Don Stoner is a proud first degree Black Belt student of Master Rigan Machado, cousin of the Gracies who holds a (Red Belt) and is considered one of the two best to teach and compete in jiu jitsu ever.
Don began his martial arts career studying Tae-Kwon-Do at the young age of 6. In middle school, his love of sports drew him to the wrestling team, where he excelled but wanted to further his martial arts career and took up Karate and Kickboxing under John Barrett. While learning from John Barrett and achieving a brown belt, Don became one of the top students and began teaching children of all ages when he was only 14 years old. It was at that time he entered his first amateur mixed martial arts competition called ”Pankration”, with limited ground skills he lost his first fight to a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner by submission , at that point he began to seek out the best masters in the area for Brazilian Jiu Jitu instruction.
He walked into the world famous Rigan Machado Jiu Jitsu Academy in Torrance, CA and met his first instructor Keiser Girao. Under Keiser’s and Rigan’s guidance Don went on to train 3 hours daily. Although he saw many defeats early on, he stuck with his goals and won many major tournaments in the White, Blue and Purple belts divisions.
As a Juvenile he was ranked as one of the top competitors in the nation and had an important rivalry with Kayron Gracie (Son of Carlos Jr).
At age 20 he relocated to Texas with his coach to teach and compete fulltime . Shortly thereafter he went on to dominate the Texas jiu jitsu scene, it was not uncommon for him to compete and beat black belts as a brown belt.
After multiple NAGA Championship titles and Texas State Championship titles he moved back with his family and continued to teach at Rigan Machado’s Academy for the next 5 years.
At the time Don was one of the only higher belts competing at the World Level under Rigan, so he cross trained with top teams like Checkmat, Alliance(Cobrinha) and Gracie Barra, which led to him achieving a bronze medal in the world championships (Nogi 2011).
In 2015 after competing in the black belt division as a brown belt under Rigans guidance he was promoted to Black belt at the age of 27. He continued to compete and teach for Rigan and helped his friends teach at their gyms around the country. At age 30 he moved to beutiful Washougal, WA with his wife Andrea to start their new life. Now teaching in Washougal it is Dons goal to make the community better and safer with martial arts, also to help his students receive all the positive benefits of jiu jitsu he has benefited from such as health and the a strong mind.
Competition Record Highlights
* 2011 World Championships NOGI Brown belt IBJJF – Bronze Medal
* 5 X NAGA Expert Nogi Division Champion –TX, CA
* 2 X NAGA Black Belt Champion CA
* 2014 Grappling X (Win over Brian “TCity” Ortega) Brown Belt
* 2004 Gracie Open Silver medal
* 2005 American Nationals IBJJF Silver Medal(Blue belt)
* 2006 American Nationals IBJJF Bronze medal (Blue Belt)
* 2010 American Nationals IBJJF Silver medal (Purple Belt)
* 2010 TX BJJ State champion GI, NOGI Expert/Brown Belt(Win over Daniel “Ninja Robert)
* 2010 Abu Dhabi Pro Trials Silver medal
* 2014 All American Brown Belt Champion
* Super Fight champion Lotus club tournament $500 dollar prize
* 2007-2010 Multiple Best of the West medals (Wind over Joe Camacho)
* Summer Socal championships- 2nd