Alex is a native San Franciscan, born, raised and currently living in SF’s Richmond District. He attended school at St. Vincent de Paul School and Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory, and in 2017, he graduated with a BS in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing, from the San Francisco State University.
He began his Jiu-jitsu journey in March 2004 at the age of 10. As one of the smaller kids in his class, he had been experiencing bullying which, unfortunately, is not uncommon even in today’s school environments. As he grew tired of playing soccer in the SF winters, and bored with baseball due to the slow pace, his father Mark D’Ercole introduced him to Jiu-jitsu and martial arts. Through watching the original UFC videos, they noticed that the smaller Jiu-Jitsu fighters would win against much larger opponents.
A quote from Alex: “I was hesitant at first with the thought of such a new and foreign activity, but my dad told me to try it for a month and if I didn’t like it then I could quit. I did very poorly those first three weeks and struggled to catch up to the other kids. By the fourth week I had learned just enough to actually win one of my sparring matches against a much larger kid. This experience taught me that what I was learning was real and that with a bit of effort I was capable of much more than what I had originally thought. From that point on I was hooked and never looked back”.
Alex has been training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for 14 years and wrestled at Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep for four years. During his time wrestling he earned accolades such as “Most Takedowns in a Season” and the “Coaches Award.” Alex also spent 2 years training Muay Thai at Fairtex San Francisco and another 2 years training wrestling and kick boxing at El Nino Training Center. He has 3 years of teaching experience at Empower Gym where he taught Jiu-Jitsu, bodyweight conditioning, and Form Boxing classes in the Financial District. He also spent a year and a half teaching kids and adults Jiu-Jitsu at Barrios Martial Arts in Potrero Hill, a Charles Gracie system affiliate. There he specialized in teaching kids classes but also ran adults gi & no-gi Jiu-Jitsu classes.
Alex has continued to train and compete winning first and second place medals at NAGA and the US Open. While he still competes, his main focus is now on teaching. He has learned a lot these past 14 years and his passion is to pass that knowledge and experience on to others in hopes that it will improve their lives in similar ways it improved his. While his skill-set in Jiu-jitsu has kept him safe in real life situations, Jiu-Jitsu has also taught him to be humble and believe that dedication and effort will produce the result you want for any activity.