo Gracie Black Belt

Renzo Gracie awarded Shawn his Black Belt on April 2, 2002. He was the 5th recipient to be awarded the rank from the famed NYC Renzo Gracie Academy following such notables as: Ricardo Almeida, Rodrigo Gracie, Matt Serra, and Nick Serra (John Danaher and Shawn were promoted on the same night). He currently holds the rank of 5th Degree Black Belt under Renzo Gracie.

Inventor of the Williams Guard

Williams has developed an effective guard dubbed “The Williams Guard” by John Danaher. The guard is very effective in BJJ and MMA in its ability to prevent strikes from an opponent while setting arm bars, triangles, and omoplata submissions.

Coach for Team GSP on TUF 12

Shawn was chosen as a coach alongside his good friend and colleague, John Danaher. During the season, Team GSP went 11-4 with an all Team GSP final.


Analyst and Commentator For Biggest Grappling Events in the World.Shawn is the long-time analyst and commentator for the top BJJ and grappling events in the world, including the Abu Dhabi Combat Club World Championships, Abu Dhabi World Professional Championships, IBJJF World Championships, WNO, IBJJF Pans, and Kasai Elite Grappling Championships.


Shawn Williams’ major BJJ and Grappling accomplishments include: 2003 black belt lightweight IBJJF Pan American Bronze Medallist, Ohio Pro Am Champion (2004), FILA Regional Qualifier (2008), ADCC Qualifier Bronze Medallist.


Shawn has developed many friendships in the martial arts community. His technical and detailed approach to teaching and training has made him a sought-after coach and training partner for many world-class BJJ and MMA fighters. Through the years, he has served as a training partner/coach for training camps for top MMA fighters including Georges St. Pierre, Rodrigo Gracie, Matt Serra, Royce Gracie, and Frank Trigg amongst others.

How can I help you?

coaches Institute

Are you an instructor, coach, academy owner, or have the desire to skyrocket your abilities using my approach and lesson plans to take your teaching (or your coaches) to the next level? I'm taking a VERY small group into a BETA Program... find out if it's for you...

Online academy

It doesn't matter what experience you have, I promise you that you will learn game-changing concepts, systems, details, techniques and more.  My online academy has 2 programs... find out which is right for you. 


Do you have interest in training in a destination spot? Then be sure to join my email list and stay up to date on what I am working on, or where I will be teaching next.


Are you a school owner looking to host? Then please fill out the seminar request. 

learn from shawn


Learn on Shawn's online academy. 

In Person

Train with Shawn at his Nashville academy: Renzo Gracie Nashville.

Seminars & Camps

Shawn teaches seminars and camps all over the world. Catch him at the next location, or host him at your academy.

Coaching Institute Waitlist

The Coaching Institute applications will go live soon. Please join the waitlist to be notified when the process begins. 

We will only be accepting a very small group, so please sign up to become notified. 

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