Being at the right place at the right time can be a life-changing event if you seize the opportunities in front of you. That is exactly what Leonardo "The Wizard" Xavier did. He was blessed enough to have the opportunities to be Royler and Rolker Gracies student and assistant, and a disciple and direct assistant of Master Rickson Gracie.
Born in Rio de Janeiro Brazil in 1976 Leonardo started Judo at the age of five and Tae Kwon Do at the age of thirteen. At the age of fifteen, a friend brought him to a small
Jiu-Jitsu dojo under an apartment complex swimming pool. It was there that his friend used Jiu-Jitsu to test Leonardo's martial art skills. Leonardo knew immediately that Tae Kwon Do was no match for Jiu-Jitsu and it was time to make a switch. He signed up for Jiu-JItsu classes the very next day.
This is when Leonardo began a career that would lead him to study under and assist some of the greatest Jiu-Jitsu masters in history. He can count the legendary Masters Royler and Rolker Gracie, at the Gracie Humaitá Academy, the birthplace of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu as well as legend Saulo Ribeiro as his early instructors. After these legends saw the passion and dedication Leonardo had for Jiu-Jitsu it wasn't long before he was assisting them with class instruction. After the untimely passing of his father, Leonardo needed to find a way to continue paying for his training, and again seeing the commitment and love he had for Jiu-Jitsu, Leonardo was given the opportunity to work at the Academia Gracie full-time.
Even with assisting Royler and Rolker, instructing full-time, and running the day to operations of the academy Leonardo still was able to become a world-class competitor. Leonardo represented the Gracie Humaitá competition team in numerous events and has an incredible list of achievements including being a Multiple-time Medalist at the World Championship or Mundials, Pan-American Champion, 2x Brazilian National Champion, and multiple time Rio de Janeiro state champion. What makes these achievements even more remarkable is that during his competition days his main focus was on being an instructor. In 1999 after years of being Royler, Rolker, and Saulo’s assistant instructor and proving his dedication to the principles and philosophies of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Leonardo was awarded both his Black Belt and his Professor Diploma.
Along his journey, Professor Xavier was given the unbelievable opportunity to become a disciple and direct assistant to arguably the greatest Jiu-Jitsu practitioner of all, Rickson Gracie. Rickson, like Leonardo's earlier instructors, saw the dedication, love, and passion Leonardo had for Jiu-Jitsu and entrusted him with the task of passing down the true concepts and principles of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, something that Professor Xavier does now to his students at LX Jiu-Jitsu and Self-Defense in Sugar Land Texas.
Now a 5th Degree Grace Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt under Master Rickson Gracie, Professor Xavier provides his own students and Jiu-Jitsu students around the world the highest level of instruction and continues to travel with and assist his master Rickson at seminars across the globe.