OWNER & Instructor
Mark d’Ercole was born here in San Francisco’s Visitacion Valley. His professional background has been in the business world as a Company owner, financial advisor, consultant, and planner for small privately held corporations for over 40 years. His lifelong participation in sports was his passion long after most people “retire” from the athletic endeavors they play. He was a long distance runner logging 30 miles a week for 30 years. When all that running predictably led to knee surgeries he was faced with finally having to stop such activities.
For 14 years, he was an avid coach in both baseball and basketball at his son’s schools, Notre Dame Des Victories and St. Vincent De Paul, in San Francisco. At the age of 56, and following several surgeries to sports related injuries, Mark began training in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu at the Charles Gracie Academy! He has defied all expectations of men his age as his opponents in tournaments are usually 20 years younger, or more, and 50 pounds heavier, or more! He took bronze in his last competition a year ago. Mark has also taken one gold, 7 silvers, and 5 bronze medals in various tournaments. He learned he truly loved the teaching and development of kids in their sports by watching them go from timid participants to real contributors on their teams during games. A critical part of his teaching has and always will be through attention to detail and positive reinforcement.
A quote from Mark: “I can’t begin to list all the benefits that Jiu-jitsu has brought into my life. I’ve dropped 35lbs since starting Jiu-jitsu and the supplemental conditioning I do completely negates any need for “dieting”. I also found that Jiu-jitsu replaced everything I was getting from all my other sport activities, including my competitive instincts. 19 years later, I am now in the best shape of my life and learning new amazing skills that have me doing things I could never have imagined like entering a certified international World Championship tournament and going hand to hand with cage fighters. I love to compete but Jiu-jitsu has taught me it’s not about winning. It’s about fearlessly testing your limits and expanding your horizons in life”.
Mark will be the instructor for the Kids and Beginner Classes. In today’s increasingly digital and synthetic world and society, people have become more detached from other human beings and awareness of the environment around them. Jiu-jitsu is real human contact, in a school atmosphere, filled with real people whom you like and who respect you. The Academy is like a second family.
His background in teaching and coaching kids in baseball, basketball, golf and track, has given him a solid background on how to best communicate technical skills development as well as the mental skills necessary to learn and execute these techniques. His goal is to develop every student’s innate abilities beyond their expectations by showing them they have the power to control both themselves and external negative influences.
In addition to Kids Class instruction, Mark will also be the instructor for a specialized instruction class in self-defense including weapons defense skills and a special program he has developed for older or “retired” athletes who want to see if they can get active again.
“Thank you for taking the time to visit our website, and I hope you will visit our Academy very soon. Brazilian Jiu-jitsu has changed my life, and I would be very honored to share this beautiful martial art with you”. Mark d’Ercole